Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wed. evening June 4th… Duckies & turkeys turned loose!

I went to the chickens and released them to run as usual this morning, then proceeded to the duckie house to let the 10 of them out to run also. I went in to gather their eggs and found one laying on the ground by the door, so I picked it up figuring spot had laid it there after I opened the slide door at 6:00 am when I left the dogs out. I can open the slide doors for the chickens & ducks which allows them to enter the outside screened in portion of the pens, but not to run loose in the yard. Anyway, I went into the duck house and sure enough, there were two other eggs there. Hallelujah…..This is the second time since last winter that we got three eggs!! I went out and put them into the egg basket and gathered the chicken eggs in the hen house and added them to the basket too. I hung it on the wall by the chicken door and proceeded to the brooding house to bring duck starter mash to our 6 young ducks. While in the brooding house, I gave the chickens the last of the chick starter, fed the bunnies and filledtheir water. We then decided to leave the turkey poults out to run. They are big enough to fend for themselves and will enjoy eating bugs, seeds, worms and flies. They are such cute little buggers and keep putting and purring to each other all the time.

The turkey's first look at the real world beyond the brooding house door.

They were eager to see their new world!!

They started pecking, purring and putting immediately!

How cool it was to watch and listen to them act like adults instinctively!  

I finished up in there and placed a screen over the opening for the bunnies so the door could be left open for the turkeys and the bunnies wouldnt be able to jump out of their pen. After doing that we let a black sex link chicken and a Bantam chicken out to see how they would do. They weren’t as ready to be free as the turkeys were, so I put them back into the brooding house. Maybe next week or so. I then grabbed the scoop and filled it with duck feed and went to the duck house.

These little guys were definitely not ready to be free.

Even Rooster Cogburn wondered what was up with these little twerps!

When I got back to the duckies with the mash, I looked at the floor, which they had pasted with mash and water so badly last night that it was 3 inches deep. I let the little guys out into the run and got the wheelbarrow in there and shoveled the slop out, down to the bare floor. If you don’t keep the floor dry in there, the blowflies lay eggs in the warm moist wood chips and you have maggots in a day and sick ducks in another day! I cleaned it out and made sure there were no maggots. There were not. Vicki came around on the garden tractor and we let the 6 juvenile Indian Runners out for their first swim. They were out all day long. Now we don’t have to keep any feed or water in the house and it will remain clean indefinitely.

Six little duckies splashing in the pond...they scared the fishie, swish he was gone....

These little guys were in seventh heaven!!!!!!

We always put the duckies to bed at 10:30 or 11:30 pm, when we go to bed and open the door at 6:00 am every morning, so they do not need food or water to slop everywhere.

During the cleaning process, I happened to look back and under the edge of the duck house, I saw a clutch of eggs!

This solves the case of the missing eggs. She can hatch them.

Now we know why we were not finding Spot's eggs……she has been going under the buildingand laying her eggs.building a clutch to hatch. The ones I found laying by the door were not laid there....they were laid in that nest and were dragged out, accidently, when she slid back out from under the building. OK…that’s cool. We will let them there and watch the progress here on the blog. Maybe soon we will see spot with a gaggle of ducklings following her around the yard, picking bugs like the turkey poults did all day long. Finally I went back into the house with the egg basket filled with the days eggs.

A really nice batch of eggs from 3 ducks and 11 laying hens.

It is increasing daily, but I will leave the nest alone so we can have a bunch of little ones naturally. Till then, it was about 4:00 pm and time to go get something to eat. We had gone all day long without eating anything, so we were both ready. We went to the Wayside Inn, in Oak Hill. What a lousy dinner! $28.30 for meatloaf from a can and Vicki’s roast beef dinner was cold cuts, heated in up a pan and both covered in canned gravy. We go there regularly for lunch and never have a bad meal. We’ll never venture there for dinner again, I’ll guarantee that! Once we got home, let the doggies out and fed them, put the chickens water in and got the 16 duckies in and the three turkeys which were right at the door and stepped in when we approached, it was too late to do anything at the barn. Ahhh, Tomorrow!!


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