The Importance Of The Farm (Animal) First Aid Kit

Farm First Aid Kit

When we went out to do the evening feeding recently, we noticed that a Muscovy duck seemed to be limping as she came up the hill to the feeding area. Limping can indicate a relatively benign injury like a minor sprain or something more serious, like a bumble, so we caught the unhappy girl and took a closer look. What we found was unexpected, and a bit of a shock: her head and bill were bloody. We caught her and put her into a cage in the “infirmary” in the garage for treatment and observation. While you hope that none of your animals ever suffers an injury, in a setting where they free range with the threat of predators, it’s likely that an injury will occur at some point. Continue reading “The Importance Of The Farm (Animal) First Aid Kit”

Duck Delinquents: When Girls Stay Out All Night

Duck Delinquents

Pretty much every predator in the area likes duck. We get it. To foil the many animals that lurk in the darkness, we secure the ducks in their coop (or the chicken coop, if they’ve chosen to squat in there) at night. Every once in a while, though, a duck hides when we go to herd them into their coop, and she stays out all night long. Notably, we have never had a drake stay out after curfew…hmm…

Continue reading “Duck Delinquents: When Girls Stay Out All Night”

No Cable Here, But “Chicken And Duck TV” Is On All Day

Chicken and Duck

One of the best things about living on a farm is being able to turn on the ever-entertaining and variety-filled “chicken and duck” (and rabbit) channel. You never know what you’re going to see!

This past winter, we spent a lot of time with the chickens and ducks lately after finishing up morning chores because that seemed to be when the hawks most commonly appeared. While it’s within the realm of possibility for a hawk to swoop down and grab a chicken and duck right in front of a farmer, the hawks like to hunt when people or other livestock guardians aren’t around. Why? Because they’re opportunists: they want an easy meal with low risk of injury to themselves. Unfortunately, a young, inattentive chicken fits the bill. Continue reading “No Cable Here, But “Chicken And Duck TV” Is On All Day”

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Rooster

There’s much debate about the merits of keeping a rooster in a dual-purpose or primarily layer flock. We’ve chosen to keep a flock rooster (and would actually like to have two, if they could get along in the long-term), but have learned some things along the way.

When we first started our flock of chickens, we purchased straight run chicks and ended up two males (out of 18).  That’s a ridiculously low proportion of cockerels to hens, but we were tickled. What luck!

Continue reading “The Importance Of Choosing The Right Rooster”