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Stretch Yourself

April 28, 2011

Self Sufficiency

Spring is full upon us where we are and I have the itch to dig in the dirt.  It’s making me crazy that we can’t get into the garden yet since it’s been too wet to turn.  This year, I have high hopes for a bountiful harvest.

Spring is also a wonderful time for baby anythings.  Around our place, we have chicks, goat kids, calves, and turkey poults this time of year.  This spring we decided to branch out.

Raising Fowl

We are interested in diversifying our food sources so this year we decided to try ducks and geese.  We have raised chickens and turkeys for many years, so waterfowl seemed a good next step.

To arrive with our new chicks, we ordered Khaki Campbell, Gold Star, and Welsh Harlequin ducks.  They are primarily known for egg laying.  So far they have been very interesting, growing much faster than the chicks.  They are nearly full-grown and have been released to the ponds.  More on them at a future time.

The second round contains Rouen ducks (which look like heavy mallards) and two kinds of geese:  Pilgrim and Toulouse.  In addition to their egg laying abilities, all but the Rouens and Gold Stars were chosen for their broodiness and mothering abilities.

Whenever possible, we like for nature to take its course and for the flock to be self-sustaining.  (We typically keep some broody chickens but needed to get some new chicks this year after dog attacks).  We made this calculated addition to advance our goals of varied food sources.  In case illness or predators wipe out one flock, we should still have the others.  They should also add a source of down if we should need it.

Spring Is A Time Of Renewal

Here is the reason I’m telling you this- spring is a great time to choose an area to stretch yourself.  Grow a garden for the first time.  Start a flock of chickens.  Can some of the beautiful produce available at your farmer’s market for the first time.

Identify some area you can grow your skills and make concrete steps toward achieving those goals.

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