Just Ducky

Look what came in the mail! Our next expansion arrived yesterday and today: Sixteen Pekin ducks and ten Toulouse geese yesterday, 26 White Midget turkeys today. The ducks and geese spent the night in the living room while the woodstove warmed the basement. Today everyone went downstairs. They’re all set up with gamebird starter and water, on a bed of shavings.

White Midget Turkeys So far they’ve all been behaving according to stereotype. The turkeys are acting like chickens with a death wish, the ducks are fouling their water every two hours, and the geese want parents so badly you can taste it. The geese also get shavings into the outside of their waterer, but somehow the ducks manage to get crud back through the valve into the reservoir. I’m not quite sure how this works. Oh yes, Bjarki loves them all to pieces, thus fulfilling his stereotype.

Well, the sap WAS running. Maple season has been sputtering along. Yesterday was the first day in a long time that it got warm enough for a good run, and even that, late in the day. A couple of our best buckets out in the woods keep falling over. As the snow melts there’s just no secure perch for them. This is exacerbated by my cutting some of the drop tubes too short, limiting where I can put them. We’ve probably lost 40 gallons of sap this way, although nothing would have kept them in place on the windiest nights we’ve had. We need to revisit that whole thing for next year, now that we have some real experience.

Celery seedlings Finally, seed starting season has truly started. Lisa took a ten day break after putting in the celery weekend before last. This week has really started things however: Pansies (and ancient leftovers) on Monday, 128 tomatoes yesterday and 288 peppers today. Cabbage and tomatillos (she is from El Paso) are next in line. Keeping the basement warm for the birdies should make the plants happy as well.

We need to get another seed starting matt for next year. Jen Breshear uses old electric blankets that people give her, but honestly that feels ‘cheap’ not frugal to me. The matt was a pretty penny, but it has a temperature probe and looks to last as long as we will. Sometimes it pays to pay.

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