my girls (younger) with their girls (also, younger)
But sometimes, they drive me bananas and all I want is to drive them to the other side of the county and drop them off.
There, I said it.
I take part of that back. I really don't want to drive our bees anywhere. Actually, right now the bees aren't causing any trouble. We were very disappointed that after all our work with them last year, all five colonies died over the winter. As much as I am in awe of bees (ask my kids' friends- if any of them ask a single question about bees, I launch into a 4-part lecture series on the topic), part of me wondered if we should give up. But we didn't. We ordered two more packages, watched them build up over the summer, left their honey alone, and we now have six colonies as we head into this winter. Jamey made moisture quilts to hopefully insulate them from condensation which can be fatal. We'll say a little prayer, tuck them in and hope that we see at least a colony or two alive this spring.
The ducks. We bought four Khaki Campbell running ducks from a farmer we know. We wanted them for their eggs and expressed that we wanted hens. Well. Either they weren't hens or they just didn't like us because we got one and only one egg (and it could've been a chicken egg- it was hard to tell) and that was it.
The very first night we had them, one of the four went missing. We're thinking predator. The other three fell into a cute routine of quacking around the chicken yard each day, splashing in their water and then hunkering down in the chicken tractor out in the yard. They never followed the chickens into their coop as they need their own water source (so they can scoop-drink).
Well, after a few weeks of this pleasant (albeit non-laying) life, they discovered they could get out through the holes in the fence (they were small enough). Over a few days, two walked their way out onto our road and got hit by cars. Bless our dear neighbor who scraped them off with his shovel.
So there was one duck left. Without his friends, he no longer stayed in our yard and instead wandered the neighborhood becoming a bit of a nuisance. He's no longer with us (and that's all I'm going to say about that). So the duck project was a fail. I feel yucky about the whole thing but we couldn't spend hundreds and hundred of dollars installing new fencing and other attempts to solve the problem weren't working. Frankly, non-laying ducks were just not worth it to us.
Moving on to my most recent nemeses: the chickens. We haven't bought chicks the last couple years so our chicken population has slowly been aging and dying out. We're down to around ten. At one point, we had 40 (that included some meat birds we later butchered). Of these ten, about 3-4 consistently get out of their yard and into our neighbors' yards. Turkey has learned to ignore them, thank heavens, but they wander around, digging up everyone's flower beds and newly planted grass.
Here again, if we spent a lot of money, we could fix the fences (they've been patched COUNTLESS times). We could buy a lot of organic, free range eggs with that money. But we don't have the heart to get rid of the chickens. So, for now, they're locked up in their coop. It's not a terrible place to be. I'll be adding leaves and straw to give them something to scratch and maybe on really nice days we'll let them out for awhile to enjoy their yard. You know, on good behavior. In the meantime, I want to price out fencing and see if we can't re-fence part of the yard or make something work.
So, there. I know this wasn't a very uplifting animal post but I just needed to say all this. It's not all wine and roses. Instead, it can be a lot of whine and thorn-ses. Such is life- a life I still wouldn't trade with anyone (just look at that first picture in this post again). Pin It