Tuesday, May 7, 2013


 Spring is almost over, but here are a few spring flowers that always make me smile.

Garden update: I've planted greens, lettuce, spinach, beets, and carrots 3 times because the chickens kept breaking into the garden and either digging things up (carrots and beets) or eating all the freshly sprouting greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, and greens). They haven't been able to get in for the last two weeks so hopefully I'm not too far behind.  Other things have done ok. Peas, and onions are doing well. I've got summer squash growing in walls of water, and half of my tomotoes as well.  Potatoes are planted in tires but haven't popped up yet. I've been working on my strawberry bed and thats taken a lot longer then I thought. I've only got 3 long beds left to turn over and hoping to have those done this week.... course I have to finish the strawberries first.  Then I will plant the rest of the tomatoes, and once we are past frost danger I will plant everything else.

I wish there was a way to let the ducks in but keep the chickens out as the ducks aren't as distructive in their search for bugs. 

Speaking of the ducks and chickens, soon after my last post I ended up with not one, but two replacement ducks.  I haven't been able to take good pictures of them, so I'm taking two off the internet.  This is what Daisey (aka dark wing) looks like- sort of. She is a Roen duck which is more of a meat duck. She is fatter and lower to the ground, so she is slower and easier to catch then the others.  She has been laying everyday since spring, but likes to lay in "secret" nests that she periodically digs out because someone keeps removing her eggs. I imagine she won't lay as long as the khaki's.
Here is Petunia checking out one of Macy's secret egg laying spots.

And this is sort of what Geranium (aka Gerald) looks like.  She is the same as my original ducks (khaki campbells) , but has a small poof on the top of her head. She lays regularly like my other two. Unforunately, Gerald and dark wing aren't as friendly as my other two, and like to pick on them. They are getting along better now but probably would be more peaceful if I only kept one of the two new ones.



I get four duck eggs everyday, but the chickens slowed way down over the winter and haven't picked up much since then. I think my two good layers (Cassidy and Sparkle) need to finish molting and then they might lay better... but they are hybrids which means they just might be done laying since they are over 2 years old.  However, I still have tons of eggs and give away a couple of dozen a week.
I need more egg recipes. This quiche was pretty good, but I can't eat quiche everyday :) I've made lots of flan, lots of pound cake (amazing with duck eggs), lots of omlets, lots of scrambled, fried, and eggs benedict, etc.  Egg ideas are appreciated...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

sad post

Right after my last post, I found an egg.In the duck hut.
the little white one is the duck egg

chicken egg in the middle for comparison
 And there was one the next day. And the next, etc. One day it was big, the next it was small. Yay!

After a week when there was still only one egg, I was convinced that Hollyhock was a boy too. But, one day there was 3! And the next day verified it! One of the ducks had even made a little nest for the eggs (hard to see in this picture).

Yay Petunia was NOT a boy!  Gradually they got more regular and there was a couple days I got 6 eggs (3 chicken and 3 ducks).

L-R Petunia, Hollyhock, Chrysanthamum
But, that won't happen again.
L- Holly, Sparkle (chicken), Chrissy

this wood pile is fun to climb, and I like to bug the cats

 This morning when I went to put the birds in their pens for the day, Holly didn't come running with the rest. I found her in the garden. I'm hoping it was a freak accident and she broke her neck or something. I don't know enough to say for sure what happened. She was my most adventurous duck, climbing up things, finding more snails then the rest. She was happy doing her duck things this morning and had already laid her egg for the day.
Holly says this is my pretty side

I'm sad, but mostly I'm worried that it I did something wrong. Are my other birds at risk? Turns out no vets around here do duck autopsies so I guess I'll never know for sure.

 The remaining two seemed a little subdued today and didn't eat as much as they normally do, hopfully just missing Holly, and not cause they are sick.

Petunia and Chrysie checking out Holly's resting place 

Holly was a good leader (unlike Chrysie) and so the two remaining weren't able to put themselves to bed tonight, even though the door was open. Farewell Holly, you were a good duck. I loved your soft, fuzzy belly, and happy honks when I came home.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Petunia is a boy

Remeber the cute, partly fuzzy duckies? Here area couple of videos for their first time in their "pond"

Well they are no longer cute a fuzzy, but are fully grown, fully feathered (ducks go through a teenage molt), and one of these things is not like the other. Petunia is a boy!!!

I guess thats always a  risk with baby poultry. The hatchery said they are 90% acurate with ducklings so I figured I was safe. Now my backyard is no longer G rated with all the nature going on.  Crisanthamum and Hollyhock encourage this behavior, the little hussies.  No eggs yet either which is weird.

Hey, Where is our corn?

we really love corn!

Now I have to decide what to do. Petunia is one of my favorite ducks but do I really want to feed an animal all year that won't provide eggs? Next year one of my chicken hens might go broody (probably Tika Masala due to her breed), and I could put her on some duck eggs to see if they would hatch. If I get 5-6 ducklings to hatch I could sell them for about $5 each (they are a desirable breed) and that would cover feed costs.... What do you guys think?

petunia is the one looking at the camera.

Monday, May 21, 2012

hmm I'm sensing a theme

I tried to post this yesterday, but couldn't get the pictures to stick. I have chickens and there are eggs!

The first egg came on Natalie's  birthday.

Two eggs today (Sunday)!
Hope there will be 2-3 today, but they are laying about 11:00 so I won't know till this afternoon.
I got the 3 chickens off of KSL classified. They are friendly chickens who don't mind being held (or swung on swings or jumped on tramps) as they were raised with children. No names are final but they are easier to tell apart then the ducks, so I don't think it will take long.

I got two red stars. One I call Sparkle- due to her shiny, iridesent feathers in the sun. Nickname may be Tink from "Sparkle Sparkle little Tink who the heck you are I think." She is the red and blond chicken on the left of this picture.

The other Red Star is called Cassidy, for hop a long, as she got injured in the transfer. Cassidy is getting around better all the time. After internet searching its likely she got a sprain as there are no discernable injuries or tender spots. Recommendation is to just let her do her own thing. She is darker then Sparkle with pretty black feather along her neck.

The last one is an Americana or Easter Egger. She came with the name of Bubblegum, but I'm not a fan. Angela liked Tika Masala which is pretty cute. I was hoping for blue or green eggs and she does somewhere in between.... She laid yesterday morning and today. I love her cute ear fluffs and beard! She is the friendliest chicken and its hard to get a picture of her holding still.

The chickens seem to be settling in well and in some ways are easier then the ducks.

Natalie came down to spend her birthday with me. Bethanie, Angela, Melanie, Hannah, and Andrew came too. It was really fun. Friday evening we stopped by for them to help me pick up my chickens.  Much of the weekend was spent watching and playing with the poultry. They are very spoiled now- always expecting treats. I let the chickens out today and turns out the ducks are jealous of any perceived treats or attention not sent their way.  The ducks were raised with chickens so I don't know what the problem is. I guess eventually they'll figure it out. I don't want my yard to become a reality "duck wars" tv program. I commented to Melanie yesterday evening that we don't need tv when we have poultry to watch.

Angela helped me with my attempt at adding a smaller door to the duck hut and run. We got the one on the run ready, but the hut is still a work in progress. Angela said this was her first time using a power tool. I'll try to finish it later this week as the ducks seem to appreciate access to their hut during the day.

I also hope to post more pictures of Natalie's birthday celebration later this week.

Garden projects this week: Move the maxmillian sunflower by the grapes, get the new tomato bed ready. And as always catch up on weeding the flower and Raspberry Beds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

catch up post

 Melanie made me this bag for a new purse. I was kidding with what type of purse I would need and made all sorts of specifications and Melanie made it and sent it to  me. She is amazing.
 I don't know if you can tell but this is a small brown rabbit that hung out on my porch with the cats earlier this year. It was funny because the rabbit wanted to be around the cats (I guess bunnies like friends) but the cats were scared of it and would run away.
 I went to visit Angela and Bethanie for Angela's birthday. It was a fun time but most of my pictures were lost. Alec and Megan came to play too. Anyways here is the super cute cake Bethanie made.
 We took a quick tour of campus and found a picture of my cute mom and aunt and posed by them.
 I went with Megan and Carly to a Vocal Point Concert. Those girls are sure into their Vocal Point guys.
Melanie came to help me in my garden. She even tried a nasty turnip. She was an amazing digging machine, and a fun helper. Alec and Kate helped too.
 I've tried making some spanish fritatas and they were very tasty. I can't wait till I have my own eggs and garden veggies!
 I meant to do a whole post on this, but I bought a cello!  YAY! There is a long and not to entertaining story about it, so here is the shorter version. KSL, $89 dolars as shipping loss. If brand new worth over $2000.00 got it fixed for $350. Sounds better then anything I played on as a kid, but I can't really play. :(
Melanie was sweet and thoughtful and sent me flowers for Valentines Day. Anonymous sent a cute heart necklace to me, Angela, and Melanie. I think someone should fess up :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

duck update

 My ducks have gotten a lot bigger in just a week. With the help of Cathy I got them a pool which they were excited about once I moved it away from the neighbor's fence (I guess having two dogs stare at you while drooling is a turn off for ducks).

I found that they will put themselves to bed once I moved from the too small box, so I needed to build a duck hut. Last week I sketched out the plans, figured out how to get the cuts out of the least amount of boards, and went to Lowe's. The helpful guy there made the cuts and then didn't even charge me for the extra cuts!

So Saturday- after mowing and cleaning up the firepit area (in case Natalie comes to spend her bday with me),  Mama helped me. It is much easier with another person, and she didn't let me get discouraged so its now done!

The finished product- painted red to match my chicken coop :)
The ducks don't pose well for pictures, but just this morning I was noticing how they are really foraging for their own food now. They only have a little fuzz left, and their wings are growing in fast. Still no names, but they do have different personalities. I need to get some leg bands of different colors so I can tell them apart.

I usually put lots of spring flower pictures in my yard, but this year I've tried to refrain. However, I hadn't noticed this combination of pink and blue under the pine tree. I don't think those blue flowers have bloomed before.

I keep forgetting that my camera is fixed and I can use it to take nicer pictures, but I'm not sure how I'll get them off as I may have lost the cord....

Monday, May 7, 2012

no eggs yet

  On Saturday I learned that my coop would be delivered! (I got tired of waiting for me to finish  my never ending chicken coop) So I looked to see what chickens were available on ksl- a pretty much daily activity for me. There weren't any that I was interested in that day, but.....

There were 3 female Khaki Campbells available in my town for a reasonable price (these are a sought afer breed so they are usualy pricey). The listing was from two days previous, but I  decided to see if they were still available anyways. They were. So on a whim I went with my roommate and picked them up. Three females, one month old. They were scared and noisy that first day. They are fully feathered on chest and bellies, but the tops of their heads and backs still have baby fuzz.  Went to the closest IFA store and got some emergency supplies and the ducks are still alive 3 days later so things are going well!

 I have learned that they love spinach, especially in their water bowl.If they escape their pen, I can get them back by putting stuff in their water bowl.  They like to swim in their water bowl. They like oatmeal, but not polenta. They like green letuce better then red. They like the tenderer leaves of dandilions better then old ones. They like to eat dandilion seeds (fortunately my yard is full of those). They LOVE bugs. Fortunately they have gotten less noisy as time goes by, with only letting out one or two honks in the morning when they let themselves out of their box ( at 6:30 am!) or if the cats come around. They are really fun to watch, and make cute little whistling noises.
As they aren't yet full grown, I'm going to wait a couple weeks to get chickens (I'm planning on getting full grown, already laying hens) so the ducks are settled in and the chickens won't beat them up.  So until then no eggs. I'll start getting duck eggs in August when they are about 20 weeks old.... I'm very excited.

I've also decided to build a duck hut as they don't like going in the little box at night, hopefully this project won't get bogged down! I plan on painting it red to match the chicken coop and making it a simple box shape....

Did I mention how cute and fun my ducklings are? I'm going to have a hard time naming them....