Monday, April 30, 2012

Slug Patrol!

Our Pekin ducks get a little muddy while on slug patrol
The very cool and rainy weather is just perfect for slugs and they are thriving on my lilies,hostas, and even in the trees.Good thing we have a slug patrol. The ducks, too, are thriving in the rain, mud, and abundance of slugs.
The ducks waddle on down to the pond for a swim and hopefully will be able to rid their bills of some of the slug slime. Even thinking about eating slugs grosses me out, but I am sure glad the slug patrol finds slugs very tasty, they should feast royally this spring !

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Chicks Come In The Mail !

My new chicks came in the mail. I am still amazed such tiny, fragile creatures can be sent safely through the mail. 

Here you can see the box they arrived in sitting in front of the temporary brooding  pen set up in my sun room.
This is a receipt showing what chicks I ordered.I paid a little extra to receive all pullets ( females) so I would not be raising any more roosters for awhile. I still have a few roosters around I am quite fond of, and need no more. I want a lovely and varied chicken flock this coming year, and I think I picked some interesting chickens. I am especially excited about the white Orpingtons and the Delawares.
Look at all the cuteness packed into the tiny box ! I am already anticipating the delicious eggs they will lay for me and my family, but the breeds I have chosen will not begin to lay eggs until they are between 5 and 6 months of age.
I dip each chick's beak into water right after removing them from the packing box. There are glass beads in the waterer taking up space  so the little chicks do not drown in the water, which is very easy for new chicks to do.Also, the beads attract the chicks and they peck there allowing them to learn quickly the water they need is here.
I put the chicks into a big metal tub with a piece of fencing over it to keep my cat out. I have a heat lamp over the brooder. I mixed chick grit ( you can purchase this from the feed store) with chick starter feed for the first few feedings and put it in a shallow dish in the brooder.The chicks spend a lot of time happily scratching and pecking at their feed After 3 days I moved the chicks into a big metal water livestock tub in an outside shed I use just for the purpose of raising up poultry.The weather has just begun warming up and I do not think a heat lamp will be needed for long. I will probably replace the heat lamp bulbs with 6o watt light bulbs. I have two lamps over the chick brooder.
I love raising these little cuties, I love gathering newly laid eggs in the morning, I love hearing my chickens clucking and crowing, and I especially love to just watch them. They are very entertaining,and if you watch them often enough you can see they each have a unique personality, and you just might get attached to them, you just might!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Langshan hen

This is my 7 year old Langshan which was one of my first chickens, 6 years ago she won grand champion at the Washington State Fair and still looks just as nice .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012