Confession. We aren’t real farmers. Not even close. We have a “don’t know what we would do without her” real farmer that helps us constantly. Her name is Sherrie, and she’s legit. Like, awake at 2am birthing calves kind of farmer. We constantly toy with the idea of adding more to our farm, but we weigh the thought of sleep vs shovelling poo (or worse) and we don’t commit.
So we started off easy. Chickens. Every year we get about 5 chickens from different sources. Sherrie always takes them from us when the weather gets too cold as our outdoor water gets turned off for the winter. In the spring, some of them return to us, like our beloved CK who we’ve raised for about 5 years now. She doesn’t lay eggs anymore but she’s got the most personality out of the group. We always seem too late to the game when it comes to ordering chickens from the hatchery. This year we called in March and they told us the next delivery would be in July! So, we did what we always do when we want something, we googled laying chickens for sale. We found a guy on Kijiji that was selling his flock as his restaurant was closing down because of Covid. Laying chickens for a restaurant? Anyway, we didn’t ask. We drove to Yummy’s Chicken and Seafood, met the guy in the back parking lot, and away we drove with two cardboard boxes of chickens. We’ve never done a drug deal, but this felt pretty close to what we imagine that would be like. We kept 4 of these, and gave the rest to Sherrie.
We have CK (of course), Fat Lady, SpotDot, Kyle, and Yummy. They seem to be a mixed breed type of flock. Rhode Islands and Bhramas mixed with a little je ne sais quoi. In keeping with our other pets, they fit right in! Raising chickens is really quite easy. Make sure they have clean water, fresh food, and a safe coop for the night. They are very social, and don’t make too much of a mess. Well, in comparison to their coop mates. Ducks. Last year we fell for the duckling cuteness factor that a lot of families fell for this spring looking for a Covid project.
Sorry chickens, but your duck friends are much cuter. But that’s kinda where it ends. Ducks are so much messier! Don’t get us started with the coop which, before ducks, would only need to be really cleaned out every two weeks. Now, it’s an ongoing shovel project. Mabel, Toup, Pey and Bean are also huge time wasters. We literally watch them for hours waddle around the farm, or splashing around in their kiddie pool. (which btw, gets so dirty within a couple of hours). There is always one duck that seems to be in charge, who decides it’s time to adventure on, so the other 3 follow suit, lined up in a row like soldiers. Everyone that sees this can’t help but put on a duck voice and say, “K guys follow me, more worms over here I think.”
As colder weather is approaching it is time for us to say goodbye to our feathered friends for the winter. We can't wait to get them all back next spring!
Let us know about your duck and chicken experiences, or if you want to venture into the world of feathers!