Yup, I have famous ducks. Kinda crazy, aye?
Speaking of the ducks, Will and I have independently arrived at the same tactic for herding ducks into their house each night. After months of chasing them around the yard to catch them and toss them into the safety of their home, or simply waiting until it was late enough for the quacks to put themselves away, we now use a trusty flashlight. Despite their stint on the local news, it turns out these ducks don’t like being in the spotlight, so you can coax them from the pond into their pen and then straight up the ramp to their house using the skills honed working the spotlight for high school musicals. Now I can officially say drama geeks have a place on the farm.
Now that we’re in full production mode in terms of eggs, washing them has become the latest addition to the daily farm chores.
Right now I’m using the same brush to de-poop the eggs that normally de-greases the cast irons… I need to remedy that pronto.
About an hour ago, the ducks and geese came running out of the woods, headed straight for the house. Conspicuously absent was our drake. We’ve walked the creek bed and there is no sign of him. Also, the remaining ducks are all huddled under their house, looking rather freaked out. It’s all circumstantial evidence, but I think he was picked off by something this morning, possible while defending his five ladies.
This wouldn’t have happened if Watson was still alive.
pullet chicken egg, chicken egg, duck egg, double yolk duck egg
We got our first pullet eggs from the chickens today. Three to be exact. As you can see from the picture above, pullet eggs (the eggs chickens lay when the hens first start laying) are rather small. The awesome part is that the yolks are almost as big as a normal chicken egg, meaning the yolk to white ratio is way in favor of yolk, which makes for fantastic fried eggs.
The even more awesomeness is that in another week or so we should have enough eggs to start selling them to the restaurant, marking the first time we’ll actually get any payment for what we’ve been doing these last seven months. Woohoo!!!
My husband did an incredibly responsible thing – he scheduled a visit with our local extension agent to make sure everything looked okay around the farm. Here’s a brief run down.
The good news is everyone looks healthy. The not so good news is that we may not have enough pasture to support 5 ewes and their lambs. The d’uh news is that the reason the sheep haven’t been eating much hay is that the stuff we bought turns out to be loaded with something called foxtail, which they don’t like. Also, it’s invasive. Awesome. The bad news is that it turns out that our pasture has the “wrong kind of grass” so it looks like we’ll be attempting to pull up wire grass (we were told to RoundUp and put the sheep somewhere else, but we don’t have a somewhere else, nor am I excited about the prospects of using RoundUp) and seed for things like clover. We also need to get our pH checked, so we are now equipped with soil samples.
The pigs look great. The aggression we were worried about is really considered playfulness (think dogs). Also a plus, we’ve probably been feeding them too much so we can cut back a bit, which will help expenses. The pasture over winter, woods by summer plans was met with approval as well.
The birds look healthy. She was a bit skeptical about our plans to breed without an incubator. Also, mid conversation, while hanging out with our New Hampshire Red rooster in the yard, a loud cock-a-doodle-do came from inside the coop. Turns out our mystery chick is a dude, which probably means he’ll be dinner sometime soon so as not to have two fighting cocks. If they can keep it civil until we move the New Hampshires down to the lower coop for baby-making this April, he may get a stay of execution. That being said, his penchant for crowing at 3 AM and waking up the toddler doesn’t bode well for his longevity.
She’d never heard of ducks that don’t swim. The fact that my most common search phrase for this blog is “ducks won’t swim” begs to differ.
Overall, it was a good visit. It’s comforting to hear that all your animals looks healthy from someone who actually knows what she’s talking about.
Look who decided to take a dip…
Leave it to my ducks to wait until we get a second snow storm and all but 8 feet of the pond are frozen so solid I can walk across it to test out their webbed feet. Of course, we are elated.
Last week Wednesday, Will discovered our first duck egg:
So far we’ve gotten an egg a day, with the exception of this morning when we got two. Which, of course, meant time for omelettes…
Will likes to use the Julia Child method of shaking the pan to make them wonderfully fluffy.
What a wonderful breakfast. I’m looking forward to more of these.
Of course, after we found the first egg, we had the terrible thought that inevitably some fox would eat all the ducks, making that one egg the most expensive of all time. But let’s not think about that. Let’s scroll back up to the picture of breakfast instead.