Sunday, May 30, 2010

Buckwheat lays an egg

Last year I bought a pair of guinea fowl and was looking forward to hatching some eggs out this year. The female, Buckwheat, just never started laying eggs though. I bought some guinea eggs on ebay and hatched out a batch of guinea keets. When they got to the right age I had to move them from the small brooders to the outdoor brooder room in the barn, but I was worried about cats.

A couple years ago, I had a cat who climbed the walls to get into the brooder room and eat chicks. There is a tiny gap at the ceiling she could climb in through. I had to put an adult goose in there with the goslings as a bodyguard.

So, what I decided to do was see if Buckwheat and her mate Alfalfa would be willing to adopt the keets--- and some ducklings as well. The keets instantly started following Buckwheat and Alfalfa around and the older birds seemed to accept the role of parents instantly.

I was afraid that this would interfere with Buckwheat started to lay eggs, since she already has a large 'family' out in the brooder room. But yesterday I found a guinea egg in there. Hopefully she will lay more that I can hatch out.

I also decided it was high time to put up an ad on Craigslist for the guinea keets I was NOT planning on keeping. They are six weeks old now. So I rounded some up to take their picture.

The reason the keets are looking in the same direction is that there were some curious cats on hand who were wondering if the keets were going to be their lunch. No, no, bad kitties!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Mandarin duck forum

Mandarin ducks are a small ornamental breed of ducks from the far east which are becoming quite popular with duck breeders in the US and elsewhere. The North American Mandarin Duck Breeders Association has just started a new web site with a discussion forum. Please, if you are interested in Mandarin ducks, join the forum! It has only three members so far, but two are breeders of Manderins and should be good sources of information.

On the BackYardChickens forum, there have been many threads in the duck section relating to Mandarin ducks. There is one on incubating Mandarin eggs. And there is one on aviaries for Mandarin and Wood ducks.

We don't yet breed Mandarin ducks, but we do have 4 Mandy eggs in the incubator and so have got started with our Mandarin duck adventure.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The New Muscovy Ducks

I bought a breeding pair of Muscovy ducks at the Fur and Feather Swap in Stephenson. They are the black&white critters in the center of the picture.
Directly behind them, outside the enclosure, is Imelda the Chocolate turkey. I'm letting her free-range, but she sticks close to the pens with the chickens she regards as her 'babies'.

And here are the new Khaki Campbells.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Little Lame Duckling

This is a picture of a duckling (on the left), only a few days old, who is dragging his leg behind him. The other duckling hatched about a day earlier than this one.

Both of them are Indian Runners.

The little lame duck is able to get around its brooder and eat and drink. I only have 4 baby chicks in the brooder with it, so he isn't being picked on by bigger birds. I'm hoping he will improve as he grows older.

Update: as of May 11th, the Little Lame Duckling, aka Claudius, is still alive--- here is a picture of her from today.

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