Willow is a girl. I was starting to wonder based on how big her comb was getting, but I was able to confirm with some local raisers of Barnevelders that she is definitely not a rooster (if she was she’d have different coloring and a long tail by now) and that the comb doing that is a sign that she’s about to start laying eggs. The girls are 18 weeks old today and have officially started on organic layer crumbles. Most Barnevelders don’t start laying until around week 22, but sometimes they start earlier.
The ducks and drakes are starting to mate a lot. I witnessed Addy and the second biggest drake today and Tansy and the biggest drake. That biggest drake had been picking on her for the last couple of weeks. I was getting ready to butcher him, but now that they are mating he has stopped snapping at her and chasing her away from the pond. Maybe it was courtship?
I sold 2 dozen duck eggs today for $10. I gave $5 to my son who gets the money from every 3rd dozen eggs sold for his work with the ducks. The other $5 went into the feed fund. I sold them to the same lady who bought them last time. She is a limited time customer, though. Her own ducks will stat laying in about 6 weeks and then she won’t need to buy mine. But hopefully someone else will.
The youngest kits are 11 days old today. They are squinty-eyed, but as of this morning no one had eyes fully opened. Usually most of them have open eyes by now. I figured the reds would be behind because of all they have been through, but I am not sure why the whites haven’t opened theirs all the way. Maybe they will be open tonight. The reds are out of danger now. Cinnabun fed them this morning. I will give them a check tonight. I think the smallest might need an extra nursing with Persephone, but I don’t think the other two probably will, and the littlest one might actually get by now with her own mother. Once her eyes are open I think I won’t worry at all.
My nectarines did not come in today. They will hopefully be here tomorrow. That is what he was told. So I may not be able to can until Saturday. I have physical therapy tomorrow and by the time I am done it is going to be 90 degrees. I’d rather can them early in the morning before the heat of the day kicks in.
The turkey toms freaked out over a plastic bag filled with air today. It was the bag I brought their corn out in and the wind filled it with air. I’ve never seen all three of them puff up at once. It was quite the display. They all have blue faces now and look quite spectacular. The biggest and the one with angel wing got into a fight the other day. The biggest ended up with a big scratch under his eye. Guess the smaller one was tired of being pushed around. The fight only lasted about 20 seconds. It is pecking order fighting.
The new WSDA approved facility for slaughtering chickens ($3.75 a bird), turkeys ($9 a bird), and water fowl (not priced yet) will be opening in two weeks. They will only do chicken and turkey to start with, but will add the water fowl after they are well up and running. And I found out today they will also eventually be adding rabbits. Now for our own consumption we would continue to slaughter our own rabbits, but if I want to sell the meat I have to do it at a facility and there has not been one on this side of WA for a few years. I’ve got people who want to buy rabbit meat from me so eventually we will actually be able to do this.
Also, this means that if the husband does not feel up to the task, we can take the turkeys in when the time comes. Which would be an adventure in and of itself. I’m not really sure how to catch a big turkey at this point. Even in an 8′ x 8′ enclosure they will try to run circles around us.
Once they start doing water fowl, we could raise more ducklings. I won’t do it again if we have to process them ourselves, but I would love to be able to have duck meat that was actually plucked and waxed and not skinned. I have figured out that I could raise them and keep the water mess down by putting a mesh screen over a large plastic rabbit dropping pan and setting their water on that. Then they would splash into the tray and poop in there, since ducks poop a lot while they drink water. Then the tray would just need to be sprayed out daily. They would still have some mess in the straw, but it wouldn’t be a water mess.
But most of that would be next year and only if I get better. I don’t know what is going to happen with my knee, but I am calling the doctor tomorrow to talk about getting the MRI now that it has been long enough since the x-ray and the symptoms are still here. I am hoping for the best.
The diet is still going well. I am continuing to lose weight. Sunday will be two weeks. I can feel a bit of difference I think from losing what I have. Since every pound lost takes 6 pounds of pressure off the knee, I don’t think I am imagining it. But it still hurts a lot.