After my garden tour post, the citizens of our poultry yard are demanding some blog time, too. So here goes.
It's only been the past several days that we've let the chickens, ducks and geese out of their winter pens. The main reason we've kept them confined is that we've had a bobcat in the neighborhood and our electric fence that surrounds the poultry pasture doesn't work in the deep snow. Now with nearly all the snow gone (or at least going quickly) we have been getting a charge on the fence (not full force but enough to discourage an investigating animal who might put his or her wet nose on it) so feel fairly secure in letting the birds out for fresh air and exercise during the day while we're around to keep an eye on things.
These are our two pairs of Pilgrim geese. One of the gals has already started a nest of two eggs. At least, without being too invasive, we think there are only two there. Or perhaps it's a communal nest? At any rate, I think geese start laying and wait to start serious setting on the nest until they have a good number of eggs. Or that's how I understand the process works. (Hopefully, the geese know more about it than I do!)
Our small pond has open water at one end of it, and the geese have been splashing and giving themselves much needed baths in the last couple of days.
I really like the looks of the black Muscovy ducks. Above are a pair . . . Daphne and Darby.
Here are three Cayuga ducks. The picture doesn't show it well, but their feathers are not only black but a deep, iridescent green. Very pretty.
Last December we got two pairs of Muscovies and two pairs of Cayuga ducks. Unfortunately, we lost one female of each variety. So as of now, we're left with a female and two males of both the Muscovies and Cayugas. We're really hoping the remaining gals will lay a good number of eggs and hatch out several ducklings so we can build our mating pairs back up.
Of course, some of the chickens wanted their picture taken, too. We've had twelve hens over winter (including two bantam hens), and we've been consistently getting 6-8 eggs every day.
Just got word on Tuesday that the four (more Pilgrim) goslings we ordered for delivery end of April will be here today. Oooops. Well, at least we've had time to get a brooder area set up in the garage for them.
I'll take pictures of the little fuzz balls when they arrive.
Hunkered In ~ from the handiwork journal
1 hour ago