Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We have ducklings

    Yesterday was the day I expected to have some ducklings hatch out and I wasn't disappointed.  When I checked under the hen yesterday afternoon I was able to pull out the empty shells from three duck eggs. The newly hatched ducklings were hiding under their surrogate mother. I didn't want to disturb them too much as there were other eggs that might still have been hatching. The jury was still out on several chicken eggs and another 5 duck eggs.  This morning  I moved nest box with the hen and her adopted ducklings to the chicken tractor so she can mother them without any harassment by the roosters.  As I did some checking I found that I now have 4 ducklings and one chick with another two ducklings in the process of hatching.  I don't know who will turn out the stranger, the ducklings raised by a hen or the lone chick with ducklings for siblings.
Not the best photo, but still pretty darn cute.

     Our friend Nancy flew in from Texas last night.  This triggered the usual flurry of cleaning that company brings.  When I got home from work, Linda was waiting with a chore list for me.  I should have taken the occasion to butcher one of the roosters so we could sing, "Oh we'll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes!"  I'm anxious to try out my new biscuit flour in dumplings.  I've also committed to make shortcakes for a little gathering following our ward temple night Saturday evening.  If the new flour makes as much difference on the shortcake as it did with the biscuits, they should be extraordinary.  Our strawberry production is ramping up just in the nick of time.  Our everbearing strawberries have been giving us fruit for over a week. Our June bearing strawberries just started to kick in this week. The strawberries seem bigger this year, possibly because I weeded out the strawberry patch a little earlier.

     I'm not sure where Linda found this, but it is a fun place to put the eggs until we have enough to fill an egg carton. One of our hens lays just brown eggs, while another hen lays brown eggs with little dark brown speckles.  This egg tree will be even more colorful when our Ameraucana hens start to lay. We will then have blue and possibly green eggs added to the mix. The Ameraucana chickens are descended from Chilean chickens that were imported to the Falkland Islands, then to Great Britain,  then to North America.  The original Araucana stock was interbred with other varieties of chickens to produce the Ameraucana.  They come in a variety of colors, but all have little feather muffs on their face and pea combs.   They are supposed to be pretty good egg layers for a medium size chicken, laying about 250 eggs per year. 

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