Posts tagged ‘duck’

Update on Life

I have a rare extra few minutes, so here’s an update on what’s been going on since January. (Disclaimer – I’d like for there to be pix, but those are what take forever, so, sorry, you’ll just have to Google stuff, I guess :shrug )

My “I love my job” has turned into an absolute dream job! I’m officially still doing taxes, but about 6 weeks ago or so, tax business really started slowing down, and spring inventory really started to pick up … ummm, let me back up a bit further.

My boss (wonderful lady, love her!) has a local tax office. She and her husband own the local feed/hardware store. (Somewhere in the archives – time again, or I’d go digging for the link to it – is a blog post where I actually talk about The General Store; that’s the place 🙂 )

So, as I was saying, tax business started slowing down, and spring inventory started really coming in, and another pair of computer-knowledgeable hands to get said inventory into the computer was wanted, so I got drafted! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! It can be crazy hectic at times when the store is filled with customers, and there’s an office (or a warehouse) full of inventory that needs to be put into the computer, but that’s the nature of the beast. Oh, and I forgot to mention – the C’s have 3 kids of their own, a 7- and 6- year old girl, and a 9-month old girl. So if Teddy has to come to work with me, that’s perfectly ok, because odds are good their girls will be also. And how cool is it (I know, not everybody would think so, but I enjoy it) that part of my job description is “Here, hold the baby.” 😉

Side benefits of working where I do – I get a dozen farm fresh eggs about every week (whenever I run out, I just ask for more).  But in about 5 – 6 more months, I won’t need to ask. I bought chickens! Don’t know yet if I have boys or girls, I (currently) have 4 total – 2 Aracauna’s (break out google again; these are the ones that lay the Easter Eggs), and 2 bantams (smaller chickens). My bantams, based on my own google searches, are 1 each Silver Sebright, and 1 either B.B. Red (also know as Cubalaya which I stated in an earlier post as a chicken that I want 😀 ) or Silver Duckwing (which is just a cool name 😉 ). The hatchery the store orders from sends bantams not only as straight run (they won’t separate the boys from the girls) but as assorted bantams, which means there are all kinds of breeds too. My bantam that’s an either/or also brings new meaning to the term “small” – it is TINY compared not only to the full-size (but still growing) chickens, but also to the other bantam. We are getting in more chickens in 3 weeks, though 😀 This batch will be all pullets (all hens – 90% accuracy says the hatchery), and I plan to get 2 more Aracauna. We’re also getting in just a few more of the assorted, straight run bantams. If I see anymore with the markings of my cute itty-bitty biddy 😉  (which is why I picked that one – it was just so cute!) I plan to get those also.

I LOVE my chickens! They are finally starting to make the occasional “cluck” noise, instead of just the “peep” of a baby bird noise. I love to go sit and just watch my “chickie birds” as I call them, or sometimes I call ’em “the clucks.” Very relaxing to me to just sit and watch.

I am also the proud (wasn’t so sure about that til last night, but that’s a whole other L-O-N-G story we won’t go into) owner of 4 Khaki Campbell ducks (go google that one 😉 ) – they’re almost 5 weeks old now and they’re HUGE! Still not ready for the pond though, which is why I bought them (so we’d have ducks in the pond). So my stinky – yet loveable – ducks are hanging out in the dog kennel in the back yard for a while longer. Gotta wait til they’re fully feathered so they have the best chance of getting away from the natural predators we have around here (coyote, fox, owl, etc). And in the meantime, I fill the water tub once a day, and the food dish twice a day (who knew ducks ate so much?!?), and supplement with the earliest of the spring vegetables that didn’t sell at the store that we know nobody’s gonna buy (like, ummm, say, broccoli that’s already bolted 😉 ) And should they truly survive and thrive, I discovered by reading my “Encyclopedia of Country Living” (go google that one, too, if you don’t know about that book) I did good, because they are the best egg laying ducks! And I just bought ’em cuz they were cute 🙂 (One of the kids that comes into the store calls them “Chocolate Ducks” and they name has stuck for us.) My ducks are (not always affectionately) known as “The Quack Pack,” and it’s been nice to actually hear some quacks instead of just baby bird “cheeps.”

So, I love my job, and I know own critters 🙂 There was a little more I wanted to cover, but I gotta get ready to go to work! One last thing though – 28 March made 9 months smoke-free!!!!

(not previewing, just hitting post, so please forgive any typos)

Dream big – critter wishlist

I hate when I can’t sleep. I was exhausted, I get up from the recliner doing computer-y/facebook-y things, I fix the coffee pot for in the morning (I’d love a french press – Christmas present idea, anybody, hint, hint), take my shower, and proceed to lay in the bed tossing and turning from 11-12:30 before I decide to get up and get some of the thoughts OUT of my head and ONTO the computer screen, in hopes that MAYBE they’ll shut up and let me sleep.

So I just posted one blog on what’s been running around in my head (read previous entry), now for a dreaming entry for a few years down the road. 😉 I’ve been saying that I want goats for dairy and some meat, chickens for eggs and meat, and most likely rabbits for meat and tanning hides. And then I come across this website: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. I’m sure by know you’re familiar with the whole hybrid/heritage plant seed thing – well, this is pretty much the same thing, but with animals instead of plants! And most of the breeds are endangered, and it lets you know the breeds unique to North America, and which are feral (or at least started that way).

I have decided, I want the Cubalaya chicken! They just look cool 🙂 And they’re supposedly very tame, too, and good layers of not-white eggs. (Mama doesn’t want white eggs b/c it’s easier to pick the shell out if it’s brown – and she makes a VERY good point I’ve discovered in the 18 months I’ve lived here.)

Rabbits – It’s gonna be the Silver Fox Rabbit for my homestead. Love that silver/black fur! (The white bunnies with the pink “lab rat” eyes just creep me out *shudder*)

Based on the list, I still haven’t decided on a goat breed, although the Tennessee Fainting Goat does just sound nifty, but not what I need if my primary goal is milk. Maybe the arapawa goat, but it doesn’t say if it’s a good milker or not, although I’d hazard a guess it might be since it was the goats colonists brought over. I also keep coming back to the Nigerian Dwarf Goat, because they’re cool looking, and small, and most likely not to have horns(!), but there’s also the fact of – the smaller the goat, the smaller the teat, which means the smaller surface available to figure out how to milk. But lots of people do it; why couldn’t I?

I had also not been thinking pigs AT ALL (I do like my bacon and pulled pork, though), until I saw the handsome face of the Guinea Hog, also known as the Pineywoods Guinea, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pig – well gee, we live in pine country, surrounded by oak trees, and in further reading of the article, wanna know why they were kept in the yard? Snake patrol! THAT’S my kinda pig 😀 S/he might find a home on my homestead, after all!

And sheep is another one I hadn’t been thinking about. Doesn’t it just get too stinkin’ hot down here in south/central GA for sheep? Apparently not for the Gulf Coast Native Sheep. They don’t grow wool on their face, legs, and bellies, and are resistant to some other stuff that other sheep breeds aren’t down here in the deep humid south. And since I like to crochet, and that takes yarn, and yarn can be made from wool…. Maybe. I could also achieve similar results with good ol’ “southern snow” – aka “the touch, the feel, of cotton. The fabric of our lives” (must be sung in your head with the smooth sultry tones of Aaron Neville…. ;-))

And I know I’d been thinking goats instead of cows. More goats in the same amount of land, the milk is supposedly better for us, goats are SMALLER and weigh less, but isn’t the Red Poll Cow pretty? And I’ll save you a trip to Google – poll means “no horns.” (you’re welcome :-)) And they’re red, too! (Have you figured out a theme here yet – color, I like color!)

And even though it’s something I hadn’t consciously thought about, I do want ducks and geese. (We’ve got plenty of wild turkeys, they hide in the pine trees and gobble at me early in the morning.) I like the Cotton Patch Goose breed, especially if I decide to do the aforementioned, ahem, cotton patch. But for another reason, too. When I was in high school, our church youth group performed a musical called “The Cotton Patch Gospel.” (Gimme a shout out if you’ve heard of it….) It’s essentially the life of Christ, set in rural GA. The writers were pretty accurate, and figured out the correct distances between all the biblical cities, and transferred that over to GA cities – a lot of it takes place in Gainsville, GA. And instead of being crucified, Jesus is strung up by a lynch mob. Now back to our regular scheduled blog 😉

Ducks – I know I want ducks, but just haven’t picked one yet. There’s not a breed that “speaks to me” like in the other animal categories. I mean, what’s a pond without ducks?

And a donkey, I know I want a donkey for guard purposes (you can thank my sister for putting this thought in my head).

And in addition to all the yard cats (I know, I know, I still haven’t posted obligatory cute cat pix – I’ll get there), I want 2 house cats once I have a house of my own 😉

And I think that’s it, but I’m not really sure, b/c FINALLY I’m yawning good and having problems keeping my eyes open. So hopefully I can go lay down again and actually go to sleep this time.