Days End…

About to get rain...

 

 

 

Bubble blower...

Evening Sky...

Happy Gunnar

Hillside

Thor

Iris

Dugur

Heavy clouds

Mountains

Lambs


Linking up with

Just Ducky…

Some of the new arrivals at the farm.

Murdoch’s, our local feed store is a dangerous place to go this time of year.  Who can resist these little cuties?  Obviously, not us!

2 Blue Swedish

These attractive ducks are known for their blue color and have a white bib that runs from under the bill halfway down the breast. They also have some white on their wings that creates a very eye appealing color contrast with the blue. Swedish are very hardy ducks and good foragers. Drakes will weigh up to 8 pounds. The hens will weigh up to 7 pounds and will lay mostly white eggs with an occasional blue or gray tinted egg.

Hayden with a handful of ducklings!

2 White Crested. Cute little puff balls on their heads.

The White Crested Duck is a good dual-purpose breed as they lay an admirable quantity of eggs and grow rapidly if you want to butcher some. The ducklings we ship will all have large quality crests on them. These ducks stand out in a group with the very unique crest on their head and would make a fine entry at your country fair.

Garrett with his duckling "Lion"...

Emma's White Crested duckling "Dande"

2 Indian Runner Ducklilngs...

These ducks were developed in Scotland around 1900 from stock that came from the East Indies. These uniquely appearing ducks have long, slender bodies and a vertical posture thus leading to their nicknames of “Penguin Ducks” or “Bottle Necks.” Runners do not waddle like other ducks but move with a quick step. They are smaller ducks that are good foragers, lay white eggs, and are a very interesting addition to any farmstead.

Zayne and his Runner duckling "Climby"...

Teigen, with his Runner duck "Flapper"

1 Cayuga duckling...

The Cayuga takes its name from Lake Cayuga, New York which makes it one of the few duck breeds with an United States origin. The Cayuga is a quiet duck that is very hardy and is known primarily for its brilliant “beetle” green plumage. The hens, which weigh 5 to 6 pounds, lay a light blue or gray egg and the males grow to between 6 and 7 pounds. Ducklings have black feet and bills, black down, and have an occasional trace of yellow on their breast.

Maddies Cayuga duckling....

1 Khaki Campbell...

Khaki’s are known for being one of the best general-purpose ducks. They are probably the best layers of all of the domestic ducks. They will have a mature weight of around 4-1/2 lbs. and their light plumage makes them easy to pick and nice for table use. The females are seal brown and the males the same with touches of darker brown and a resemblance to the drake mallard. Khaki Campbells are excellent foragers and withstand cool climates very well.

Tori's, Khaki Campbell...

Even though Sawyer was adamant about not wanting to have anything to do with the ducklings, he posed for a picture and even said “Ooaahh!”

Sawyer posing with a Blue Swedish...

*All information on ducklings is from Murray McMurray Hatchery

Linking up with

Homestead Barn Hop #56

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Processing Day…

Yesterday we processed 20 of the 42 Cornish x chickens.  We ended up moving them over to my dad’s house about a month ago as he had more room to finish them in.  After 8 weeks of growing, our smallest bird yesterday was about 4 lbs and the largest was 8 1/2 lbs!   My dad kept asking Sawyer if he accidentally grabbed one of the laying hens!  Most of the birds where between 6 1/2 to 7  lbs…not too bad!

One big chicken!

One big chicken!

 

My dad and Sawyer started early yesterday morning getting all prepped up and getting the fire started to boil the water which was used for scalding the chickens.

The scalder- a metal garbage can set up on two block with a fire going underneath...

The scalder- a metal garbage can set up on two block with a fire going underneath...

 

We (the little boys, girls and myself) did not show up until later in the afternoon to do the wrapping but we didn’t miss all the fun!  Sawyer had the fun job of knocking heads off and helped in gutting them and dad scalded and plucked…

Here's dad after the beheading, gutting and scalding-getting ready to be plucked...

Here's dad after the beheading, gutting and scalding-getting ready to be plucked...

 

The plucker doing a fine job removing the feathers...

The plucker doing a fine job removing the feathers...

Dad said his rubber pants were a bit hot to wear all day yesterday!

Sawyer with the gizzards and hearts a real delicacy...

Sawyer with the gizzards and hearts a real delicacy...

 I’d say yum, but I really don’t think it’s all that yummy… at all.   However Sawyer  disagrees with me and enjoys the little tidbits!   8{  

Tori pulling another one out of the cooler...

Tori pulling another one out of the cooler...

A *new* rubber garbage can  was used as a cooler.  We ended up using milk jugs that had been filled with water and frozen to put in the *cooler*  to keep everything cold.

Tori did the finish work and picked out any remaining feathers...

Tori did the finish work and picked out any remaining feathers...

 

Boomer, my dads dog guarded the final product!

Boomer, my dads' dog, guarded the final product!

 

Chicken 2009, nice white packages...

Chicken 2009, nice white packages...

The little boys helped run the final packages down the stairs to the freezer.  Today the process begins again on the remaining chickens.  It’s so nice to have a freezer full of home grown chickens to feed us through the coming year!

Last night I also participated in a home canning class at the community college.  Last Thursday was the first class in which we learned how to water bath canning and we processed some nectarines.  Last night we learned how to use a pressure canner and processed some tomatoes.  The classes were so much fun and I feel more confident in using my pressure canner and can hardly wait to get started on processing more fruits and veggies!

Put up and ready to use later...

Put up and ready to use later...

 

And… we got our first duck egg this morning…

Our first duck egg out of our Indian Runner's...

Our first duck egg out of our Indian Runner's...

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We are headed out to pick up a new ram lamb for our flock!

 

Erin

Durkeys…

Turkey...

 

The turkeys have become big enough that they were set free from their captivity.  They roam through the pastures, and  garden and surprisingly enough not too often in the yard.  It has been a tad on the warm side here lately so I thought it was sort of funny to see turkeys turn duck the other evening…

Durkeys...

Durkeys...

 

 

Sitting on the sheep waterer...

Sitting on the sheep waterer...

 

reflecting...

 

We all thought it is was too funny to see the turkeys wading around in the stock tank like the ducks do in their pool.  After they left I peeked in the tank and they ended up leaving lots of little durkey droppings in the water…not so funny.  So after cleaning the tank and refilling it I was sort of worried about them returning and making another big mess but so far there hasn’t been any more durkey mess in the stock tank.  Yeah! 

Right now we have an abundance of grass hoppers and both the turkeys and ducks seem to be keen on eating them.

The Toulouse's out on pasture...

The Toulouse's out on pasture...

 

The geese have also proved to be good watch dogs, tending to the little ducks they grew up with.  So far we have not lost a single duck to predators.

Toulouse goose guarding the Indian Runner ducks...

Toulouse goose guarding the Indian Runner ducks...

 

Last year it was a bad year for ducks around here.  We ended up loosing 3/4the of our flock  in two nights to the fox.  The lone duck buddied up with the hens and eventually she turned up missing one day too.

Toulouse goose

 

The little kids do not like the geese anymore…at all!   The geese are nearly big enough to look them straight in the eye with a glaring little look that scares them to death.  Which makes the kids run and then the geese let loose and chase after them.  They don’t seem to bother any of us bigger people yet.  They even sorta bug me out when they start the stare down but it seems if you hold your ground and just keep going about your business they just leave you alone.   Hehe!  We’ll see…

I shot the fox!

We have a fox that has been quite troublesome.  He seems to like to help him or herself to our chickens.  We use to let our hens free range and scratch around where ever they liked too, but this spring a greedy little fox started taking more than his fair share of our hens.  So we have ended up needing to coop them up where they have been rather sad.  We did get our electro-netting so they are able to get out a little more… but it’s still not quite the same. 

Yesterday evening while Mark was at the men’s bible study I was busy planting some flowers that my parents had dropped off when I heard a chicken squabble.  Earlier that day Garrett, Hayden and their cousins had caught the geese and ducks that once resided in the chicken pen and put them and their little pond out in the sheep pasture.  The geese and ducks had been grabbing chickens and pinning them down while pecking at them, so they are now free ranging it out with the sheep.  But in the process of 5 little boys trying to capture ducks and geese 4 hens escaped out of the house and roamed free for the day.  So right before (of course) I heard the terrible chicken squack the thought ran through my mind that I needed to get the chickens put away, but I only had a couple more flowers to plant so I decided to finish that up first.  I guess I should of listen to that little nudging inside of me because when I went to go investigate the squawk all I found were three hens and a pile of feathers!  Darn fox!

A couple days before as we were headed to town Mark and I spotted the fox traipsing through the field.  I told Mark to stop and he asked if he should shoot it and told him that no I would *shoot* the fox…

Sly as a fox...

Sly as a fox...

 

Looking at us...

Looking at us...

 

 

The final shot...

The final shot...

Mark just shook his head and smiled at me…Plus it wasn’t even in our field, and it waaaay over on the other side and the neighbors on both side of the property would have probably frowned at us had we actually shot it, plus I’m not that way, he hasn’t ruffled my feathers that much…yet!  But he might want to watch out!

Friday Farm Daze…

Catching up on the week…

 

Sisters and best friends...

Sisters and best friends...

 

The making of Smores...

The making of Smores...

The start to a beautiful thing...

The start to a beautiful thing...

 

Teigen and Dash hanging out...

Zayne and Dash hanging out...

 

A brief glimpse of the sun...

A brief glimpse of the sun...

 

Enjoying their new freedom...

Enjoying their new freedom...

 

Sawyer and Hayden going through the slush...

Sawyer and Hayden going through the slush...

Dugur keeping his vigilant watch...

Dugur keeping his vigilant watch...

Mom's are fun jungle gyms...

Mom's are fun jungle gyms...

Tori's Indian Runner Duck...

Tori's Indian Runner Duck...

Growing Gooslings and Ducklings….

It’s a little warmer today with just a gentle breeze and promises of being warmer tomorrow!  Just thought I would show ya how much these guys have grown….
Aren't they getting big...they even honk now!

Aren't they getting big? They even make the cutest little honks now!

I think we ended up with all girly ducks!

I think we ended up with all girly ducks!

These guys are fun to watch...

These guys are fun to watch...