Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Quick Update

Oh, dear. It's been nearly a month since my last post. Here are some of the things I've been working on in that time:

Our ducklings arrived on April 9th (12 Indian Runner Ducks, assorted colors, and 11 White Pekins). Two of the Runners died in the first couple of days, but the rest are doing great. The Pekins should be at market weight in about another month. We'll only be slaughtering enough males to bring us down to two or three, and we'll be keeping all of the females for breeding stock.

Something killed most of the Wyandotte chicks by reaching through the chicken wire and grabbing them. It couldn't get them out to eat, so it just kept killing. In one night, I lost 15 chicks leaving me with only 10. I think it was probably a coon, but I never caught anything in the live trap I set nearby. I surrounded the pasture pen with electric netting, and haven't lost any since.

April 28th, I moved the ducks out to the pasture. Since they require a higher protein feed than chicks, they couldn't share the pasture pen. My solution was to put the ducks within the electric netting surrounding the pen. They've settled in well and have learned to respect the electric wire. This is especially important for the Runners, since they will be one paddock ahead of the goats once they get big enough to be contained by the goat fencing.

I got a good start on the back fence a few weeks ago, but haven't gotten around to stretching it. It's a good thing, too, because there was a storm a few days ago that dropped a large, heavy branch right on my fenceline. I would have been very upset to have to rebuild that fence so soon after putting it up. At this point, all I need to do is to pound in a bunch of staples, stretch the fence, attach it to the T-posts, and hang the two gates. That sounds like a lot, but most of it goes pretty quickly. Hammering the staples is the most time-consuming; once that's finished, the rest should flow together in just a few days.

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