The Poultry Army

(written by Sam)

Tomorrow will be veggie box #4.  Some things are growing really well (like the lettuce, garlic, and swiss chard), some are mediocre (kale and tomatoes), and some are really quite bad (ALL of the squash plants got killed by wireworm!  Didn’t even know they could do that…)

But, let’s talk about the birds.

Turkeys want out

They turkeys are wayyy too big for the brooder.  But we have to build a new house for all the ducks and geese before we can move them outside.  Hopefully soon…

Also, they start flinging themselves at the chicken wire every time they see a person.  I’m not sure if they really like us or really hate us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few days ago we got home to find them proudly flaunting the fact that they had managed to bust out of the brooder.  It took me a few minutes to track down the two who had wandered away from the group.  I didn’t find the last one until he decided to fly across the garage from his perch at the very very top of a tall shelf.

Mama hen

The four chicks are doing well.  I think we can move them in with the big chickens pretty soon!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Weird-looking racoon

We lost a few of the smallest chickens (that batch of 6 chicks hatched by a local teacher and given back to us is now only 1), one every night or two.  We reinforced the fence, moved the chickens to a totally different part of the farm, and tried a new even more labor-intensive way to set up the fence (using a long cloth to keep the grass from touching the electric fence wires).  And they were still slowly disappearing.  We were pretty frustrated that the stupid fence wasn’t doing its job.

Then one morning, Adam found a beheaded gosling that had been partly pulled out of the chicken-wire cage, and that was the last straw.  He did a stake-out that night.  Around 1am he heard a commotion and ran outside.  He grabbed a hoe on the way, thinking he’d whack whatever was eating the birds.  He thought it was a pretty weird-looking raccoon that was trying to grab the birds through the chicken-wire, when suddenly, it flew silently away.  It had been an owl the whole time!  No wonder the fence wasn’t keeping him out.  One of the goslings had some pretty deep wounds on his head and neck, but Adam cleaned him up, isolated him for the night, and in the morning, he rejoined his friends and seems to be doing just fine.  He has earned the name “Scarface.”

Army of Ducks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember how I kept saying I wanted a whole army of ducks?  Well, I think it’s safe to say now that I’ve gotten my wish.  However, I’ve come to the realization that I am not the commander of this army.  The real leaders are the goslings!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey even manage to scare off the adult ducks from time to time.  And the runner ducks follow them loyally.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe best part is when the geese run really fast, they stick their little wing stubs out!

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About sundogveggies

Sundog Vegetables is a small organic market garden located in Delta, BC started in 2011.
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