All of the ducklings and chicken chicks are adjusting to their new life here. The resident Scrub Jays have decided to become part of the “flock” now that the chicks are too big to eat. They drink from the kiddy pool and eat the organic crumbles I put out for everyone. So, the backyard is full of birds. The Towhees have discovered the bird bath and try to use it whenever the Scrub Jays leave the yard to gather nest materials. It’s busy back there!
In April our friends in Fillmore gave us a duckling. Someone in their family had gifted their grandkids with two ducklings for Easter and only one survived. We were planning to buy ducklings when we returned home so we took it as a sign that we should take “her”. We did not know its gender or breed and so we were taking a chance. Well, “she” turned out to be another Pekin and here we are again. We are just hoping that “she” is a she. If not, “he” will be joining our other Pekins out on the pond. She’s certainly acting like a “she”. The new Khaki Campbells- Ping and Pong are convinced that Pi the Pekin is their mother. They sleep as close to her as possible and follow her everywhere. She loves the attention and seems to take the job quite seriously. When the chicken chicks went exploring in the berry patch today she ran out there and herded them back to the coop. A little later as I worked in the garden I heard lots of contented peeping coming from those same bushes so I guess they worked it out.
We hope to integrate the chicken chicks in with our single Rhode Island Red. While she was supposed to be weeding and eating snails today she flew over the four foot picket fence (no match for her) and went to meet the chicks. We have our fingers crossed that all will work out when it’s time to put them together. They can’t have the run of the yard like the ducks. Chickens are much, much harder on the garden. On a small lot such as this the chickens have to be penned and given specific places in the garden to work. We haven’t built them a proper chicken tractor (a portable open-bottomed pen with a top) yet but we certainly intend to do so.