Good times a-plenty. On Friday Eric and I went to the State Fair in search of some really good people watching (CHECK) and possibly more birds (CHECK). All the big birds were gone and they were showing Bantams. They had some Silkies, which I have read make very good surrogate mothers in the event you have a breed that lacks that characteristic. We ended up getting a white silkie hen I named Opal and a buff rooster and hen named Milton and Matilda. That puts the final chicken count at 6. But between Lord Harold (Olde English Gamecock) being ‘cock-of-the-walk’ and overarching alpha male I am just never quite sure if Milton will be with us or not when I check on the little boogers.
We also got SIX ‘Mule’ ducks. We have this beautiful pond and no ducks so we desperately wanted some. Apparently (and for completely obvious reasons) when you have ducks you have predators. Since we just moved in no idea if that is true or not, so they suggested that we try some ‘mules’ (they are a black Muscovy and Runner cross so they are sterile) to test the population. We got them cheap since they cannot reproduce and really just want to look at a pond with lots of ducks on it.
Trials and Tribulations:
- Poor Milton. 1 rooster is okay. 2 is war. We have purchased opposite ends of the spectrum. Silkies are incredibly docile and the gamecock has been bred for generations as a fighting bird. Not a very smart move. Milton is constantly getting his ass handed to himself and Lord Harold got pissed off last night and flew off. He obviously didn’t go far – I hear him crowing now – but still… Wing clipping 101 update later. (If I still have eyes and his talons and beak have not torn my hands to shreds.)
- They told us to introduce the ducks in the morning so we kept them in the hen house. Everyone had their own place in the house so it was fine. We opened the door and got them to the water where they promptly swam to the other side and disappeared. Last night they reappeared seemingly wanting to get back in the hen house, but too skiddish to come close to us so we could not help them.
- Did I mention predators? Last night we pull in to see a fox running around the yard and the hen house! Super. That took almost 24 hours.
I am going to check our losses and hope for the best. Wish me luck.