August 15, 2016

Homestead Happenings #1


This is Chapter One of a new sort-of-monthly feature of updates on the homestead, small tidbits and news that aren't worthy of a post of their own.

What's new on the homestead.

But there are many of those little things that I want to share with you all. They'll give you a glimpse of my everyday, a bit of behind-the-scenes, so let's do this today and see how it goes...


First, Duck News:

Mama Duck hatched two ducklings from her summer clutch of eggs. I discovered one of them in the evening when I went out to feed, and I scooped it up quickly and put it in my makeshift brooder in the house.

Muscovy duckling taking a bath.
Duckling enjoying a bath while I clean the brooder.

I found a second one, already dead, inside the coop. A reader told me in the spring that male ducks will often kill the babies, which explains why none of the ducklings the female has hatched in the past two years have lived. Now I take them away as soon as I find them and raise them myself, since I don't have the space to separate the male from the female and her babies.

Both of the ducklings were solid yellow, which means they would be white as adults even though the parents are both black and white pied. The surviving duckling is doing well.


In the chicken coop:

I lost a broody hen during the hottest week of the summer. I'm sure that she got overheated and dehydrated. Another hen is broody now, and I haul her out of the nest box each evening when I collect eggs. She wanders over to the scratch I've tossed on the floor and has a snack, and I hope she also has a drink as she passes the waterer on her way back to the nest.

Broody hens must be encouraged to eat and drink while they're on the nest.

As the saying goes (my apologies for taking a bit of license) "you can lead a chicken to water but you can't make her drink," so that's about the best I can do. I always scatter the scratch feed on the other side of the coop so she has to walk past the waterer.


Homesteader Choice Awards:

I've teamed up with the Floyd Family Homestead to cohost the first Homesteader Choice Awards. I hope you'll nominate and/or vote for your favorite homesteading Facebook page.

Homesteader Choice Awards


In the yard:

I've put out hummingbird feeders almost every spring since we moved here. I'd hear a hummer buzz past me once or twice a year while I was out in the yard or down at the horse barn, but I never saw one take a drink from a feeder. I usually didn't refill the feeders and eventually took them down during the summer.

This year I've seen several of them in the garden, drinking from the mimosa tree's flowers, checking out my rosebushes. Last week I was buzzed twice in two days, so I took down the feeders from the plum tree where they were still hanging, cleaned them up, made some nectar, and hung them from the swingset, which is near the roses and within view of the kitchen window.

Hummingbird feeders on the swingset

I heard a hummer buzz past me a few times while I was in the yard, but I didn't see any near the feeders until an afternoon last week, when I looked out the kitchen window and saw two. Two! They hung around for quite awhile and came back several times as I made dinner.

Since then I've seen up to four hummingbirds at once. They're arguing over the feeders; I think I'll get another one. I love hummingbirds and am thrilled to have them in the yard.


Around the homestead:

We've been slowly moving our storage items from a very old shed that needs to be torn down to our recycled metal shed. When we moved here, our new home was quite a bit smaller than our previous house, so anything non-essential went into this shed. The roof has been compromised and we need to get everything moved, sorted, and dealt with. It's been a hot summer job, but we want it completed before winter weather.

What's new at your homestead?




This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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19 comments:

  1. Does surviving duckling have a name yet? Single ducklings are funny ~ you are Mama so he/she will waddle around following you:) Adorable.

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    1. Duckling doesn't have a name yet. I think it's a male since it's growing so quickly, but I could be wrong. I always refer to ducklings as "the duckles". Being followed would be so cute. :-)

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  2. Makes me think of the child's book are you my mama? So cute.
    Patti

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    1. That was one of my childrens' favorite books, Patti.

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  3. Please be sure to give the hummers fresh sugar water each day because the old will spoil especially in the heat. Old sugar water can make them sick or kill them.

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    1. That's a good reminder, Hill House! Thank you.

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  4. I love hummingbirds -last week we had a hummingbird Moth -so pretty and different. Love your new duck. Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you, Vickie. I hope you have a great day too!

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  5. I really hope your hen makes out alright. Nice read.

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    1. Evidently the hen had more sense than I thought. I was taking all the eggs away daily, and on the hottest day of the year, she gave up the nest!

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  6. How exciting to see those hummers! You've got a lot going on around there! Hope everyone (including the critters) can stay cool enough.

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    1. Thank you, Daisy. I hope you are keeping cool too!

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  7. My husband set up two hummingbird feeders outside our dining room windows and it brings us great joy to watch them! They fight constantly, even though we have several feeders. They are amazing little things, and will leave in September for their long flight south. Hard to imagine how they have the strength to make such a long journey.

    We don't have chickens or ducks yet, so it's good to hear about some of the challenges before we start. Crossing my fingers for a relief from the heat for those of us in the south!

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    1. Michelle, aren't they a joy to watch?! I'm so thankful we have some this year and hope they will come back next year too.

      I'm praying for an early end to summer for us all too. I think it gets harder to handle it every year as I get older.

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  8. I had no idea about the duck situation. We are wanting to get chickens probably next spring - it's good to know about the broody chicken situation and how they can keep themselves cooped up. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful. Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. What a CUTE duckling! 'So sad about the others though! We lost one our hens to heat this year, too. Our plants definitely get more action than our hummingbird feeders. We love watching the tiny things buzz thru the yard! Thank you for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  10. Another great post, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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    1. Thank you for hosting, Swathi.

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