Monday, June 30, 2014

A break from chickens -- how about ducks?

Mutter duck has been sitting and sitting and sitting on eggs.  Throughout the past week, every now and then, an egg would be found next to the nest; sometimes cracked open, other times not.  Being the analyzers that we are, we tried to hypothesize what was going on.
At first, once the 28-day incubation period passed, we were worried that she sat on the nest of eggs too late and many of them were "dead"  :(   However, the three eggs we've found cracked open, off the nest (one as recent as three days ago), all showed signs of a developing duckling.  Did Mutter sense it had died and kicked it out of the nest?  Maybe.  I'm wondering though....... she would often leave the nest very early in the morning for a short water break.  I'm wondering if the Drake was raiding her nest during that time, cracking open eggs and kicking them out... ????  Would a Drake do that?  Would another female duck do that???  I really am a bit confused.  AND worried (at the time).

But not so worried any more!
FINALLLLY, the day has arrived that we've been pacing back-n-forth for!

One of the lil' ducklings has been hatched!!!  Mutter was being super motherly and extremely protective!  I was trying my darndest to get a picture of the duckling when I checked her during feeding time.  My goodness!  I couldn't get a picture!  She had the duckling tucked well under her (the top picture was the best I could get at that time.)  BUT, when I went out about 15 minutes later to show to girls..... the lil' guy was sitting, as cute as can BE, right next to Mutter!  She has three more eggs left under her;  naturally we're hoping all of them hatch out :)

In the afternoon, I did take about an hour to sit and relax with some new yarn I wanted to try.  We are in need of some new dishcloths, and ladies talk up about using cotton yarn for that purpose.  I've never used cotton.  It's definitely a different feel in the hands;  stiffer.  
The cloth ended up getting about 1/3 of the way done before my eyelids simply wanted a rest!  Paul and I were both up at 5AM and were starting our activities by 7AM.  A lil' rest at 2PM was an okay thing.

It was finished later on as I was sitting around our campfire.  It's stiff and the jury is still out about how good the yarn works for dishcloths.  Dare I say that I actually need to do dishes now in order to try it out???

There simply is no such thing as too many pictures of campfires!  And there is NEVER any such thing as eating too many marshmallows and/or s'mores!  ;D

Okay...10 more minutes, and then Paul and I are heading out to start our Monday!  Today's task:  butchering chickens!   The MEAT birds -- not any of our layer 'pets.'  The meat birds are bred and raised for the sole purpose of ending up in the chest freezer.  They are NEVER named in this household.  They have been at the stage of "barely able to walk" for the past week.  Truly; that's how they're bred!  They are fast growers (10-14 weeks) and BIG!  We'll be sure to weigh on of the breasts again.  Last year (if I remember correctly), we had one that weighed just over 2 pounds!  That's ONE side; ONE breast!   Thankfully, I'm merely Paul's helper assistant;  I don't get very hands-on with the butchering task. 

So, the chicken coop is being put on hold so that Paul can check the butchering task off of his list.  And then Paul heads back off to his shift work tonight, so the coop will, in fact, be set aside for a few more days :\  
Patience, dear grasshopper.  Right?


Judy D in WA said...

Awww, does this make you the GrandMutter? I can't wait to see more baby pictures.
That brand of yarn is a bit stiff. But it makes for great dish scrubbers.
I can almost taste the marshmallow!
Butchering chickens.....oh the memories. My uncle had a fryer farm when I was a teen-thousands of fryers. Out of each batch, he would get 100 chickens for "personal use" and part of our pay was chickens, we raised them for a 2-4 more weeks and then have a butchering day. Always had plenty of chicken in the freezer until the farm sold.

Andee said...

Smart idea not to name the food, it would be Charlotte's Web all over again for me! But we gotta eat, so thems the breaks! The duckling is adorable! I hope the others hatch and you have a crowd. I am working this am, so up early reading your blog! Oh your dishcloth looks great, that is mostly what I knit these days. Relaxing and easy and even easier to give away!

katie z. said...

How many chickens did/will you butcher? We just butchered 53!