No, that title is NOT making use of hyperbole! It literally was the snowiest two days ever recorded in November. If I were to update our header photo, this is what it would look like:
Fortunately, I’d thought to transplant the blueberry bushes only 3 days prior when the thermometer was sitting at 65 and there were no signs of snow in the forecast. Some might think it lucky that I had just so HAPPENED to forgo other plans to get these blueberry bushes transplanted, unaware of what was coming. Not quite. I’d deliberately set aside Monday and Tuesday this week for processing ducks for the freezer, and what do we get? Nothing short of 19 inches of snow. It was an unequivocally miserable first experience in processing poultry at home. Now you understand why I’ve opted NOT to include any more images!
I’m not saying we’ll never do home processed meat again, but I will say never unless it is MUCH warmer and can be completed outside. I won’t go to go into any further detail, as I am sure not everybody wants to hear about the process. Even if they did there are PLENTY of other sites that have very informative tutorials and step-by-step instructions, so there’s no need to post all about it here.
Meanwhile, we are down to 10 ducks – two drakes and eight ducks (duck being the feminine form – ‘hen’ might also be used, but people usually think of a chicken when you say that). That should give us plenty of eggs by spring! Originally we had planned on 10, then 6 or 7, and now we’re back to 10. I was concerned about telling the difference in the sexes to make sure that we were setting aside more hens than drakes. Unlike Mallard ducks where the hens are brown and the drakes have the bright green heads and gray bodies, all Cayuga ducks are completely black. I had heard that you could tell by their voice alone, but as a beginner I didn’t think that I would be able to ascertain the difference.
I needn’t have worried. It was extremely obvious. The hens had a very loud QUACK whereas the drakes had a weak quah. Here I was concerned and getting all technical in looking up vent sexing when it was totally invasive and unnecessary. It seems with most things that worry is worse than the actual task itself.
With that, our biggest and most feared project (the processing, not the sexing) is out of the way. We have another ‘big’ project coming up that we’ll share in the next couple weeks. In reality it’s an even bigger project, but not nearly so intimidating as this one was. I’ll share later, but for now, it’s time for bed.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!