We really have a lot of birds. And I am not talking about the wild ones either (though we really have a lot of wild birds, too). I am talking about birds on our homestead. I think they are taking over.
Of course, you know about the chickens. I think I am down to 17 hens since we lost a few to predators and a couple to the winter cold. But we have a couple dozen babies ready to meet the rest of the farm soon. We bought a few chicks at Tractor Supply, a friend gave us a few and one of our chickens hatched out a few as well.
Historically, our chickens don’t do a very good job of raising their babies. I mean, they are good mothers I guess, but somehow the babies always disappear. Predators I assume. We only have one hen that was actually hatched on our farm. We call her Chicken Little (which is sarcastic. The roo was a Brahma, so she is anything but little).
These new hatchlings will stay in a brooder in the sunroom until they are big enough to manage. This should improve their chances of survival and it also allows the mother hen to sit on the rest of the eggs in the nest. Maybe more will hatch out for us.
Two of the new hatchlings didn’t look so good when we found them. One has it’s eye bugged out, so I call it Igor. The other took a few days to be able to get its legs under it and walk around normally. It was always laying flat out in the brooder whenever I would look in, so I named that one Splat.
We also have some new quail hatchlings. A friend of ours gave us 30 quail eggs and they are starting to pop. As of this writing, six have made their appearance. We also have six adult quail outside in pens, so soon we’ll have quail to eat and possibly sell. They seem to be in high demand if our friend’s experience is any indication. He can’t keep up with orders.
Then there are the ducks. We still have two adults from last year, and this year we bought four more ducklings. I have no idea what kind they are. Just little black ducklings. But ducks are so entertaining to watch, I don’t really care what the breed is.
Oh, and lets not forget the pheasants. Our friend who gave us the quail eggs also sold us 23 pheasant chicks. Of all the birds we have, the pheasants are the easiest to care for, but we have to keep the pen covered or they will fly out.
I still want to raise some broiler chickens as well as a few turkeys, but that may have to wait until next year. Baby steps you know.
Now Jeff is talking about getting peacocks! Sigh. I think we may need to name our farm Marshall’s Aviary.