My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Population Explosion

3 older hens and a couple of pullets in
 Well there has been a population explosion around here! Back in March I picked up 4 pullets coming into lay, 3 barred rock banties and a full size Buff Orpington, along with a young BO rooster. Then in April I picked up 4 Buff Orpington pullet chicks. That brought the total up to 9 chickens\

crossbred ducks
Then in June I was gifted  with some baby ducks.

Welsummer poult

And 4 young Welsummers. (For those who are not 'into' chickens, Welsummers are a breed from the Netherlands and lay dark brown eggs). They _could_ be crossed with Dorking, but we probably won't know for sure until they grow their adult feathers. Also it will be a bit before we know the sex) This brings us up to 13 chickens and 5 ducks.

Some of the Muscovies, with a sneaky Welsummer poult helping itself to the feed
Then in July I found a source for Muscovy Ducks, a breed I have been looking for. I bought 11 young ducklings, 6-7 weeks old. I got a nice variety of colors and patterns. I will probably end up with too many drakes, but we shall see. Muscovy meat is less fatty than regular ducks and they do not quack. These guys make a soft whirring sound that is really different. And that brings us up to 16 ducks and 13 chickens.

chicks hatched 7-20-12

Then one of my barred rock banties went broody and I set 9 eggs under her. Some of them had been in the fridge, so I took a chance on them. On Thurs/Fri 5 eggs hatched, tho one chick didn't make it.

I have no idea which hens are the mothers but they are all the barred rock crossed with the Buff Orpington rooster. (pure BO chicks would be solid yellow) Three are mostly dark and will probably mostly look like the their mommas. But as you can see one has a light silvery color.
little brown faced chick
And then there is this one with a red/brown face. I'm hoping it's not a roo because I think it's going to be really pretty.

So that brings the chicken count to 17 + the 16 ducks = 33 birds! Whew! I really hadn't intended to grow the flock quite so fast! Of course if any of the new chicks or the Welsummer poults are male, they will be going to the freezer. If there are really way too many Muscovy drakes then some of them will also become dinner, although I"m reading up on the breeds color and pattern standards and I might keep some extras if they look like they might approach the show standard, to help keep my gene pool reasonably diverse.

Now it's just a waiting game for all the youngsters to start paying their way! The Buff Orpington pullets should begin laying sometimes in September or so. The Welsummer poults, provided some are female, may not begin to lay until spring. Probably the same for all the ducks.


  1. That is quite a little family you have there Mary! I imagine they keep you plenty busy and entertained not to mention the eggs! Nancy

  2. Wow I'm impressed, I'm thinking of only three bantams for me next year.

  3. Yes quite a big family now! I will just be really happy when I can get the stinky and messy baby ducks out of the house and into the poultry yard!