There have been several animal departures over the last few months. With the sale of all of our Cayuga ducks, Marianne’s death, Mowgli & Maxwell’s decision to take off, and the fact that three of our four wethered bucks already have homes, we had room for a few more additions! Steve already let you all know about Peony, but we have a few others that have joined us recently.
First came Gabe’s ducklings. Gabe earned $50 for participating in a research study related to child behavior. He wanted to spend it on a Silver Appleyard drake so that our ducks could lay fertile eggs. And fortuitously enough, someone posted in one of our online sale groups that she had Silver Appleyard ducklings for sale! So, joining our 4 Silver Appleyard ducks are 5 little ducklings. These guys go for about $10 apiece, as they are a rare but highly productive breed. Gabe is hoping that at least one of these 5 ducklings will be a drake so that he can incubate eggs and sell the ducklings next spring. I believe he got the idea from Almanzo Wilder in Farmer Boy, who used his half dollar to buy a suckling pig to raise into a sow so that he could sell the piglets. Hopefully he doesn’t think that the $10/duck is all profit…we’ll have to start incorporating discussions of overhead and labor costs into our homeschooling curriculum!
Next come the turkey poults:
These guys are temporary visitors. They’ll be around until late November… if you know what I mean. There’s 8 of them, and Steve thinks they’re cute. They are not. They are, however, much (emphasis on much) cleaner than the ducks are, I’ll give them that. Comparing these guys to the new ducklings, I really can’t see ourselves raising waterfowl again. Well, you know. Except the ones Gabe plans on hatching. Of course, if his first batch goes well, chances are he’ll want to do some more. I wonder if I can convince him to switch to incubating chicks….
Moving on, we now HAVE chickens! I’ve been wanting chickens for quite a while. Perhaps my palate just isn’t particularly refined, but I don’t care what they say about duck eggs being gourmet; I prefer chicken eggs. I’ve been requesting that we add a few chickens for some time now, and Steve kept putting it off. So I finally contacted an acquaintance about purchasing a few of her laying hens. Wouldn’t you know the next morning I opened up a gift for my birthday, and in it was four cutouts of the state of Rhode Island. Huh? It took me a while to put together that they were red, but it finally clicked. Four Rhode Island Reds! Steve had ordered 4 Rhode Island Red pullets (young hens not quite old enough to lay) for my birthday. Does he know the way to a gal’s heart, or what??
Finally, we do have a non-avian newcomer: Laura.
Technically, Laura isn’t a new arrival. She was part of Hester’s January litter, and she is the doe that we decided to retain in Marianne’s place. She’s a ruby-eyed white, and in keeping with our literary naming theme the boys settled on Laura (two Little House references in one post – can you tell what series we’ve been reading aloud as of late?) She has nice wool, and from what we know about conformation she’s pretty good. Our intent is to show her at the State Fair along with (we hope) two little bucks from Elinor’s current litter. Showing is completely new to us, so wish us lots of luck on this venture!