Sunday, June 5, 2016

More Ducks and Fewer Rabbits

I'm in the process of trying to build our Silver Appleyard Flock back up.

The adult birds currently reside at my parents' farm, and after losses from predators, we are now down to 2 females and 4 males.

The female in the front/middle is the one that went missing most recently. Naturally she was the nicest of the ducks, and I was really hoping to hatch chicks out of her.
A couple of my parents' hens went broody, and each hatched one duck egg.

The hens were slacking at their duckling-rearing abilities, so I brought them home to make sure they thrived.

They aren't quite sure what to make of the kid, but he LOVES them. (And yes, he has no diaper on.)
They are fat and feisty, and I'm hoping I can move them outdoors (and out of our bathtub) as soon as possible.

Especially since there are more on the way!

It's looking like 11 out of 14 eggs are viable, so we will have a sizable flock before too long!

Unfortunately, things aren't going as well in the rabbitry.

The other night I didn't latch Colbert's cage back completely, and found him dead in the yard the next morning.

He was my last potent male Creme, and unless Turn decides to get his act together, my Creme breeding project will be put off indefinitely.

In addition to that incident, I have also lost my best New Zealand Red brood doe, Acer.

At least I held back two of her daughters.

While I am very disheartened, it does lessen our workload as we prepare for the big move.

So this season is going to be more duck-oriented.

And the countdown continues......


  1. I'm sorry for your losses! It's always hard losing animals. BUT, I'm so excited you'll be hatching out some ducklings!

    1. Yeah, I have had the WORST luck with these rabbits. :/

      I'm pretty sure it was our little cur mix that nabbed Colbert overnight - there were no signs of a predator trying to eat him. It's ironic that the only predator problems we've had over the years have been our own dogs (sigh....). But yes, I'm excited about the ducks! :)

    2. Dogs whether our own or strays have been a huge problem for us as well over the year. The worst is that they kill for fun. It might be easier to take if they at least eat their kill but no... :(

  2. I have been out several times a day and at night to check the coop. Each time, a new predator enters the equation. Every time a hawk (or wren) which tried to pick up my pullets sees me moving around outside they don't hang out for long and are looking elsewhere in the vicinity for carrion and wild critters. It made me tired but I notice them noticing me more often and they are leaving earlier and earlier each time. Then I fortified my coop by surrounding the outer boards with (2 high stacked) foundation blocks and the coyotes and wild dogs don't come to paw or dig at their house at night. I use a tiny spring lock gate hook for the coop door when tucking them in at night. Now I can sleep soundly with the family inside! Your ducks are the best (so cute)! Good luck to you in your new home. Crossing fingers!

    1. Predators can definitely be a problem in some areas. Fortification (and dogs) is a great way to help prevent losses - the more the better! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. So sorry to hear about Colbert! He was so cute! Love your blog <3

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