Tuesday, 14 March 2017

First hatch of 2017

We started the incubator with 15 duck eggs in a few weeks ago.  The ducklings are due tomorrow and we were worried if any would arrive due to the power cut last week.  I am pleased to report these little ones were not put off by any power cut and so far we have 7 ducklings all out and looking fine.  These will all be table birds unless their weight and sex tells us otherwise.  We have a runner duck who produces a lot of eggs and she is crossed with an Aylesbury and Appleyard (they all live together) so I'm not sure what size bird they will make.  If they are female and too light, we'll keep them for eggs only.  It will all be part of the experiment.  We're after some heavier female ducks at some point this year.
On their way to the brooder in the barn.  Thse guys are dry and fluffy, so it's time to go.
Soft and cute ;)
On Friday we're going to set the incubator away again with goose eggs.  They are supposed to be harder to incubate and we'll only fit a few in.  Again, these will be raised for the table.
Once they're out, I plan on incubating the rare breeds we have if there's any demand for them...I also like to see them round the place - they won't be table birds.
We've gone from wishing Spring would hurry up, to full steam ahead in a blink of an eye.  It's light enough to do jobs before 6am here now and light until after 6pm.  It makes smallholding life so much easier, especially when we work too. 
I have the early rhubarb that is ready to be picked which is a very special occasion, I love rhubarb!  The asparagus follows that and then broad beans and peas.  Hopefully lots of salad items in between too.  How lovely.
The piglets are doing fabulously, one is growing slightly quicker than the other so we're supervising feeds.  They're 5 weeks old today.
Slightly blurry as they wouldn't pose for me!
To those who are on Facebook and commented (in my defense I feel ;) ) that they will become boisterous quickly....1 week on and they are already charging around bashing in to me at feeding time.  LOL.  Super adorable still though.

9 comments:

  1. we are looking to do ducks again this year, if we have the time to sort out accommodation for them, Martin likes the idea of Appleyard and I fancy Muscovy both are suppose to be good for the table

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    1. Yes they are, the Muscovy aren't the prettiest bless them but they are heavy. Appleyard are nice. Our drake lost his colour over the winter but it is coming back now.

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  2. Why are ducklings so cute and then so yuckily messy when they grow up!

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    1. Tell me about it, the 4 adults we have can really flatten and area and bring all the mud through lol.

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  3. That's a mighty cute little pink bottom little piggy! Day old ducks...cute and fun...goes downhill from then on! x

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  4. Amazing to hatch out already, I wait for chickens to go broody as I'm lazy when it comes to little chicks and we've got no out buildings suitable to brood them with! I do love duck but I always remember them making a lot of mess at my parents (then again the chickens do here!)

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    1. Yes the ducks are very messy but I do love duck and it provides variety to the diet. Mother duck hatched them outside last year but the magpies took the live chicks which was heartbreaking all round :( so we are doing it for her :)

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  5. Oh, squeal! They are adorable, glad to hear the hatch went so well. I have two runner hens that mate with a Pekin drake. The offspring are still decent sized, not huge but ok. An awesome thing to do with a smaller, skinned duck is to crockpot it then use the shredded meat to make barbecue sandwiches. So delicious.
    I am so dying to fire up my incubator.

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