Ariel, The Call Duck

003This is Ariel.  She is a Call duck.  She also happens to live in our house and share a room with my daughter.  How did this happen you ask?  Why do I allow a duck in my house?

Well, let me start off by telling you all about Ariel’s first couple of days with us.  The person that incubated her egg, called us to let us know that two ducklings had hatched.  We gleefully went over to her house and brought those ducklings home, only four hours old.

However, only one of those little ducklings survived.  She was too small to go outside with our big ducks and chickens, so my daughter decided that she would stay in the house with her.

022We bought her a plastic bin to live in.  My daughter has decorated the whole tub with lots of stickers, which Ariel playfully nibbles at.  Ducks taste everything, much like a baby.  It’s really their only way to learn what something is, if you think about it.

This sassy little quacker may only be slightly bigger than my hand, but she is a stubborn fighter.  She is often seen running through the house, head low, mouth open in a silent hiss, scolding us for whatever we may have done.  She’s a bossy thing.

Ariel is my daughter’s best friend.  Her baby.  She sleeps in that bin next to my daughter’s bed every single night.  When we traveled to Montana last Summer, the duck went with us.  She really didn’t mind the traveling.  Montana she seemed to be okay with, but in Moses Lake, WA, she didn’t like being in the hotel shower.  We stayed there for a couple of nights on the way home.

She even went into a gift shop with us in Montana.  We couldn’t keep her in the car, it was too hot and she quacked like crazy!  So we put her in the little stroller that she is in at the beginning of this post.  I covered her with a baby blanket, and pushed that thing around.  No one ever knew!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little post about Ariel.  I’ll probably share more about her in the future!

HTHk-1j5-1

I’m Going To Be A Mommy!

20110212_2Yep, that is pretty much me right now!  I’m pretty excited!  I’m going to be a new mommy!

Last night, we candled the eggs.  Can you believe what I saw?  It’s amazing and certainly one of God’s miracles.

We held up the first egg, one of our own duck eggs, put it on top of the flashlight and covered the light.  I slowly searched for the spreading lines through out the egg that is the lifeline of the ducklings inside.  I saw the forking blood veins and got very excited!  I showed Hubby, “Look!  Those veins are what we’re looking for!  There’s a duckling developing!”

Then we saw it…

A small black dot.  In some invisible yet visible way, connected to another black dot.  One black dot kept moving, swishing around like something pulsing inside.  The heart?  I think so but not sure yet.  I still am going to check that out.

So we held up the other egg to the light.  This is the wild mallard egg.  The veins running through took a second longer to find, but find them we did!  Then we saw the little pulsating life inside that egg also.

I felt like I was just informed that I was having babies….Twins!

Now the fun part for the next 3 weeks is watching it develop in the egg.  I’ll be checking every couple of nights because the growth and change will be quite rapid now.

This photo here will give you an idea of what we saw on day 8.  05-10PASSinglestage3Even better!  Here is one that shows day 8!  wr_duckeggchartMaybe tonight we’ll try to take our own photos and I can get them posted!

springtimedanielleleigh

Egg-Hatching Day 1

A new friend of mine found a wild duck egg, from a Mallard couple that had abandoned the egg.  We waited to see if they returned the next evening, but they did not.  So she carefully brought the egg to our little farm to try and incubate it.

We have just a small still air incubator.  We’re no where near big time.  But people have incubated eggs out of these before, so we’re always hopeful.

Of course, we didn’t want the duckling, if it hatches, to be alone, so we chose one of our duck eggs to try and hatch with it.  This duckling could turn out to be any mixture between a Khaki Campbell female with a Khaki Campbell male, Muscovy male or Rouen male.  So it will be an interesting little guy.

I got the incubator all ready and stabilized to stick the eggs in it and we put them in this morning.  Now if I’m correct with the info I am seeing, I will wait to turn the eggs until tomorrow.  Then we’ll turn them about 4 times a day after that until they hatch.

I’ve researched that a duck egg takes about 28 days to hatch.  But I’ll try to candle them in about a week.  I’ll try and have more info on that later!

Isn’t Spring great?!  God works his miracles anew each time Spring comes and it’s amazing!

DanielleLeigh

Homeschool 3/13/2014

00000000y22

Today was a day spent driving all over and entering store after store after store.  Mostly my goal was to get my laptop fixed.  But it took several trips to get it sent off.

So today, once again, school was not on the schedule.

But that doesn’t mean no one hasn’t learned anything!  Bubba took it upon himself to build a pair of stilts to use.  Oh the creativity of that child!  And he wants to grow up and be a carpenter, with his own business.  I LOVE the dreams and direction that he has.

Stinky has had her nose stuck in a book for most of the day.  Love to see that!

Now the kids are playing outside, swinging on a rope and getting baseballs stuck on the roof.  Boy, won’t Dad be glad to hear that he has yet another baseball to rescue.  Science abounds outside, especially on a back yard farm.

After all, it’s a live documentary watching the chickens and ducks around here.  Life lessons are to be learned everywhere!

MySt copy

Timeline of My Day

Stephen-Covey-Quotes-about-priorities-and-scheduling

A normal day here is not very normal.  lol

Mondays are my favorite days of the week.  It’s a fresh start to a brand new week.  A week to get things accomplished.  A week to explore, learn and praise God for all that He brings to it.

Today’s schedule is pretty much what an average day looks like around here, Monday through Friday.  The only thing that today is missing is errands, because thankfully, I don’t have any to run today.  And that always makes any day, better!

6:00 am – Wake up, Devotions

7:00 am – SWAG Bucks

8:00 am – Wake kids, Kids feed, Work on 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control (1MMAGC) stuff

9:00 am – Blog

10:00 am – Workout, Amanda does dishes today, Start school at 10:40

11: am – Homeschooling

12:00 pm – Lunch, Cleaning

1:00 pm – Cleaning

2:00 – 4:30 pm – Crochet

4:30 pm – Cook dinner

5:00 pm – Whenever – Crochet

The evenings are mind to do what I want.

Our dishes schedule rotates through the family, so I only have to wash dishes once every four days.

On Saturdays, that is my day to sleep in as late as I want to.  After I get up, I usually feed the chickens and ducks for the kids.  Then Saturdays are spent folding laundry, planning for the upcoming week and anything else that I fancy.  Sometimes I do get some housework done also.

Sundays we try to go to church.  So I’m up around 7 am.  Some Sundays I feed for the kids, other days I make them do it.  The rest of the day is devoted to NASCAR or football, whichever happens to be on and naps.

danielleleigh

The Three Duck-ateers

We have had some recent new additions to We’re Duck ‘N’ Chicks.  Some new ducklings.  Who doesn’t think these little guys are cute?

Pippi, Hannah and Antonio enjoying some Weed Soup
Pippi, Hannah and Antonio enjoying some Weed Soup

Daughter and Son really wanted new ducklings, especially after the loss of Daughter’s special chicken, Lavender, who died last week.  (That will be in an upcoming post.)  So since I aim to please (and distract) I went on a wild goose chase….excuse the fowl language.

That took us to a feed store miles away from home on the search.  My Garmin took me out to the middle of no where, which was ok because the kids got to see a baby calf just born trying to stand and walk.  Further out in the field there was another cow giving birth, or trying to.  I knew which direction I was headed, sorta, so I drove until I found town.  It was easy.  We found the Safeway, used the wifi so I could find the address on my Kindle, since Garmin was failing me.

We found the feed store and asked where the ducklings were.  The lady working wasn’t the friendliest.  If I wasn’t in such a desperate need to point their focus in a new direction, I would have left and gone somewhere else.  But, my babies had already picked some out.

Daughter chose a Muscovy and Son chose a Rouen.  The Muscovy is the little brown duckling with the yellow chest and the Rouen is the large one with dark brown and stripes.  Later that day, I was able to get a hold of the place where I’ve gotten all of my ducks and chicks from to get another Khaki Campbell.  She is the all brown one.

The Three Duck-ateers provide us with so much fun!  We put them into the bath tub to let them swim around and Antonio (Rouen) swims under the water as fast as he can!  I have never had any of our Khakis do that.  During the day we’ve been taking them out to enjoy the nice warm sunshine that is so rarely seen in WA, especially this time of year!  We spoil them with Weed Soup and they dig that!  They also love to chase the ants in our driveway or jump into the air to catch a passing moth.

Soon, we will be incubating our own ducklings!  We can’t wait for that!!

springloindanielleleigh

Winter on the Farm

20110212_24Waking up in the morning to the ground white and hard does not make me want to get out of bed in the morning.  Knowing that I must go out and tend to the chickens and ducks in the cold weather just makes me cringe when I wake up.

I am normally a morning person.  It’s my favorite time of the day!  I love to wake up early, be alone and have some quiet time to myself.  Even when it’s cold out, I like the mornings.

But since having these chickens the cold mornings are colder when I am out in it taking care of the animals.  Taking care of animals is a huge responsibility.  I tell myself this every morning.

My morning dialogue to myself goes like this:

“Ahhhh, it’s morning!  If I hurry and wake up, I can enjoy a cup of coffee and read my Bible in the quiet!”

“Oh no.  I have to go take care of the chickens.  It’s freezing.  I don’t want to!”

“Danielle, you know that you love having these chickens.  Just be a big girl, suck it up, and go take care of them.”

So after that conversation, I get up, turn on all of the space heaters (our furnace is broken, which makes it harder to get out of bed), turn on my electric blanket so it’s all warm for me when I sit down, put water in my kettle and on the stove, prepare my coffee press, get creamer and mug out and then I use the restroom and feed the cats.  By this time, usually, my water is just about ready and I wait to pour it into my press.  Other times, I use the restroom before I start it, so I go outside and take care of the chickens and ducks while my water heats up.

After my water is poured into the press, I get boots, hat, jacket on and I put the dog on the leash.  I take the dog with me if my daughter is asleep, if she wakes up, she likes to help me and she takes the dog.  This morning, I knew that their water would be a solid chunk of ice, so I was prepared with a new water tub.  I have a little sand bucket that I use to take warm water out for them when the hose is frozen.  It takes me about 3 trips to fill up the tub they drink out of.  I did this first this morning before letting them out.  I usually just let them out first.  After I got the feed and went into their yard.  This morning was the first time that it had froze the coop door.  Other mornings I do have to breathe on the lock to open the yard door.  I finally got the coop door open and the chickens come running out.

My daughter has a rooster, a Delaware, that is the greediest little pig.  He literally follows me around trying to get the food.  He makes me laugh.  So I have him hot on my heels while I am pouring several piles in different places for everyone.  I watch Louis, my blue faverolles rooster, stomp his feet at Bill the duck.  Bill just stands his ground and quacks at Louis.  I watch this every morning.  It cracks me up.

I always pour a little pile on the other side of the fence for my salmon faverolles, Philip.  He gets picked on and I always give him his own pile of food.  He knows that I do and none of the others have caught on.  Yet.  Philip is my special rooster.  He is the same age as Louis and Harry Clucker, who is a Lavender Orpington, yet he has never crowed.  He is not quite as big as either of them.  It’s very strange.  Our young roosters even are crowing, but not Philip.

After feeding, I usually water if my daughter hasn’t already.  But since I did it first this morning, I go into the coop and check for eggs.  I didn’t get one this morning.  Yesterday though, we got our first brown egg!  That was pretty exciting.

Tonight, I knew that it was once again going to be cold.  And right now it is 23 degrees and 9:55pm.  It is supposed to get down to 20 degrees by 4am.  So I emptied the water that was already in the tub and hadn’t froze today.  The chickens and ducks are all cooped up until the morning, so they don’t need the water in there.  This way, I can just take out the warm water and put it in the tub.  I won’t have to worry about frozen water.

I noticed today that the ducks had gone swimming in the water because the ground was frozen with ice all around the watering area.  Naughty little ducks.  The ground is hard enough with the frost.  But then to have ice?  Thankfully it was thin enough that it was not slippery.

The snow that we have doesn’t seem to bother any of the chickens or ducks.  They don’t have snow in their yard, because it has tree cover.  But the bigger chickens get out every day and they hang out in the grass where all of the snow is.

I do love having a small farm.  I love having our own eggs.  And if need be, we could eat our chickens.  Hopefully it doesn’t come to that yet.  I am not quite prepared for that step.

BrrrrrDanielleLeigh_zpsa2687d75