Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicks, Ducklings, Guineas, Turkeys and a Parrot

I counted all our birds today and came up with 48 including my parrot, Yogi.   Last Friday some friends came by with 4  little Magpie ducklings to add to our flock.  They're the same folks that gave us our other ducks.  Gail buys them and then gives them to us.  All they got in return are potatoes, beets, onions and garlic from the garden, along with some homemade wine.  She now has 2 ducks and we have 7 and hopefully some on the way since Ginger is giving all her attention now to her nest of eggs.

The older ducks and new ones are taking their time bonding but the wrestling doesn't happen as often now as it did the first day.  I haven't named the Magpies yet.

Today another friend, Pat,  came by and brought me 3 guinea fowl that are supposed to eat our bugs.  I hope they can take care of the flies because the barns are buzzing with them.  I don't want flies annoying the goats while I'm milking because it makes them kick.  People tell me if you have guineas you'll never have ticks or fleas in your yard.  They're only a few weeks old so they have to stay in a dog crate in the turkey barn until they're old enough to explore.  They peep a lot but I have a feeling I should get used to their noise because guineas are very vocal birds.  Pat has written many books having to do with chicken farming.  One of the most popular of them, I think, is the Chicken Tractor.  She has recently given me 2 more of her books, City Chicks, and then today she brought me Day Range Poultry.  Oh yeah, and she also brought me a bag of peaches she grew.  All she got from me is goat milk.  I owe her big-time unless these guineas are a real nuisance, then she owes me.  Just kidding. Here they are.
And here's what they'll look like full-grown

Another freebie I got today came from Freecycle.org.  Once again I scored pretty big on Freecycle.  Here's what I got.
Isn't that amazing?  She could have sold this but instead gave it away.  I'll use this cage outside so Yogi won't be left out while we entertain outdoors.  I need to scrub it down yet before I let him try it out.

Here's a picture of the little chicks I told you hatched last week.  I love the way the one is poking its head out from its mom's breast.
One last picture.  Here are 2 of the bronze turkeys.  They're growing so fast.
We've had a lot of interest in our turkeys lately.  Yesterday when I was repairing our fence out by the road the turkeys followed me.  A car stopped and the man yelled, "looks like you have some company there".  Minutes later another vehicle stopped and a man asked what I was going to do with all of them.  Later in the afternoon a man on a riding lawnmower pulled into our driveway and asked if we'd want to sell any.  James told him no, we planned to eat them ourselves.  He (along with one of the other men that stopped) said that was a lot of turkeys for us to eat.  Hmmm, we'll see.

Tomorrow I work processing chickens again so if anyone plans to drop off more birds, tomorrow isn't a good day.

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