Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Mud and Yuck

We had a day of nearly solid rain yesterday.  Lost a lot of snow, found a lot of mud.  Still have ice underneath standing water.  One does not want to slip and fall in the poultry yard because of the mud and the fact that the goose and duck poop is no longer frozen.

The poultry thinks spring has definitely arrived (boy, are they in for a surprise) and certain birds of the male persuasion have become quite .  . . um, uh . . . amorous.

The Muskovy hens have started laying eggs, but we're collecting them because it's way too early for them to sit on a clutch and hatch out little fuzzy ducklings. 


Everyone was rarin' to get out and going this morning.


"Mmmm, fermented grain.  So good!"


The geese are getting a little bossy with the fine weather so we let the ducks and chickens out first to eat and drink their fill of the fresh water.


Then the big, ol' domineering geese are let out.  Don't these guys look like they're looking for trouble?  They are, you can be sure.  If it's not chasing ducks and chickens out of "their territory," they're busy destroying bungie cords.


The pond is far from being open but the rains have softened much of the top ice and snow.  It will undoubtedly be covered with snow and ice again yet this winter before open water appears.


The duck eggs we've been getting (on the top right) aren't that much bigger than the chicken eggs.  They're white but more of a dusky color.  Also, the shells are much tougher than chicken eggs.  I don't know how the little ducklings ever manage to break their way out of them.


Here's a side-by-side look at a hen egg on the left and a duck egg on the right.  The duck egg yolks are bigger while the whites are smaller in comparison to a chicken's egg.  I haven't baked with the duck eggs yet, but when eating them (scrambled, fried, poached) we can't tell the difference from a chicken egg.

Wonder when we'll get the first goose egg?

19 comments:

DFW said...

Yes, those geese do look very bossy! Duck eggs are supposed to be the BEST for baking.

Laurie said...

Seems like this weather is confusing everybody. I had some scrambled duck eggs last year...Cliff had located some to take on their camping trip. I thought the taste was very, very much like chicken eggs, too.

Goatldi said...

I used to buy eggs in the 70's and early 80's while still living in town from a vegetable stand owned by a classmate of my son's grandpa. He sold farm fresh eggs of all sorts and we tried the duck eggs due to their reputation for better baked goods. Did they? To be honest too much goat berries under the shovel I don't remember. I do remember the turkey eggs. I would get them as my two young ones loved the size but boy were they hard to crack open. One could win a war by bashing their opponent to death with a turkey egg. I kid you not.

Vera said...

I remember those goose eggs shells, so thick and hard!
I love your poultry yard, and presume it is under cover because of the snowfall in winter. Because of the nature of our winters our chickens could stay out all the time, which they did, preferring to roost up the fig tree rather than going under cover. The geese were always put away in their own hut though. We miss the poultry, but not the mess they used to make right outside our front door, but we miss the fresh eggs although we should be finishing the new chicken run soon.

Sue said...

I just love your barnyard "gang"---so much personality. Oh, how I miss having poultry. Perhaps some year the travelling bug will quiet for me and I can have them.

We had geese flying over yesterday.
WHAT???????
And a HUGE flock of waxwings.
Methinks Ma Nature has lost her mind.
Winter.
Yea.
60 and sunshine today. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict my clotheslines will be full.

Dawn McHugh said...

I love your variety of poultry, geese I would like to get but hubby isnt too keen, ducks are back on the list again for this year

Mama Pea said...

DFW - We're very happy the geese are very mild-mannered as far as we humans are concerned. Not a mean one in the bunch as far as that goes. That's one of the reasons we chose this variety of Pilgrim geese 'cause we've had nasty ones in the past!

I've got to use the duck eggs in baking because I know they are touted as being great.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - I know the weather has been wonky all over the country this winter, but our above freezing temps both night and day are NOT typical February weather for us!

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Now there's a new one we've never tried . . . turkey eggs! There was a period when our daughter had geese and our (then) little niece ate one of their eggs for breakfast every morning. It covered nearly the whole plate!

Mama Pea said...

Vera - Yes, all our poultry is locked up tight at night because of predators. They are let out during the day but can't come near the house to leave those undesirable "deposits."

Hope you get back into chickens soon. Don't know how I'd cook without fresh eggs.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Sixty degrees by you today!? Now that's going a little too far! Yes, Ma Nature is messing with our brains this winter, for sure. Good grief, those geese flying over should be a sure sign of spring. But that simply can't be. Can it???

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - These ducks and geese are going into their second year. We thinned some down last fall and will have to do so again as soon as we can determine (wish us luck on this) which ones are going to be good layers and parents. We love seeing all of them and their interaction, but we don't need this many. Getting down to a few breeding pairs is the goal.

Susan said...

Wow, your poultry yard looks way neater than mine. Of course, mine is still snow-covered and icy and liberally dotted with poop. Of all kinds. Makes it kind of tricky, getting from deck to coop. We have had four days of sun (OMG) and now the snow is melting. Unfortunately, it freezes again at night, so it's slippery going out there.

Rain said...

Those geese do look like they're up to something...very cute photos! I love how your chicken yard looks. I have a friend who was having a lot of trouble losing chickens to the cold and to predators this winter, I'm so glad you have them safe, is your yard heated as well? I'm looking forward to the poultry experience!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - This yucky weather happens every year, doesn't it? Usually not in mid-February though. :o/

Mama Pea said...

Rain - No, the yard isn't heated at all, but rather just simply "outside." Nor are the enclosures where the birds are locked up at night heated. It's actually healthier for them and we've chosen breeds of ducks and geese that are bred for northern climates.

Thanh Nguyen said...
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Kristina said...

You answered my question on if they taste different. Yum.

Leigh said...

Very interesting comparison of the eggs. Our lone Muscovy duck started to lay too, but after I kept taking the eggs she's gone off to a hidden laying spot. If she disappears for a long while I'll know why. Our weather has been crazily mild, but they're predicting another cold spell - not good for baby anything!