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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Farm Update & The Duck Mafia


I started writing this blog last week. It was an eventful and full week and I realized by Friday that this could be more of a book than a blog… sigh - “life”.


Last Wednesday

Well right now i am cranky!

We have 6 ducks, we finally got the number down from 19 as I had requested.

Then Brian brought home 10 chickens last night. I had been made aware of the chickens, I just did not know they were coming today! We were not ready!


Male ducks- we have 1 and he cannot mate with chickens, if he tries, it can kill the chickens: mating equipment and all that stuff, we had not yet built a separate place for him. But then Brian added on the phone, “and a rooster!”

Whoa! What rooster?

The one constantly singing in my yard right now! The one Brian brought home with the chickens.

I have been chasing the stupid chickens all day! Escape artists!


Out the fence they go and I can’t see all the fence line so I had to run where I hear severe clucking. A stupid bird got itself stuck halfway thru a gate. Couldn’t go forward or back, it became a sitting and screech clucking chicken.


The ducks seem to hate the chickens! I call them the Duck Mafia.

Momma duck sits there and pecks at the chickens if they go near her nesting spot on the floor. The male duck blocked the door so chickens can’t go outside. Then if they do get outside guess who greets them at the door to not go in! Yup Mr. Greeter Mafia Duck himself.


The surprise rooster well he doesn’t really shut up all day, I have threatened to severe his vocal cords. Brian keeps saying, “I love that guy!”


The dogs kept running away today so I shoved them in the house while I chased chickens and Mila ate some of my plants that I’ve been babying since seeds for the garden!


Feeling like UGH!!!


Brian has informed me -again after the fact, that 10 turkeys will be making their way here. I have informed him that they probably will have a very short shelf life! And checked on my rifle to ensure I knew where it was.


I thought none of these birds would be calm enough to lay eggs but the chickens produced 5 and ducks 3 the first day.


At bedtime I went out to put the ducks and chickens in. I’m like - how do I get these things inside? Well, a lawn rake and a lot of running did the trick, I am sure it was a comical episode, but I was not laughing.


Thursday:

Birch sap season has now completed. I pulled in my buckets last Saturday. When the weather gets to warm the beautiful clear sap turns cloudy - time to stop.


Poplar bud collection is also now completed. I use the buds in my lotion making.


My new greenhouse is done, it is a work of beauty that Brian built. I even hung solar lanterns on the front of it. You know: let the light shine!


Today I built a strawberry planter. I put a hose with drain holes in it for watering, I have had one red strawberry already. Getting my hands into the dirt has always been a calming thing.


Mocha hasn’t been well. Pancreatitis – which is very painful and she stopped eating and was throwing up a fair amount. The vet said the only way to stop it is to not to eat, it can be life threatening to dogs and people too. She is doing better right now- seems to flare if she gets too agitated or anxious.


We bought a grain bin at an auction… it’s only 19’ wide, a huge thing, and today was the day to bring it home. Now there was some tricky driving getting that thing here and then up our driveway. Apparently loading and unloading also took some skill. We are going to use it for storage to get rid of a storage locker we still pay for. It is a unique piece for the yard.

Brian has the best friends who are willing to go on these crazy adventures with him.

They were able to bring the grain bin and we were shocked to find that it had an extra 20’ of hydro wire wrapped around it. Oops, the lights went out somewhere!

They did go back to report it immediately and all is good.


Okay another chicken story... oh my goodness.

The dogs got into the free-range area. Mocha- mom has been pretty good with them. Mila- the pup thinks it's game on!

So off Mila goes after the chickens and Mocha decided this was fun and they terrify these poor chickens! I'm screaming at them but they don't stop.


Finally, I get the dogs out and there is a group of 4 chickens huddled in a corner and then I spotted it.

The picture doesn't show it well but there was a chicken stuck between the wall and fence. It was soooo flat I was sure it was dead. I did take a pic but I thought it was dead. Then it made noise so I ran around to try to get it out. I’ve never seen something that flat before. Remember I don't touch the animals, cause I’m NOT farmer girl, but I had to grab little squished chicken 5 times to get her out.


Then they all ran into the chicken coop for safety.


Tonight when I went to do “bird round up”

I was on the run after one particularly stubborn chicken and my foot hit something and down I went. Dirt, rocks and sticks met my body as it dropped to the ground. Ouch, I got a good looking dirt rash. Good thing it’s shorts weather cause pants are out for a couple days, not looking to have the fabric stick to my shin.


Friday morning I looked out the bathroom window and who is standing there… a moose. Oh sure why not add to my animal collection?


So, my first trip to the chicken/ducks was with water and a gun- no dogs!

I think that would have made Mocha a nervous wreck! She thinks she has to protect me from these things. Her pancreas didn’t need it.


It has left the area now or at least gone into the bush. The dogs didn’t pick up on it and I’m thankful and did not see it for the rest of the day or even a couple days.


The rest of the week passed with daily Duck and Chicken Wars. I had to go into the coop fairly regularly to ensure females could make deposits in the nesting spots in the coop without being harassed by the other species. We are getting 10-12 eggs a day so that part is great.


The chickens seem to be very happy and ignore the ducks for the most part – except when they are being chased or pecked. I have seen the chickens fly straight over the ducks on their way to the water or the coop. The ducks on the other hand have turned into quite a snooty bunch. I can usually find them huddled together staring at the chickens and usually blocking the nesting areas, or the door to the coop. They were such gentle and nice tempered ducks…..


I guess it proves that when our home and security are threatened, we react, not always nicely or kindly but the choice is ours to make – snooty and nasty or kind and happy.


Here is a thought for today - taken right off Facebook so I have no idea who the author is:

"If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends.

If broken by inside force, life begins.

Great things always begin from the inside."

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