Thursday, May 12, 2011

Our duckies are really growing!

Since it's been a bit since I talked about our little feathered friends, I thought I'd give everyone an update.  To put it mildly, they have had a growth explosion in the past week!  When we first got them, we were able to hold each one in the palms of our hands.  We were also able to pick up all four at once when we needed to move them during cage cleaning.  Now, it takes two hands to pick one duckling up and picking up all four at once, fuggedabout it!  I will post some photos later of the duckies.

They are about 8-10" tall and about the same length.  They have all of their feathers and two of them have tail feathers that are trying to turn up.  It may turn out that Daisy & Delta are actually boy ducks. :)  They are so soft and I love petting them but they still go nuts when you try to pick them up.  They quiet down once I have one in my arms, but then the others freak out because their brother/sister is missing!

They eat like crazy and love swimming in their cake pan pond.  I have to change their water a lot more now since they splash it out more with their bigger bodies and crazy antics.  I bought a 5 lb. bag of chicken feed (Purina Flock Raiser) and one bag of chick grit and both are almost gone.  They need the grit to help them digest their food.  Good thing I only paid $2 for the duck feeder as they soon will not be able to get their bills through the holes.  In my opinion, that's actually a good thing, because that thing is a pain in the rear to fill up--I always end up spilling feed all over the floor.

We ended up having to move to a bigger pen last night.  They were getting too big for the Rubbermaid tub we had them in.  We improvised a kind of pen using one of those "under the bed" plastic tubs and some leftover fencing from last year's garden.  They did not enjoy the moving process AT ALL.  At one point, Chico escaped and Toddy and I looked like idiots trying to wrangle this one little duckling around the basement.  We finally caught him/her and it was back into the pen for our little escapee.  They seem to enjoy the new set up, especially since their bedding is a lot drier now that it's farther from the swimming pool than it was in the old tub. 

I got some tips from one of my friends (another duck mama) and I think what we're going to do when they get bigger is to put down plastic sheeting and corral them with an old play yard.  We're trying to score a free chicken coop on Craigslist but the people haven't responded back yet.  If they don't, the plan is to put an extension on the wooden dog house that we got for $10.  If we weren't white trash enough already, now we are putting in pop-outs on a dog house...

The garden is doing very well.  My lettuce is just about ready and the mustard greens are ready.  We never had them before and so decided to try them, but neither of us like them so I think Toddy is going to take them to work to see if anyone there likes them.  Trial & error, I guess.  It turns out, we are going to have a butt-load of tomatoes on our hands but I am not going to complain in the least.  I can always can them and make tons of my favorite salsa.  Not to mention, diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce will also be on the list!

The bees are doing well.  We figured out that we made a rookie mistake by putting the hive in the shade to keep them cool.  Wrong!  Turns out, they LIKE the heat and are more productive when the hive is warmer.  Duh.  So, Toddy got all of his bee clothing on and moved the hive to a sunny spot this past weekend.  Now, they are reallllly buzzing around and ramped up their honeycomb production.  We still won't get honey until next year but at least we figured out our mistake before it was too late.

The pizza oven is still being worked on.  Hubs and his step-father laid the foundation for it and the fire bricks are laid out.  He decided to go with a hob-style oven (picture of what one looks like below) as it's cheaper and you don't have to use as much bricks and cement. 

I wish ours would turn out to be as pretty of a green color as this one, but it will most likely be a reddish- brown as that is the color of Maryland clay soil.  Should be a neat thing to have though as we both love homemade pizzas and homemade bread.

I will FINALLY be making Toddy's Rhubarb Pudding Cake this weekend.  It kinda got put on the back burner with everything else going on, but I am determined to follow through on it.  Not only did I promise Hubs, but I need to let the Vermonters know how it turned out.  I'll let y'all know, too...

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