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All the Ducks are Gone

November 26, 2010

Anas platyrhynchos Male Mallards in a water ch...

Image via Wikipedia

Clipping didn’t work, all the ducks booked

Well the onset of cold weather in the GBA took its toll on my diminished duck flock.  All but one lonely hen had departed, but three nights ago I heard a whole lotta duck calling, and three mallards were in the pen, for an overnight stay.  Then two nights ago we had a deep freeze event, icing our kiddy-pool-turned duck pond into a mini ice rink, and that was enough for my last little hen to grow flight feathers and book.

Now the chicken pen is only chickens

I am going to have to take a remedial course in clipping ducks if I want to keep any over the winter.  Apparently my skill was over rated, or I was too conservative in the trimming process.  We raised 30 mallards this year.  And now they haveall moved on.

It is probably time to move the chickens indoors

Our egg production has been minimal for the last couple weeks, so perhaps moving them indoors will conserve feed  and encourage a little higher production.  Typically, as the amount of daylight diminishes, the egg count decreases.  This year the layers have kind of over-reacted though.  I have tried talking nice to them with no improvement.  Perhaps being out of the wind will help.

Oh, and one last thing:

We did get some wheat to germinate in the raised bed.  The tallest sprouts were less than an inch tall, so I don’t think that will be enough to prevent freeze out, but for those of you who voted “YES” in the sprout poll, congratulations!  We will hang in there and see if they can survive the winter.  If not that raised bed will be planted in lettuce and salad greens come spring.

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