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

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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

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!