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August 10th, 2016

There’s so much cuteness in the bird yard. The turkey cutlets are growing up, but a second brood hatched while I was in Vermont last week. I only let the hen sit on two eggs since I don’t want to be overrun by turkeys this fall! The first clutch of turkeys are starting to become more independent, though they still roost with mom on chilly evenings.
turkey poult
Turkey mama
Mama duck also hatched a dozen littles on Monday. They’re already out and about in the bird yard, catching bugs and eating grass. Ducklings are probably my favorite of all the babies we have here on the farm.
muscovy ducklings (1)
There’s always lots of excitement when little birds hatch out, but it also means that it’s time to think about which of the adult birds need to go. The ducklings will be raised up and sold as adults next spring. The turkeys will be slaughtered this fall for winter eating. The older layers will be slaughtered and will make wonderful stock and soup.

What’s your favorite baby animal?

New Life

April 29th, 2014

Miss Broody finally has a few babies. Last Friday morning I noticed a little chick in the nesting box when I checked on her. Sadly, there was one that hadn’t made it through the hatching process as well.
broody hen and chicks 1
I checked on her on Saturday morning and there were a few more chicks and a couple more in the process of hatching out. Monday morning I moved them from the tiny nesting box into a small brooder in the chicken coop with food, water and a small heat lamp.
broody hen and chicks 2
It will be interesting to watch these little ones grow up to see what they look like. Some of them should be Wyandottes, some of the will be barnyard mixes, no doubt they’ll all be just as great as their parents!
broody hen and chicks 3
Miss Broody went right to work showing her babies how to scratch around in the litter, drink from their water bowl and eat the food I provided for them. I wanted to put them outside but it was very cold and rather windy. If they could easily navigate in and out of the coop I would have let her simply take them wherever she wanted, but our coop is not accessible to little birdies, that’s something we’re hoping to work on. There are also lots of layers of chicken wire installed by the previous owner and it is kind of a land mine for little ones.
broody hen and chicks 4
In the future we hope to have a new coop with a dedicated brooding area for mama birds to hatch out their young and it will have a dedicate run area attached to it for safe outdoor fun for little babies. Until then, we’ll make do with what we have, which probably means carrying them outside into a fenced in area and then carrying them back in at night. It will be well worth the effort in the health benefits it will provide for the little ones.

Any wonderful things happening in your house/garden/coop?

Growing Like Weeds

August 3rd, 2013

If you remember, the first week of July was a busy week with ducklings and keets hatching out within a few days of each other. The ducklings are being taken care of my Mama Duck and she’s doing a GREAT job. Having a good mother is such a time saver when it comes to baby animals.
Growing Like Weeds 1
The keets on the other hand are being mothered by me, not my favorite job. It’s just so much work to cart them in and out. If I wanted to keep them inside or in a brooder all the time it wouldn’t be so bad. But I want them to be able to peck in the grass and stretch their wings. ¬†They’ve learned to fly out of their enclosure, so we’re trying to figure out what to do with them to keep them safe from the predators we have around here (namely foxes, but also eagles and ravens).
Growing Like Weeds 2
One thing I like about summer is that it’s baby season. There are fawns, wild ducklings, little birdies in their nests and wild turkey poults and I’m pretty sure fox kids as well. There are babies everywhere you look!

Have you been noticing little animals out in nature?

Keet, Keet, Keet

July 9th, 2013

It’s been a busy weekend as far as baby animals are concerned. First the ducklings hatched out late last week, then the guinea eggs started hatching too. Because of the location of the guinea nest we started taking the keets when we noticed them wandering around outside of the safe zone. A few we had to detangle from the chicken wire fence around the run.
keets 1
The first one was found late one night when we arrived home. I heard it squeaking up by the coop. Upon further investigation I found it outside the run away from it’s nest. We grabbed it and put it in a brooder we had just in case. We’ve heard rumors about how terrible guineas are when it comes to mothering their young. The next day we noticed a few more and kept our eyes on them. One was found stuck inside a cinderblock and yet another one was found stuck in the fence. After this we took all the keets as we found them.
keets 2
Yesterday, when the guineas were off the nest I checked and found two smothered keets in it and a few others milling around. We grabbed those and put them in the brooder.  Then the guineas abandoned their nest, so I grabbed a few of the remaining eggs that I could tell were close to hatching. I put them under a heat lamp and covered them with a damp towel. Amazingly, as of writing this, two hatched out and a few more are starting to crack the shells.
keets 3
These little guys are fighters that’s for sure. So far we have 12 keets, two of which are injured from being stuck in the fence. We think one has a broken leg and the other one we’re not sure. We’ll give them time and space to heal and see what happens.

Did anything exciting happen at your place this weekend?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.