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Babies, Babies, Everywhere

October 24th, 2018

Each summer I try to only let one variety of fowl hatch out little ones. This year, I had a turkey mama that hid a nest in the woods until it was too late to break her off. Luckily she wasn’t sitting on very many eggs. She hatched out 6 turkey cutlets, there are four that have survived (two were nabbed by a raccoon one night).

Earlier in the summer we let two different muscovies sit on a few eggs each. We ended up with eight ducklings in two different clutches, they’re almost adults now and the same size as the adult ducks in the flock. Since the turkeys and ducks more than doubled the amount of birds we had in the coop, it seems like there are birds everywhere.

Add to these the 25 chicks that are now miniature chickens and we have quick the flock living in the one of the coops. All these birds are very entertaining and provide fertilizer for the garden, eggs for our table, and entertainment for us.

What new life are you enjoying this summer/fall?

Friday Favorite: Beautiful Days

January 18th, 2013

Yesterday was a lovely morning. We happened to wake up before the sunrise and enjoyed our coffee while we watched the sun come up over the horizon. Wednesday, a winter storm rolled through and a fresh dusting of snow blanketed the ground. After putting in a few hours of office work, we headed out for some late morning chores, Mr Chiots plowed the drive and I tended to all the animals and worked on cleaning the garage.
Fun in the Snow 4
Fun in the Snow 5
Next up came the roasting of the coffee for the next couple weeks, meanwhile the ducks played in the snow. These guys are too funny, they definitely make us laugh. They’re just starting to get their wings and they love to run around on their tip-toes flapping them. A couple days ago one of the females made a short flight from the garage down to the house. Our duckies are growing up.
Fun in the Snow 6
Fun in the Snow 7
While we stood by the garage eyeing the fresh snow, thoughts of childhood sledding filled our minds. We grabbed a sled from the garage and took a few quick runs down the hill. Notice the ducks watching us, I was waiting for them to grab the sled and ride on down. They seem to enjoy days like today as much as we do.
Fun in the Snow 1
Fun in the Snow 9
Fun in the Snow 8
Fun in the Snow 2
Fun in the Snow 3
I don’t think either of us have been sledding since college, you certainly notice how hard the bumps are (of course there wasn’t quit enough snow on the ground). On days like yesterday we’ll spend every moment we can outside enjoying the day!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a beautiful January day?

Duck Potatoes

December 11th, 2012

If you remember, we added some ducks to Chiot’s Run back in October. When we traveled back to Ohio for Thanksgiving, we left them in a heated room in our garage. They still weren’t fully feathered and we hadn’t trained them to the electric fence, so we figured it would be the safest place to leave them. When we left they were still ducklings, we arrived home to BIG DUCKS!

Not only were they big ducks, they had gotten lazy in their cushy indoor days. When I would open the garage door to let them out to forage, they wouldn’t leave the garage. After two days of this, I finally decided it was time to withhold their food. A hungry duck is one that will go outside in search of food. Low and behold, it worked! Now they’re out and about much of the day eating dandelions and clover in the lawn.

The good thing is, they have now been trained to see an indoor place as a safe place and a place to sleep. I think this will be greatly help in our efforts to keep these guys safe from predators. I don’t have to herd them inside at night, they go in on their own. If they start trying to stay outside, they’ll be herded inside. We’ve already been working on our herding with them, it’s really quite easy with a flock of ducks!

They’re not quite fully feathered and they’ll still get bigger than they are now. Muscovies are pretty large ducks. The good thing is that they’re very hardy, the cold doesn’t seem to be bothering them at all. They’re so entertaining, we really get a good laugh from them quite often. They seem quite curious and love watching us working outside, here they are paying close attention to Mr Chiot’s coffee roasting to see if they can pick up any tricks.

We’re still in the process of building our duck house, we’ve been slightly busy with our work after taking a week and a half to travel to Ohio. Hopefully they’ll be living in their new digs by Christmas.

Have you ever had to deal with lazy pets?

Making Do

October 30th, 2012

When we arrived in Maine last Saturday, I wanted to put the ducklings outside but I needed a fence to keep them contained. At first I was going to use my compost bin, but the holes were too big. Then I remember we had some shelves in the garage that we haven’t put up yet.

With a little bit of wire it became a duck tractor. The ducks are loving spending the days outside basking in the sun and the rain. We put a little heat lamp out there for them to warm up under if they get chilly. Every day we move the fence to a new spot so they can eat the dandelions, violets and other greens they enjoy.

At night we’ve been putting them in the office in a container. Thankfully, it looks like they’ll be getting their feathers soon so they can stay outside. I also think I’m finally starting to see the gender of a few of them by their size. There’s one dominant male for sure and two small females. A few of the others could go either way, I’ll be watching.

Mr Chiots will be building them a little house soon, probably about the time they’ll be able to stay outside all day/night.
I also get so much satisfaction when I can make do with something I already have instead of having to buy something!

Have you made do with something recently and saved yourself some money?

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.