Monday, May 7, 2012

Our First Livestock Arrives

 Our newest additions arrived at the end of April, 50 Rhode Island Red chicks and 6 Cayuga ducklings! They came packed in this little box via the U.S. postal service, all of them were safe and sound. We are so excited about having them on the farm. The chicks will be in a movable "chicken tractor" once they are old enough to tolerate the lower temps. The "tractor" will be moved every day within a fenced area and then the whole fence will be moved every few days to ensure they always have fresh pasture and lots of new bugs to eat. They will be laying beautiful brown eggs starting this fall which we hope to offer in our farm stand. 

The ducks will be our garden helpers! The love to forage for slugs and other garden pests. This breed originated on Cayuga Lake New York and is therefore hearty for this area. They are a quite and docile breed which will lay approx. 150 eggs per year. We are not sure how many males and females we have yet since they came to us as a straight run (not sexed from the hatchery), but we hope to also offer duck eggs in our farm stand at some point. Duck eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs and are sought after by bakers for the excellent results they produce. 

Here they are checking out their new home under the brooder lamp. They will stay here for the next 4 weeks or so until it is safe the put them on pasture.

So cute!

 And here, less than two weeks later are the ducklings on their first outing into the yard. They were so much fun! They pretty much think everyone is a duck and easily followed the kids where ever they went. They nibbled on grass and dandelions and had a blast in the little bucket of water we set out for them!

Sorry no updated chick photo's yet but they also are growing fast and already have wing and tail feathers growing in! We will try to post updated pics as they grow.