It is mid summer and the grasshoppers are at peak, so the birds are getting a ton of feed off the land and consuming about only half of the feed they were a few months ago. We are dealing with “angel wing” on a few of the young muscovies. This is a disorder that is supposed to be linked to nutritional issues, but I don’t think that is the case, the truth is no one knows what causes it or even if there is only one cause or serveral. Sadly for these birds though I will not be letting them pass on their genetics.
We have a ton of girls brooding eggs with babies on the way anyway. Mostly muscovies but a pair of cayugas have a nest together as well. Additionally Pencil Neck the buff runner has been helping out, while not actually broody herself she is pitching in and giving the other girls breaks.
Lastly today we note that the ducks do have well formed social groups mostly based on who they were brooded with. While not air tight you will observe most of the white layers stick together, so do the 18 young ducks that were part of our first clutch. Barbie and her friends form a tight group of five even though Barbie can’t fly like the three baby mallards.
Mallards? Yep you bet when Dorothy went to get friends for Barbie (now the most expensive free animal anyone ever “gave” me) the friends turned out to be one Cayuga and three mallards and of course two are fricken drakes. They are fun to watch fly and you do get to see them do it in today’s episode, though a short flight I did manage to catch it on video for you. Season two will be rolled out after our vacation! Stay tuned….
This morning we got 3 hours of pouring rain. Then this afternoon we got hit with close to an inch in less than 30 minutes and it totally filled the swales and overflowed them all. To really drive home how passive this water system is, this video was shot only 5 minutes after the storm stopped.
The other storm I mentioned did hit us as well and we got another 30 minutes of hard rain about 30 minutes after this video, everything continued to preform perfectly.
We had a few weeks of no episodes but we have been busy. The big move has come the ducks are now in a bigger house, with power and have a much larger holding area.
Barbie the adopted duckling now is roaming the grounds free range with he fellow ducklings and the three turkey polts. They have been interacting with the mother ducks and new hatched ducklings with no drama.
Of course that means mother ducks have started hatching babies, we have a ton of them with more yet to hatch. They just hatched what appears to be the first muscovy duckling, right at 35 days as projected.
The babies are venturing out already with the various “mothers” but almost all seem to be mostly bonded with the one muscovy girl you see them with in this video.
The girls and the other adults are loving the new paddock especially the wet weather pond, where they have spent most of their time since the move. Moving them wasn’t easy, they were terrified to go though the gate because they never had done so before, so we pushed them though the much lager double gate on the north end and herded them around.
The new poop free waterer has been improved using an 80 cent rubber stopper from Walmart, I drilled a hole with a hole saw and it works great.
In The Duck Chronicles Episode Thirty Seven – The Beginning of a New Lesson we have what might look like a rewind, baby ducks. Not from our broody girls though just yet. We have adopted what looks like a young Pekin duck from a family that found her in their back yard. But we have no other babies and a duck alone is a duck in stress, so Dorothy went down to the feed store and got 5 other babies so now we are brooding a small group of 6.
We figured while we are at it we might as well brood some turkey polts this year so we got three of them as well. Believe it or not the tiny ducklings are slightly bullying the much larger baby turkeys.
I also show you all the irrigation we put in for the cider orchard, the broody girls are still sitting on their eggs and I have planted a large number of Nanking Bush Cherry and planned the installation of 300 plus fence feet of muscadine grapes.
I also show you the new poop free duck waterer made from 6 inch pvc and a simple hole saw.
I show you my really simple set up for sprouting the seeds, if you want to see this system used for barley fodder and it used more in depth, you can see this older video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbJwbnSrdT0
Then we check in on our two broody muscovy girls, they are doing well enough.
I show you the progress from our recent work with Jack weekend and we are getting very close to the “big move”. The geese are going to the processor on Thursday.
I also take you to see their soon to be new digs. I got their fencing redone in that area now. The new area is going to be a lot better density wise an the chickens will soon be gone along with the barnyard mafia. Buddy and Joe will stay on board as guard geese.
Lastly I explain how sealing a pond with duck poop works and why the same thing doesn’t happen with swales.
This was posted in the blog comments today, I have been listening to it while cycling email before breakfast and realized how in sync with some of my shows it is. So while I am away you guys might want to check it out.
It is in a video but you don’t really need to watch it. So it ends up being a great free audio book. So spot on it is scary. I really do love Stefan Molyneux
Today on The Duck Chronicles Episode Thirty Three – A Poor Little Stranded Ducks Plea we are about to deal with a muddy mess. The temps are on the rise, sheets of ice are falling off the roof and everything will soon be a muddy mess.
For now though there is still a lot of ice and the birds are having a difficult time moving around. Slipping and sliding is the rule of the morning.
We also had a poor little duckling that managed to strand herself inside the hole of a cinder block. She wasn’t moving and I was afraid she suffocated but as soon as I pulled her out she was good to go, all be it filthy with mud.
The ice cleats I am mention in this video are called Stabilicers, if you deal with ice I highly recommend them or something like them. You can find them here, http://amzn.to/1BOhoxt
I also had to rescue one of the adult ducks today. One of our Cayuga drakes was splayed out on a sheet of ice on one of the swales and simply could not get himself out of the ditch.
Things should warm up and melt off tomorrow. We now have cold miserable rain coming, followed by a day with a high of 75, the next day will have a high of 34, bipolar indeed! I love three seasons in Texas, and then there is winter!
The cleats I am wearing in this video are called Stabilicers, sorry I couldn’t remember the name while I was filming. You can find them here, http://amzn.to/1BOhoxt
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