Our two Midget White tom turkeys Randy and Dandy were clearly overworked this year. So far two clutches have hatched, in both cases yielding only three poults instead of the expected eight. Lisa read somewhere that a tom could handle 20 hens, so we felt fine with 15. This was clearly wrong. Next year we’ll try ten as a ratio. Meanwhile, Randy was stupid even for a turkey. He would not stay away from the setting geese. Rest in peace, dude.
We had five of our Toulouse geese set this year. One hatched 7, the other four are still setting. Unfortunately one of them abandoned her own nest and moved to the dead eggs on the nest that had hatched. (It’s in a much more desirable location.) I didn’t catch this in time. The goose on the deck (the one with the electronet fetish) seems to have lost her eggs sometime over the weekend. I am completely confused about this. We have 11 geese and 3 Great Pyrenees dogs. It just should not be possible. The dogs do like eggs, but not enough to tangle with the geese for them. (Smart dogs.)
The Partridge Chantecler Chickens have finally gone to a new home. That was an experiment that failed. If we try a second chicken breed again, it will be a non-flying large breed that we can pasture far away from the Icies. The roosters were nasty, they all preferred roosting in trees not coops, their eggs didn’t taste as good, and the had a very bland and boring personality. They did taste good, though, we’ll give them that, but they grew so slowly that you had to put up with nasty, fighting roosters. Climbing the crab apple tree in the evening to catch the birds and put them in the coop so we’d get their eggs was just not worth it.
We have six setting Saxony ducks, which should start to hatch any day, and more in both incubators. We’ve had to separate the drake from the rest of them, though, because as they’ve started sitting, he’s clearly not getting enough, and the girls were not being treated nicely at all. We were starting to see sores on the backs of their necks. Uh, no. That’s why we quit raising Pekin ducks. The drakes were total assholes. As soon as one of the clutches hatch, he is going off to freezer camp.
Clearly we don’t have this all figured out, which is too bad. We could sell a lot more birds than we have. This is the first year we didn’t bring any day old birds home from the Post Office.