feathered updates - plymouth rock rooster

Feathered Updates

If you’re anything like me, you would be hoping for more information and progress on our wonderful ducks and chickens. There’s simply not enough feathered updates for my liking, and I suspect you might just be the same!

The last duck update involved my selling our beautiful prize winning ducks to Hummingbird Eco Retreat (which is currently for sale) in Red Hill. For a while, our Heritage Farm’s nine ducks, and Hummingbird’s two drakes got along swimmingly. All the ducks were able to roam into the vegetable garden and grab slugs and insects and even have a nibble of the fresh plants too.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck! Seven of the ducks have been taken by a fox – the two drakes and five of the ducks. While we wouldn’t want to have a favourite girl – our prize winner was one of the ducks taken. Foxes live in the surrounding bushland, and the ducks got out for a wider roam at one stage several weeks ago.

Interestingly, the ducks that were taken were of the darker blue and white variety (we believe part Blue-Swedish). The more camouflage coloured ducks remain unscathed. Perhaps these girls were better able to blend into the scenery and environment and subsequently avoid the fox attacks. Or perhaps these girls are naturally of a more timid variety and were less prone to venture so far from the safety of their home. Maybe foxes like the taste of the other ducks more and simply targeted them – who knows! Hopefully we don’t actually find out for a feathered updates 2 post.

Chickens

As for our chickens, they are currently free-ranging in Red Hill. Tommy the rooster is crowing, and looking very healthy indeed. Of the two hens that we hatched, only one remains. Sadly, Lovely passed away during our winter. Both of the hens were originally assisted out of their eggshells when they were born, because they struggled. Since then Lovely was smaller and weaker than the other and was always battling. Now Tommy does his crowing and gets followed around the yard by Bertha, and both are happy and healthy.

Update: We found Tommy the rooster dead one morning last week. No obvious signs of illness or distress. Carrying him to his grave, I finally felt how heavy he was – I’d have thought 7kgs+! For now, we’re on the lookout for another friend for Bertha because she seems sad and alone.


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