We arrived safely home with our new little charges, six Welsh Harlequin and 4 Pekins. Six was all they had of the WH and it was how many I was thinking of getting anyway. I am sure one is a girl and I think a second one is female as well. It is hard to tell as beak color changes right at this age. The Pekins will all be meat birds. I will keep whatever hens there are of the Welsh Harlequins and one drake. The rest will be meat birds. I should know well before butcher time what they are for sure as once they feather out it is pretty obvious. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the ratio is actually 5 hens to 1 drake. We will get more later on if we don’t have as many females as I’d like for layers.
The ducklings that are all yellow with pink bills are the Pekins. The ones that are yellow with some black striping and grey or black bills are the Welsh Harlequins. I will get some better photos later, but I wanted them to get settled in and warmed up after the 20 minute car ride.
I really hope I have at least one female Welsh Harlequin. They go broody so next year I can let them raise their own ducklings. I’ll just have to build a run and shelter for the broody hen to stay in that will be protected. Raising ducklings is fun, but I’d much rather the mother do it. So much easier, so much less to worry about. Then I will have plenty of meat ducks and can add to my layers.
We also brought home 15 Rainbow Rangers meat chickens. They are five days old and pretty darn cute. These are my mother’s project, but I plan to get some myself this summer once the ducks are old enough to be out of the tub and into the 4 x 4 x 2 brooder box we are building in the garage.
Rainbow Rangers come in red, yellow, or a tri-color of any combination of three of red, black, grey, gold, and yellow. The store had some Welsummers, which I would like to one day raise as egg layers. They are a handsome looking chick. They also had some pureblooded pedigreed American Blue, Black, and White rabbits. They were all bucks and they were selling them for $50. I don’t think they are going to get those prices, though. There is a breeder in the county who sells pureblooded Americans for $40 with pedigrees and she has trouble selling at that price.
They will be carrying piglets in a couple of months, not that we will be getting any. Some time in April they will have heritage turkeys and will have Bourbon Reds and Royal Palm. He’s already ordered them. I am definitely getting two if I get there in time. I may also get some quail since they have coturnix, but not until we have another bathtub available for brooding and the humans are still claiming at least one of them. Although the quail are small enough that I could set them up in a Rubbermaid tote with a heat lamp if need be. Maybe I can make a garage brooder that is 4 x 2 x 2 for them.
Anyway, it’s a nice store with nice people, family run. I am glad they opened here. It is nice not to see the building sitting empty.