So we have technically had livestock since shortly after we moved in here. As bees are lifeforms that are kept to produce honey, they are considered livestock and since we got them a little after we moved in, nearly a year of livestock. But this year we have acquired some additional livestock around these parts. I’ve written a bit about the 12 khaki campbells that moved in in January, but recently there have been a few new additions as well.
I’ve read a number of things about keeping ducks and chickens together. Some places say that having them in the same yard is alright but separate housing is the way to go. Others say that if you put them in the same housing that they will end up fluffing up the bedding that the ducks pack down. Since there seems to be plenty of room in the duck house that I built I will be trying out a couple chickens to hang out in there. For these, we got what were sold to us as Ameracaunas. Now, I’ve seen various posts online that certain places sell Easter Eggers as Ameracaunas. It seems that the easiest way to tell the difference is that the Ameracaunas will lay only blue eggs and the Easter Eggers will lay a range of colors, mostly blue and green. So once we get to the egg laying part of this project I’ll give you an update.
Also, I got some Barred Plymouth Rocks. When I was first told that I had to add chickens (by my small assistant) and started to research them, I liked what I saw about the Plymouth Rocks. They can be cold hardy, they tend to be at least somewhat friendly and can handle being confined. I don’t know that I feel comfortable with just letting the chickens and ducks free range all over the property. The plan is that these girls are going to go into a chicken tractor, to help spread the chicken love all over the lawn.
Lastly, there have been a couple Pekin Ducklings that moved in with us. Partly these showed up because they are just so darned cute. Partly they were added because they get bigger than the khakis, so with some luck, they will cause other critters to say, nah that is a touch too big for me to bother. Of course, at this point, it doesn’t hurt that they are cute fuzzy classic looking ducklings. That is quite a plus when explaining another chick days box to the wife.
As far as the khaki’s, they have moved out to the duck yard. The first few nights we had to hold the nightly duck rodeo to get them all back into the little duck house. Then for a morning or two, I would have to herd them out of the house. Their first day they sat in there until in the afternoon I herded them out. I thought that they would have gotten hungry and gone looking to find their food. They have since gotten into the habit of all heading in as evening comes so that I just have to close up the doors at night.
Another addition will be the second hive that is moving in this month. The one hive seems to have made it through the winter and so I am adding in a second. Also, there may still be some mason bees that get added to the set up this spring if all goes well.
How about anyone else? What additions are you making to your set up this year?