What a fowl day

I’ve had a completely fowl kind of day. 😉 It’s been foul at times too but generally it’s been wonderful. The days started with my, big bum up in the air, chasing 9 silver-grey doring chicks around the garden to catch them and put them in our “dog” carry box to take them up to Ballan. THEN I spent the next few minutes in exactly the same pose boxing up our 3 Pekin Bantams. Following that I repeated the process fed, dressed and loaded 3 children into the car. We arrived at Ballan a little after 9, a minor miracle there! Jasper was as sweet as pie when we introduced the chooks to their new home. “Welcome to Balland little chickens. This is your new home, the Balland house. It’s very nice here”. Very sweet! He then let them out and promptly chased them around the pen. *sigh*

After unloading the chooks we loaded back into the car to go pick up our new ducklings. We were undecided between 3 girls, 1 older and 2 younger or a drake and 2 younger girls. I’ve learned several things today too. Here’s the list of things I’ve learned.

1. Ducks are cuter than chickens. Ok, you may not all agree but I think that 6 week old ducks vs 6 week old chicks the ducks will win hands down. Those ridiculous little wings and the fluff all over them! Too cute.

2. Duck poo STINKS! Ok so chicken poo isn’t exactly a fragrant rose one wants to sniff but duck poo stinks a LOT worse.

3. Ducks have surprisingly sharp claws. I’d never thought about it but they’re not just all soft webbing. They’ve got sharp claws, quite remniscent of those thorns one finds on new growth on rose bushes. Ouch.

4. Most important lesson of all… NEVER name something you are planning to eat! 😦 Yes, our ducks were purchased for the table, however, Martin being unsure if he could actually kill a duck or not, we purchased 3 girls just in case. However, it was me that committed the unforgivable (as far as animals raised for meat at least) crime- I named the 2 younger ducklings. So, let me introduce you to Milly and Molly who will no longer be on the menu.

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Milly is taking a bath in her drinking water and Molly is stretching her wings.

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They’ve been named after the childrens TV show characters Milly, a 7-year-old girl of dark skin and hair and Molly, a 7-year-old girl of light skin and bright blonde-orange hair (taken from here).

Here are some other photos from the day.

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Milly and Molly’s older sister, as yet unnamed.

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A temporary set up of a pond for the ducks. So far the ducks are swimming in their drinking water and the chooks are drinking from the swimming water. Go figure. The tyres will be filled with oil and stacked to provide access to the water as well as somewhere to get down and dusty.

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Nesting boxes, still a little incomplete, with a perch on top. i need to add a lip to the front of the boxes to prevent egg spillage and a ramp up to the perching area for the pekins. Nearly there.

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They avoided the scattered food, much preferring to scratch around for bugs.

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Still need to attach the roofing iron and guttering to get the water tank running but in the meantime they are in and happy.

Tomorrow I am off to Hoppers Crossing to pick up 10 more silver-grey Dorking chicks, all only a few days old. I had to buy an incandescent globe to use for heating their brooder box tonight and I was joyfully disappointed. Looks like the light bulb really has gone on of eco savings and there was a selection of maybe 9 different incandescents available – 5 different colours and 4 different flame shaped bulbs (2 screw in, 2 bayonette, each in different wattages). They’ve been replaced with halogen globes. They are still using a relatively high amount of power, at least in comparison to LED or CFL’s but I bought a 53w halogen bulb which is the equivalent of a 70w incandescent bulb. Stuck in my craw to buy it but I need the heat output for the baby chicks. Seems there is at least one more negative against LED’s. Well, if you raise chicks it is. Can’t wait to get them home. Pics most definitely to come.

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9 thoughts on “What a fowl day

  1. narf77 says:

    I had to read that bit about tyres twice to try to work out why you were filling them with oil! I thought “surely that ISN’T very environmental? Maybe it was cooking oil? Parafin? stopping mosquitos? NO IDEA (just put it down to Rabid and her craziness) but then I realised that “soil” might have been the word that you were after? We just utilised some of dads tyres left on the property (too tight to pay the $5 a tyre fee at the tip 😉 ) to plant out the rest of our beans as they were going exponential on our asses. We are quite pleased with the results and actually harvested most of Steve’s evening meal from the garden which made me beam like one of the new LED torches that you can see from Mars. We made omelettes with bacon, feta (they are the only 2 things that we didn’t source from our property) eggs (obviously! 😉 ) and spinach and mushrooms and chives and then we made a small salad to go on the side with rocket, baby red and green lettuce and a bit of fresh spinach. I had some sorel growing wild but didn’t think that Steve would appreciate it nor the baby beet leaves that he scorns from the lettuce mix in the shops. He said it was delicious! Low carbon mile meal…a most satisfying event :). Congrats on the ducks although ours is being a cantankerous old witch at the moment. She refuses to go into the coop (where it is safe) and yells at the top of her lungs at 5am for me to throw her bread and butter…”It’s a small step from “ducky” to “confit” you know duck!”…sigh…duck eggs are great in cakes by the way and I ferry off all my duck eggs to my gourmet daughters who adore them. They are blue shelled and very pretty (note to self…when the quoll/pot gets the duck…get some araucanas! 😉 ).

    • Yes, oil is supposed to read Soil. That’s what happens when you post late at night when your eyes are hanging out of your head tired. 😦
      Your dinner sounds DIVINE! As for duck eggs, we had them soft boiled a few months back and although I was oddly squeamish the first bite (go figure) I thoroughly enjoyed them.
      Muscovy ducks are known as quackless ducks as they aren’t noisy like their cousins so hopefully our girls won’t behave as badly as yours. Otherwise I think our neighbours might sneak in and source the necessary ingredients for that confit themselves! Can’t say as I’d blame them either!

  2. The Eco Mum says:

    You’ve done SO much @RabidHippie – I am uber impressed 🙂

    We lost our chookies recently so we are building a big cage next to the Lion’s Den to host the new arrivals in January… will get 6 this time and sell the eggs plus kill for meat me thinks 🙂

    • Oh no, you lost yours? What happened? Crafty Mr Fox? Are you going to get the same breed you had before? If it was Mr Fox, make sure you dig your netting in nice and deep to stop him getting in. That’s why we did the tyres – lazy mans version of digging them in. I hope it works.

  3. Linne says:

    Hi! For a minute there, I thought your Victoria was also my Victoria, but alas, mine is in BC and yours is not )-;
    I am also a rabid hippie, from the first go-round, and will be forever. So I love your blog already!
    Just had to comment on your bit about ‘not naming things you are going to eat’: years ago, when we lived in the deep country outside our Victoria, we had a friend who raised two turkeys for holiday dinners for her young family. She didn’t want the children to forget the eventual destiny of the birds, so she named them “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas”. I laughed so hard when I heard that. Anyway, it’s a thought . . . ~ Linne

    • Oh, we’ve named the chickens. There’s Butter, Lemon, Roast, Nuggets, Kiev, Parmigiana, Cacciatore and so on. 😉
      The ducks were supposed to be called Christmas, Easter and Pekin but they were far to cute to do the deed so Milly, Molly and Mandy it is. Their eggs will be divine so it’s no loss so to speak.
      Yes, we are the Australian Victoria but hey, we have our hippiness and our state in common now. I will be checking out your blog as soon as I get more than 5 minutes to myself. 🙂

  4. Linne says:

    Sorry, I used my personal blog to sign that last post with. Here’s the public one: ~ Linne

  5. Jenny says:

    We’d like to get ducks at some point, and I guess we won’t name them as I’d love to have them on our table. I really do like duck meat and would love to try making confit. We have a large pond so we should be able to accommodate them but we need to get going with our chickens first. Milly and Molly are darling. 🙂

    • Your pond sounds lovely. We have a creek meandering through one side of our block so I’d love our ducks to be able to free range one day. And I love duck meat too. Particularly in Thai red curry duck. 🙂

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