Sunday, March 13, 2011

welcome home

I am happy to say I am back safe and sound from my amazing vacation in california. I had a great time visiting with family and meeting a certain new 9 month old family member. I got back in late on friday night. Sat, hubby and I hit the ground running. The chicks were in desperate need of a new brooder. A bigger brooder. A non-bathroom brooder. Hubby, being the amazing fixer-of-all-problems that he is, built a new and improved box. Not just any old plywood box. No, this box has a chicken wire bottom so the chicks can discover grass. It also has a hanging brooder lamp for warmth and a large wired door so we can reach in completely. Have I mentioned he is pretty smart? Building the brooder box, burning piles of leaves and running into town took up all day. Last night around 830, I got an email that went something like this. (note- this email was from a girl who runs a duck rescue, she didnt just steal ducks from a pond)
We collected 19 ducks today from ___ pond. I have 4 that I need homes for. Right now they are in a dog crate in my car until I find somewhere for them to go. Can you please please take them? Call me
Um, sure! So at 10 last night a complete stranger brought over 2 pairs of pekin ducks. Apparently the pond they were "rescued" from is over run with ducks. No worries, there was a cop present while they collected ducks to explain to the locals why they were hauling away perfectly good ducks. Luckily, we just happened to have an unused, brand spanking new brooder box. At 10, there was no other place to put them. In they went. We hadnt put the chicks out yet so the box was just ducks. Hubby and I called it a night.

So today started out with the issue of where to put the ducks. The girl had suggested they could go in with the geese, since they were used to geese at their pond. Yeah right. We tried. Our geese are just mean. They would pin the new ducks down and peck. I dont know if its some rite of passage thing, but I wasnt going to watch them kill some innocent duck. Hubby went into the geese pen and got the ducks out. Poor things. They went back into the brooder box until we could rig something up. A couple hours later, we now have a large chain link pen for the ducks. Complete with a mini-pond (anyone know when those blue kiddie pools are stocked in the stores?) that works for now. Said pen is chain link on three sides, complete with a gate, and barn on the forth side- we didnt have enough chain link. We took a break from farm work once all the ducks (the 4 newbies and the 4 muscovies we already had) had moved in to their new diggs. Hubby and I went into "town" to do a grocery/walmart run. I needed cold medicine, the cats needed tick meds (we found two huge ticks on Mitten's neck) and hubby needed a break. Once refuelled with groceries and coffee, we headed back home. Hubby set to work on the garden plot. I started raking up in the front yard. Now that the snow has melted, its obvious we have a lot of work to do. We have been burning (yes, very carefully) piles of leaves as we have an incredible leaf surplus. As hubby was tilling rows for potatoes, asparagus and rhubarb, the chickens were close on his trail cleaning up the grubs and worms. We were able to get one row of asparagus planted. Too bad we wont be able to enjoy them for another year or two. Hopefully later this week we can get the rhubarb and potatoes in the ground. We also have planted in starter pots- lettuce, kale, broccoli, spinach, onions and more. I would plant one pot, and immediately the chickens would try to peck off the leaves. Luckily we had extra cages from the chicks that fit perfectly over the freshly planted veggies.

We concluded our day of hard labor with a dinner of oven baked chicken, with rice and corn. For dessert we had a fresh out of the oven lemon cake. We ate all of this while watching a new favorite tv show, Good Neighbors. Before I wrap up this post, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for my family. I was able to spend all of last week with them. I am extra blessed to have my grandparents as well. I know everyone doesnt agree or understand what hubby and I are doing. No matter what, I know my family supports me. For example, when i came home from my trip, there was a letter waiting for me from my Grammy. Included in the letter was an old picture of the farm she grew up on and its many chickens (and by many I mean well over 50). The picture is hanging up safe, until I can frame it. I love that! She knew how special my chickens are to me, and I love that she shared her stories too. The lemon cake from tonight? I made it after tasting the lemon cake (same recipe) she made for dessert on thursday with my family in california. And the tv show hubby and I watched while eating said lemon cake? That was a dvd set my Mamaw gave me on my trip. I was completely ready for it to be a not-so-good show, considering how it is British tv, and I am not usually a fan. Wrong! I loved it! Hubby loved it! I also love that Mamaw knew that we would love it. I love that I am here in Maryland and both my grandmothers are here with me (not physically, obviously).
Hubby is now in bed, I have coffee poured, and I think its a bath night. I am sore from raking. I am tired from a long day. I am full from a good meal. I am ready to relax in the tub with my coffee... goodnight all...goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. We use dog kennels for our ducks too. We use hardware cloth along the sides (to prevent things like raccoons from grabbing the ducks which is a very common hazard) and fencing over the top (to keep out all the other nasties, including hawks, owls and such.) You guys should come by and see the set up some time.