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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