Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chaotic Abundance

Because this is a first year farm, this is the year we add most of our stock of the feathered persuasion.  We started off with 10 chickens and 2 geese.  We got one more goose from a neighbor, bringing us up to 3. We thought we found his mate, and that brought us to 4, but then discovered that the "mate" was a boy and a bad, bad boy at that, so we were back down to three. 

This year, we will add 6 ducks, 6 geese, 18 chickens, and a couple of guinea fowl.  The window to get all these animals through here in order to have them producing within a reasonable time frame (ie; before the days get short) is relatively small.  So, there's some overlap when not everyone is out of the brooder and new stock comes in.  I thought I had planned it pretty well, but......I was pretty well wrong.

Might be good time for a head count.
First, we have the Pilgrims and duck accompaniment.  They are Oliver,  Maybell, and Caroline, who are a little over 4 weeks of age, and Benjamin and King Charles the duck (or goose, as he would believe), who are just over 3 weeks.  The Pilgrims are flat out beautiful.  I thought Ferdi and Ginger were good looking when they were growing, but these guys have got them beat.  The boys have beautiful blue eyes and the girls deep brown.  The feather patterns that are just coming through are really something on the girls.  I am starting to see their masks and I am excited to see how beautiful they will be.  They are gentle and calm and sweet and a pleasure to be around--King Charles included.

Next, we have the ducks, who should not be here.  They are darn well old enough to have moved out, and did for a time--3 days.  Then Ophelia and Suzie went lame and seemed to have a cold.  I brought them in to take care of them.  But bringing in just those two did not sit well with the other three, Fawn, Phoebe, and Jane.  Their incessant quacking for one another was enough to wake the dead.  All five were joined in the little hospital box and peace was restored.  Therefore, they are still here.

Next, we have the two new additions that I went to pick up today from the feed store.  Meet Audrey and Delilah, who are African female goslings.  These two were meant to be mates for Arthur and Emmett.  Since Emmett is no more, it seems Arthur will have a harem.  Good for him.  They are cute and fuzzy and noisy as heck.  They also are trying to jump out of the brooder, though I haven't yet had a goose who didn't make the attempt.  I think it's in their blood.  Fun!

And is that it, you say?  Could there be any more?

Yes, yes there could.

These are three unnamed Ameraucana chicks, also from the feed store.  No, they were not an impulse buy.  They were supposed to arrive in June.  However, the feed store had some left over from the previous orders that weren't picked up, and told me I could have them.  Since the ladies in the feed store were wading through the brooder boxes to pick orders out from all the different types of chicks, and they had already brooded these three an extra week, I was not going to argue.  They had enough on their hands.  I took these girls home. 

They are, by far, the quietest ones.

And so, is that it?  No, no it's not.  Because of my awesome planning skills, the week after next there will be more chicks joining the queue.  Not 3 or 4, but 15.  I'm going to need more brooder boxes, and my head examined. 

But for now, I leave you with this.  It's not quite the noise that I get greeted with every day, but it's just about there.

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1 comment:

  1. I think King Charles is a Doose, or maybe a Guck? In any case, he thinks he fits right in! Quite the mob!


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