Nature verses the local grocery...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Chicken Trails; we can fly!

In 5 weeks, these little guys have tripled in size, have grown most of their feathers and can fly 2 to 4 feet high. Their energy is catching and I find myself watching them for long periods of time, smiling and full of awe with these wondrous little critters.

My initial research suggested this as a Khaki Campbell duck, but now at 3 months, both of these matching ducks appear to be Roen females.

A white duck and its 3 siblings are from Pekin stock. A meat bird with little or no broodiness, their eggs usually need to be incubated to hatch little guys. The little Cornish chicken just had to get in on the shot!

This pretty Toulouse goose was in perfect pose; I couldn't resist. There are 2; one is smaller overall with a smaller head, so I'm hoping they are a pair. This breed makes great parents and they so enjoy eating all the grasshoppers and goat-head seeds they can find.

A Backyard Poultry article a few months ago explained how you can let your chickens do the hard work of turning your compost. By allowing them access to it, they'll scratch through it, accomplishing most of the turning while speeding up the ripening process.

The compost bed pictured above took only a couple hours of work today and some leftover, old lumber garnered from a generous contractor/construction site. Made mostly of 2 X 4s, I added 2 removable shelves on the two short sides. The chicken waterers will reside there so any spilled water will help keep moisture in the compost pile, as well as being a handy surface to rinse and refill these containers. Being off the ground will keep the water cleaner since chickens have a bad habit of scratching dirt into their water. I engineered this compost bed around an elm tree so it, too, will get plenty of water from the daily container changes.

Aside from racing a thunderstorm with tool pickup, our day was fun, productive and will help keep our chicken flock happy.

As always, Nature prevails.