Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Picture of my Ancona ducks

Here is a picture of my Ancona ducks. The two males are tri-colored while the two females are black-and white. They are laying very well already and I am already selling some of their hatching eggs on Ebay! I'm also hatching out seven eggs of my own and so far all seven are fertile and alive. I'm also getting some good eggs by some of the chicken hens with my rumpless Araucana rooster.  These are the auctions:

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Too many drakes!

Last year I bought some Ancona ducks from Cackle Hatchery. I ended up with six ducks at the end of the season. I checked to see which ones had the curly tail that marks a drake (male). I identified 2 males and put red and blue leg bands to mark the drakes and ducks (females).

This year I noticed one of the red-band ducks had a curly tail. So yesterday I went in to inspect the whole gang. I found that I had 4 drakes, not just two, and only 2 ducks.

I also noticed that I had 2 tricolor drakes, not just one as I had thought. So, what I did was I took the two black-and-white drakes and put them in the pen with my extra roosters.

I'm hoping to hatch out ducklings--- both black-and-white and tricolor. I'm thinking of trying to vent-sex the ducklings so I can raise a group that has more ducks than drakes for next year. I'm also hoping to have many others for selling at the fur and feather swaps this year.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guinea Fowl Fever

Last year I bought a pair of guinea fowl at a Fur and Feather Swap. I liked them so much that at the next swap I bought three more. The runty one died, and two others blew away in a blizzard, but I ended up with a pair, one male and one female.

They are very nice. I housed them with my spare roosters in a pen made out of a six-foot-high chain-link dog run, with an old calf hutch for a winter shelter. The guineas quickly learned to fly out of the shelter to forage, but flew back for overnight.

This spring I decided to get more guineas. The guinea-pen now has netting on the top so they can't fly out, so I will get all their eggs. I'm also haunting eggbid and other sources looking for hatching eggs for sale. I just got my new incubator so I have greater hope that hatching eggs will hatch.

It seems like the first signs of spring is the time when I get all excited about poultry, ordering more kinds than I really need. But I'm hoping this year to hatch out quite a few to sell at the fur&feather swaps. In addition to my guineas I have Ancona ducks (who have already started to lay) and an assortment of chickens including 4 rumpless Araucana types. I also have 2 self-blue silkie bantams--- a hen and a rooster, and if I can only set them up in separate quarters I'll be set....
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