The Word-Nerd’s Homestead-2022, #5 – In Summer…y Part 1.

A much overdue Hello to you, Happy Readers!

It has been quite a while since I posted a blog. Thing have still been going on around the homestead, but my time has been occupied with the doing instead of the telling.

The garden finally got planted after a rental trip to the Home Depot for a tiller. The ducks and chickens have been hatching and growing. The general maintenance projects have been time consuming, but boring. I’ve also been spending time on some side-line money making ideas for when the contract work ends. All of that coupled with the full-time work has meant no time for blogging.

But, the contract has dwindled to a two-day week, so I now have time to do projects I’ve put off, and also time to blog again!

So, this will be a Summer…y update! In 3 Parts!


Wyandotte Brood

I finally integrated my Blue Laced Wyandotte chicks. A few died on me, so I have 8 left. 3 of those are Splash Laced, and are my favorite birds in the flock so far. I also have 1 Black Laced Red.

Welsh Harlequin Brood

On the last update, I showed the baby Welsh Harlequins. They are 9 weeks old now, and in with the adults. I only managed to sell 4 out of the 12 I hatched, so I ended up with 4 male & 4 female added to the flock. Unless I can find a home for those boys, I will be trying roast duck before long.

Double-Hatch Hen Brood

Two hens also decided to go broody simultaneously in the hen house, so I let them. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that the other hens were squeezing into their nests and continuing to lay eggs, most of which were not even fertile, since I had evicted the roosters from the main run to let the girls grow some feathers back.

The total egg count that were under them was around 60! After all of that, they hatched out about 25 chicks all combined. A third hen went broody on the same day the hatch started. She was one of my crazy hens, so she caused more problems than you can imagine. She kept trying to double up on the nest after the chicks were hatched and ended up squishing several. She wanted to call them out into the rain, and she kept hopping the divider to chase my other Wyandotte broodlings. I had to throw her out of the coop and into the waiting wings of the roosters I had evicted. Let’s just say, they ‘cured’ her broodiness in short order.

Eventually, I had to kick one of the other hens out as well. She wanted to scratch too much. She was polluting & clogging the water, and throwing baby chicks against the walls of the brooder box. She also kept eating the chick feed instead of her own. The final straw was when I saw her walk up to the other hen who was sitting on babies to keep them warm, and start plucking feathers out even though she had a pile of food on the ground in front of her. I don’t know what I’m going to do about this feather picking behavior problem I have. I may end up having to cull all my old hens who just won’t stop doing it!

The babies also were determined to kill themselves by finding 101 ways to get outside the pen, but never a single one to get back inside. I had 5 or 6 to just escape and disappear. A few others died, or were squished, so I only have 13 left.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the double-hatch hens and the brood.

Mixed Duck Brood

Next up is the mixed brood of Swedish & Welsh Harlequin ducklings, plus a few guineas.

They are about 6 weeks old now, and I have them roaming the back yard. This is the first batch I’ve had that are not completely terrified of my existence. They actually don’t run from me too much. One of them is my first Black Swedish hatchling. I also got 4 guineas to hatch, but unfortunately, two of them had leg problems and did not survive. The little brown one shown here, was one I tried to save, but the older ducks trampled it in a mudhole one afternoon. I hate that I didn’t get to see what color it turned out to be. That’s typical for me, though. The ones that I pick as favorites end up dying or getting hurt. *sigh*

Momma Duck Hatch

And last up is the momma duck hatch. Two of the blue girls decided to go broody and share a nest. They started with 14 eggs, but only 3 hatched. And, ducks being ducks, the crew managed to waffle-stomp two of the babies in the first couple of days. Only one is left, and it may not survive if it doesn’t learn to dodge feet, but it is cute as all get-out running around with the big ducks.

Miscellaneous Tidbits

One other thing I wanted to mention about the birds, esp. the ducks, is the fact that the water is not ALWAYS nasty. I clean and refill the pools often. Here are pictures before the ducks get ahold of them (usually for LESS THAN 10 minutes) and pollute them. Ducks are DIRTY BIRBS!

That’s all for this post! Thanks for reading!

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Quicksilver (short story)

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  1. These bird updates read like those awful animes where everyone dies. I’m almost glad Mike has such distaste for ‘those foul creatures’, because I don’t think I could take it…

    They sure are cute, though, dangit.


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