Friday, April 23, 2010

Meet our Animals

Everything on our land needs to fulfill a useful purpose.  I will now introduce you to the animals on our land.


Name: Mama Turkey, a.k.a. Black Turkey
Breed: Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey
Age: three years old
Purpose: Making baby turkeys (poults),  Mama Turkey has a very strong brooding instinct.  Here she is sitting on her first batch of five fertile eggs.  We hope at least one turns out to be a poult.


Name: Brown Turkey.
Breed: Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey
Age: about one year
Purpose: Making poults.  She is not doing well at this.  Brown Turkey was suppose to be a tom (shows you how much we knew about turkeys).  Now she is suppose to mate with The Spanish Dancer but she wont.  She just looks bothered by him in the photo don't she.  How do you tell her in turkey language "have poults or go in the stew pot."


Name: The Spanish Dancer a.k.a. Prancer,
Breed: Moteled Black Spanish Turkey
Age: about one year and a half
Purpose: Dancing around the hens so they will like him and make poults.  He is very good at his job, he dances almost 24/7. He is persistent and not discouraged by rejection which is good because Brown Turkey is totally rejecting him.  Look past his bare patches, those are proof that he survived a dog attack.


Name: Kerry
Breed: Americana\ Welsummer mix
Age: Three years old
Purpose: Make lots of eggs, scratch about the yard and eat lots of bugs.  Kerry is good at this and makes tan colored eggs.  Kerry shows signs of being broody and soon she will be mated with Spike to make some chicks.  Kerry will stop laying soon she is getting old for a laying hen.


Name: The Triplets a.k.a Flicka, Ricka and Dicka
Breed: Welsummer Chicken
Age: Three years old
Purpose: Make lots of eggs, scratch about the yard and eat lots of bugs.  The triplets do an excellent job.  They make golden brown, terracotta colored eggs, with brown speckles on some of them.  The Triplets will also stop laying soon.


Name: Golden Spike a.k.a. Spike
Breed: Buff Orpington Chicken
Age: Unknown
Purpose: Spike will be the father of our buff flock.  The Buff Chicks are still too young to breed with him this year.  Instead he will spend this year breeding with Kerry and the Triplets.  The mixed breed chicks we will raise for meat but not keep around for the long run.  Unless some of them turn out to be so great we decide we want to.


Name:  Puff and Peel-a-boo
Breed: White Crested Duck
Age: Three Years Old
Purpose: These ducks have no purpose... Other then a good lesson.  They were purchased as a $3 dollar duck.  Then I proceeded to make them a Duck Pond.  BAD IDEA!  I proceeded to spend over $500 dollars on the pond that failed. Why did the pond fail?  Because it was a duck pond.  The ducks ate all of the hundreds of dollars of plants I bought for the pond.  The ducks ate the fish.  And the ducks pooped in the pond, which given time will ruin the pond. Lesson learned... DON'T make a duck pond!  They are also beautiful, and they entertained the kids well as ducklings.  Puff and Peek-a-boo can not breed naturally, the crest of feathers on the top of their heads is a genetic disorder.  Crested ducks can only be bread from one non crested duck and one crested duck.  Two crested ducks create offspring that are not genetically  viable. But Puff is vain and knows he is beautiful, he wants to rule the yard.  He is in danger of the stew pot because he ate three of Mama Turkeys fertile eggs.  BAD DUCK!

Our Chicks


Name: Buff Chicks
Breed: Buff Orpington Chickens
Age: Just over two months
Purpose: We are raising thees birds for meat and eggs.  I am very happy with this breed.  The chicks let the kids hold them and carry them around the yard like pet parrots.  Orpingtons are also good at brooding their own chicks.  Which will help them raise up allot of chicks for meat.  Orps are also semi good egg layers and produce yummy meat.


Name: Popcorn
Breed: White duck
Age: Just over two months old
Purpous:  A lesson in money.  The kids saved up their own money to buy him.  In the future he will breed with Puff or Peek-a-boo depending on weather he turns out to be male or female.


Name: Splash and Blue
Breed: Splash Orpington Chickens
Age: Almost six weeks
Purpose: Like the Buff Orptingtons thees will be raised for their meet and eggs.  At one point we thought we would get into the more rare breeds of orpington as a cash crop for local people wanting rare birds.  But we ended up changing our minds.  Now these two are around to add verity. Soon they will be old enough to leave the brooder and explore the yard.


Name: Barneys
Breed: Barnevelder Chickens
Age: Born on Tax Day
Purpose:  An extremely rare breed of chicken.  We will breed these Barneys and sell them for cash to local chicken owners that want an extremely rare bread of chicken.  As their flock grows we will consider replacing the Orpington flock with the Barnevelder flock.  Barnevelders are docile and social with humans.  They lay more eggs then the Orpingtons, their eggs are large.  If well bread the Barneys can lay dark colored eggs with brown spots.  If not the eggs will go lighter and lighter to a tan.  The proper egg color is one of the hardest things to get right in a Barney.  The Barneys winter well.  The meat of the Barneys is said to be tasty.  The Barneys do not get as large as the Orpingtons so they might not be as cost effective for meat as the Orps.  Barnevelder's winter well.  Barnevelder Chickens are beautiful birds, the adults have a double gold lacing on the feathers.  Barnevelder Chickens are originally from the dutch town of Barneveld, allot of work is being done by Barney enthusiasts to try to bring back this breed.

Wild birds we have rescued


Breed: Wild Turkey
Year: 2010
Story: This wild hen comes to visit us from time to time.  She is social with the turkeys and chickens.  She gets boared of staying in the fences with the Turkeys though and flys off to explore on her own.  Her body is about the size of our chickens bodies.  But her legs, tail and neck are long like our turkeys.  Her coloring is beautiful.  When the sun hits her feathers they glisten rainbow colors.  We considered clipping her wings in order to encourage her to stay around.  But we have since learned that clipping her wings will still allow her to fly over our fences and get away, but will reduce her ability to escape from a predator.


Name: Hawkeye
Year: 2010
Breed: Common Pigeon
Story: We love raising abandoned or injured birds.  Because of this I gave my phone number to the local pet store.  Their workers have told me stories of wild birds being brought to them.  A young couple found Hawk Eye in the parking lot of their apartments.  He was just laying there not moving.  They then took him to the pet store where they got our number.  Hawkeye was not injured as far as we could tell.  He seemed weak and lethargic.  We quarantined him, gave him antibiotics, and food and water.  This was all he needed to heal.  Within three days he was trying to get out of his cage.  Within five days he was getting out of his cage.  He is now outside. He is still weak in flying. I think he thinks he is a chicken.  We raise these wild birds with the plan that they will leave us and be wild.  Hawkeye does not seem motivated at all to be wild. Time will tell.


Name: Snapper
Year: 2009
Breed: Canada Goose
Story: Snapper was brought to us as a gosling.  He was yellow green in color.  Snapper was abandoned from his mother in the wild.  Someone concerned about him picked him up and brought him to a Veterinary Clinic where my niece works.  The clinic was not set up with the needed warming mats and food.  My niece brought him home to us.  Snapper was a joy to raise, he instantly thought of us as his mothers.  The most fun of raising Snapper happened after he grew older.  I would take him into the front yard with me while I gardened.  Then one day the kids started walking away to go play at their friends house.  Just like a baby bird snapper followed the flock of kids down the block.  We all giggled.  Soon walks with Snapper became a favorite.  As Snapper grew older we were eager for him to learn to fly.  We would throw him in the air and watch him learn to fly farther and farther.  Eventually he was flying so far that we had to let him fly in the front yard down the side walk.  If we would run as a "flock" Snapper would chase us and then start flying.  We had allot of fun flying lessons with snapper.  On a few occasions Snapper flew in front of cars in the street.  They always stopped and watched the flying lesson with joy.  Snapper learned how to fly over our fences and right into a busy street.  For his safety we took Snapper to the Wheeler farm where they have large ponds of ducks and geese.  Snapper eventually got accepted into the flock and we assume he is doing well today


Year: 2008
Breed: Mallard
Story: We learned of these ducklings at a homeschool activity.  A friend of a friend had them and wanted to find someone to care for them.  The ducklings mother was hit by a car, thus abandoning them.  I think the mother was sick, and that was why her judgment was impaired and she was hit.  The ducklings were sick also.  The ducklings started out as six or seven, two or three of them died at the original home.  When we got them there were five.  They were in a box on the door step of the home with no heater on a cold day.  The chicks were sick.  We put antibiotics in their water and fed them chick start with antibiotics.  The first night one of them could not peep, he would move his mouth like he was trying to cry but no sound would come out, he died that night.  We lost one a night for three nights.  Thankfully the last two survived.  They were always trying to escape, and did not like being around humans at all.   As soon as they were old enough to they flew out of the yard, eager to live the life of a wild bird.

Non Poultry Animals


Name: Cali a.k.a. Calico
Breed: Calico Cat
Age/ Year: Unknown, 2009
Purpose/ Story: Eat mice and snakes but not poultry.  Calico was a alley cat scavenging in our yard for food.  Tumbelina who is always good with animals helped her learn to trust us.  Calico was living on what she could find and hunt and almost starving.  When we lived at the rental we could not bring her in as a pet, so she sat on our back porch and ate the food we gave her and slept in our warm dog house.  This was a mutually beneficial arrangement because she found and ate mice.  When we moved to the new home she became a fully fledged house cat.  We learned that she was declawed and had all the personality of a house cat. She was very glad to be a house cat again.  Who knows why she became an alley cat without a home.  We are glad to have her, she is great at what she does, eating mice and snakes.  Though she is tempted from time to time to eat our chicks or our rescued wild foul she has not yet eaten any. She has tried twice when she was low on food.  Lesson learned, feed the cat and she wont eat the poultry.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing about all your animals! I loved reading it!

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  2. Update. Mama Turkey was not able to hatch out any healthy live poults. They either died or were eaten by the skunk... no fun for Mama.

    The new turkey did eventually warm up to Spanish Dancer, but no poults came of the pair.

    Spanish Dancer was chased away by stray dogs that got in the yard and never seen again.

    Popcorn grew up to be a beautiful female who will breed great with Puff.

    The Ducks and Turkeys are off on a new adventure because we are giving them to another family. We hope the best for them.

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