It was nice to wake up and not have to bury any animals today.
The Royal Palm turkey poults are growing like weeds. They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow and then will only need the heat lamp for 2 more weeks. They are mostly feathered but not fully. The Barnevelder chicks are also growing fast, though the turkeys have finally passed them. They will be 7 weeks old on Thursday. The ducks are huge and thriving. I will have to get a recent photo of them for you. They turned 8 weeks old yesterday. I still put vitamins in their water a couple of times a week. No seizures, no pigeon-toe walking, and no weak legs in weeks. Supplementing the niacin is so important.
Fiona’s lone kit was alive this morning and not only that, it had a fat, full tummy, so it looks like Fiona’s mothering instincts have kicked in. It was nice and warm in its box, too, and wasn’t trying to root or nurse on my son’s hand when he picked it up to check on it. It seemed content and happy; aware, but sleepy. Thank goodness for the weather right now. I don’t think a singleton would have survived in bad weather. Fiona had done some grooming on it, too, as it was completely clean. Umbilical cord area looks good, too.
Dropper kit is doing really well, too. I think she will get a paper towel spot bath tonight to clean up the last of the matted fur and she might finally be good. She hit one pound so I am thrilled and will drop down to 2 feedings. She took a little over 8 droppers this morning. Each dropper is 2.5 ml so 20 ml of warm raw goat’s milk. She’s doing good.
We took weights of all the 5 week old kits today. They are growing. Of course Serenity’s kits are miles ahead of Lola’s orphaned kits, but a couple extra weeks of feeding will get them where they need to be. you can see what the difference of having a mother makes at this point. Serenity’s kits are all over 2 pounds, while Lola’s are nearly a pound behind them in average.
Kit 1: 1 lb 8.2 oz
Kit 2: 1 lb 6.6 oz
Kit 3: 1 lb 4.2 oz
Kit 4: deceased
Kit 5: 1 lb 0.1 oz (dropper bunny)
Kit 6: deceased
Kit 7: deceased
Kit 1: 2 lb 1.7 oz
Kit 2: 2 lb 0.5 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 7.8 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 1.6 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 2.1 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 1 oz
Surprisingly I got permission to put more straw bales down in an area I didn’t think I’d get permission to use. So I can go ahead and make the garden bigger than I thought I would be able to. On Friday, which is payday, I’ll go pick up a few loads of straw and see what I can get started there.
Mom is building a strawberry tower. Hopefully it will do well. It’s 18 plants, so there won’t be much of a harvest this year, but they will put out runners for next year. They are everbearing, so will put out all summer, though. I prefer June bearing myself, as I like to get my crop all at once, but when we move and buy our farm, I will have both just because I do like to have a few to nibble on throughout the summer. I hope I will be able to find non-sprayed strawberries again this year. I don’t need to make jam, but I want to have a ton of berries to freeze for the year. We love strawberries, but they are so expensive out of season.
I need to half fill a dish pan with clean dirt and put it in the turkey coop. I may just use some organic potting soil I have on hand. Then I can be sure it is clean. They need to start their dust baths. I keep forgetting to do it and since they are confined until the husband builds the pen and he can’t do that until he gets back next week, they need something. I just hope they won’t poop in it. I think I may have figured out what to do for turkey nest boxes that won’t cost an arm and a leg, too. We’ve got some time on that, though. From my research, turkeys laying is geared toward starting in the spring and not necessarily based on their age. Though some will start laying in the fall, it is rare. So I probably should not expect turkey eggs until spring of 2015. Then hopefully we will get some babies.
We will have to put chicken nesting boxes in well before that, though, unless the chickens decide they don’t want to live with the turkeys and want to live with the other chickens. I am thinking of getting the kind that attach to the wall for them and would not have openings big enough for the turkeys to get in, so that way they couldn’t crush the chicken eggs. At the rate Mom’s losing her chickens, we will need all the eggs from mine and the ducks for eating. And I still don’t know how many ducks are female for sure. Regardless, they won’t start laying until mid-August to late September for the Welshies. And the chicks probably won’t start laying until the end of September beginning of October as Barnevedlers are slow to mature and slow to start laying and it could take anywhere from 22 weeks old to 27 weeks old.
I actually had to buy my first eggs in ages. They are sustainably raised pastured eggs with organic feed. I bought these ones at the store, but will try to get anymore that I need to buy off of someone local. These ones are from my state, but they are from a ways away. And more expensive than ones I can get off craigslist or one of the local farm groups. I was just in a hurry and out of eggs. Since I want to make egg flower soup and Korean style dumplings this week (I am substituting ground rabbit for ground pork in these and leaving out the tofu, so will likely post a recipe with photos), not to mention omelets and meatloaf, I needed the eggs.
Well, I better quit lolly-gagging on the computer. I need to go buy a bale of hay and a bale of straw and make sure my son is actually doing his lessons. We didn’t get much done yesterday for school as you can imagine. So today we need to be on track.