Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chickens. and Ducks. and Keets. oh my!

You may have noticed my absence for the last month. My Facebook people know that we got a few more birds in the last few weeks...if you count 81 as a few.
 See this is how it happened. Mike and I went to the feed store. The moment I walked in the door I heard a little "cheep cheep" (you can probably see where this is headed.) I was off like a shot towards the middle of the store where they keep the birds. There, in big metal bins, were the babies. I noticed right off that there were seven Barred Rock pullets, and four straight run Rhode Island Whites. I was prepared to wheedle and pout, if necessary, but hubby told me to go ahead and pick some out. After I picked the ones I wanted Mike came back to the bins and decided we should add the last of the red and black broilers that were left to our box. We left the store with 17 birds, and I was thrilled (if you'll remember I had lousy luck with chicks this spring and summer so my flock is down to just 10 hens and 2 roosters.)

Barred Rocks, RI Whites, and a few broilers for the freezer

 The next day I asked Mike to pick me up a new waterer for the babies and he came home with 26 more babies! I now had 10 Black Australorps, 10 Rhode Island Reds, 5 White Rocks, and a the lone leftover Easter Egger from the bin. We got them all settled in and cozy in their various makeshift brooders. 

We need a bigger box!

 A week later, Hubby got home from work and called me out to his truck. In the truck, on the seat, was a box. And the box "peeped" when he moved it! When I opened the box there were 17 Guinea keets. I was so excited, more babies! (Mike used his Jedi mind powers to get an amazing deal on them.)  Of course, they needed somewhere to go, and the area in the laundry room where the chicks were staying was already a little crowded, so we moved the outdoor brooder back onto the porch, hooked up the heat lamp and settled them in there.

They especially love to catch the bugs that swoop into the cage in front of the lamp
 Another week later, and I was once again called out to the truck after work. This time there were two cheepy boxes! In one there were 20 Khaki Campbell ducklings, and in the other were a dozen Jersey Giant chicks. The ducks went in with the keets and the chicks went in with the other chicks, into the new brooder that hubby made out of recycled pallets and hardware cloth.
The ducklings, before moving into the brooder with the keets
Jersey Giant chicks
 It turned out to be a bad idea to put the Jerseys in with the bigger chicks, four ended up getting trampled by the others and I had to move them back into the house. But this just means that they get lots of attention from the kids and will be more hand tame than the others. When one could turn out to be a 13 pound roo, hand tame is a good thing!

New brooder, with a nice little screened porch area

Inside the brooder

Ducklings and keets, they tolerate each other, but they don't mingle

"Are you looking at me?"
While I was out taking pictures the big ducks felt that they weren't getting enough attention, so they complained until I took a few shots of them. Geeze, they're such camera hogs!

Rouen drake and hen

Pekin hen

"What do you mean you don't have food?!"

Duck yoga

That's all for today. I hope everyone has a great week. Blessed Be...