So I woke up to 13 degree weather and frozen ground and frozen pipes. Fortunately I was able to drain most of our pipes in advance and able to keep the hose bib on the house from freezing up so the ducks could have a morning bath. With a wind chill of 6, they still don’t care about the cold at all.
Season Three will be coming early February with the largest group of ducklings we have ever brooded. You can find the entire series at DuckChronicles.com
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….
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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.
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.
Today on The Duck Chronicles Episode Thirty Five – New Babies Might Soon Arrive we have two Muscovy girls that seem to really want to hatch out a brood. Both are broody and don’t want to leave the nest. I may let them raise up some babies.
I also spent yesterday putting in over 100 feet of trench and getting water at lest to the fence. That project has just begun.
We also take a walk around and see many of the trees are starting to bloom and how green the pastures are starting to look. It really amazes me how brown this property was when we moved in and how far it has come in a few years.
We find the Girls bathing in the back corner of the property as well. I think it is time to stop referring to them as “babies”
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.
On The Duck Chronicles Episode Twenty Eight – Ain’t Winter Great we skipped yesterday due to a lot of work we had to get done this weekend but we are back today and the snow, sleet and ice is with us. In spite of the winter weather the ducklings don’t really seem bothered. They are rocking on and seem to be enjoying the snow. One more example of how much tougher ducklings are compared to chicks.
We have also selected names for the two additional Muscovy drakes from all the suggestions from viewers. Since the big drake is Arnold (as in Schwarzenegger) one viewer suggested Hans and Franz from the Saturday Night Live skit “Pump You Up” http://bit.ly/1EICYAq