Duck ‘N’ Chicks

The First 4

As the title of my blog hints, we have ducks and chickens.  This is a fairly new adventure for us.  I grew up on a small farm and we raised a few different types of animals.

Hubby and I feel like we should be prepared to have to live off of the land and our own if we must.  There are many different reasons why we believe this that I will not go into here.  As part of my preparedness, I decided we need to raise our own chickens and have our own eggs.

I feel this not only to be prepared, but I am also sick of giving my money to the big food corporations that are mistreating animals and pumping our foods with poisons.  But, that is also something I will not go into now.

I searched around a bit to see what breeds we wanted to raise.  I am always the type to do different than what everyone else does.  So I did not want any White Leghorns or Rhode Island Reds.  The local farm that I found, The Bradley Farm, had the perfect breeds for me.

I really wanted a Salmon Faverolles.  The Bradley Farm sold those, along with some other heritage breeds.  Orpingtons were on my list of a breed to have because of their tendency to be mild natured and great with kids.  But since I like the rare, I wanted the Lavendar Orpingtons.

Our first trip to the farm we brought four chicks home.  I got two Salmon Faverolles, a Dorking and an Exchequer Leghorn.  In the picture above, the only one that you can tell apart is the Dorking.  The rest are yellow chicks.

We decided that we needed a few more, and Hubby wanted a duck.  Our second trip brought home two Lavendar Orpingtons and a Khaki Campbell duckling.  We did end up adding two Americaunas but they both turned out to be roosters and I got rid of them.  You may see them in some photos.

We kept all of them in a dog kennel that we modified to use for the chickens.  Hubby drilled holes in the side so that we were able to slide a pole through and hang the heat lamp from the top.  The kennel was large enough that the chicks could get out of the heat if they needed.  We kept them in our house until they were fully feathered.

Kennel with the chicks. As you can see, the cats also enjoyed the chicks.

Moving them into their coop was nerve-wracking for me.  I spent I don’t even know how many nights sleeping with the bedroom window open so I could hear if something happened.

The cats were very curious about those feather-skipping aliens that entered into their territory.  But, they took advantage of the heat lamp. In the picture, there are 3 cats sleeping on top of the chick pen.  The one on the end, Jerry, is our chicken watcher.  He actually sits with them in the backyard and just hangs out with them.  We’ve watched him, and one other of our cats, Feisty, round up the chickens and send them into the backyard when they show up out front.

Today, five months after our first chick purchase, we are up to 13 chicks/pullets/hens/roosters and three ducks; a hen, a duckling and a mallard.  We have one large egg that is layed every morning.  Since the hen has started laying, we have only skipped about a week and a half.  Another hen started laying and they are quite small eggs.  This hen started out every other evening, and has now worked into almost every night.

I have many more stories to share, and photos as well.  But I really should save some for future posts.  Make sure you stick around so you can meet all of our feathered family members!

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