Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cackling Ducks

Today I went out to let our seven year old drake & three eight year old hens out of the duck house for their daily roam of the homestead. There was a fourth hen I named Lily. She was such an extra sweet duck. All of the little flock follows me around where I go but Lily would jump or fly up on the lawn chase & sit in the sun with me or stay by mt side in the garden. I was sad when she passed. I was told ducks only live around five years. I figure I have been lucky to be blessed with so many years. Today I had some stale biscuits for the ducks. It was funny to watch drake slide down the hill on his belle while trying to nibble a bite as the biscuit slid down the hill in front of this little yellow beak.

After a fast swim no one is roaming far. Just huddling with their little web feet tucked under them. Time to give them some TLC. I hold them each & stroke their feathers as I talk to them. They just cackle cackle & cackle.

After being out & about today I tucked the ducks into the bunny hutch with warm fresh water & cracked corn before dark. Can you see the drake is standing in the opening of the straw sleeping area. Looks like he wants to be sure & get the best spot in the sleeping area. It is to be even colder tonight so they will be warmer in the small bunny hutch bedded down in the straw sleeping area.

You may see that while the feeding frenzy continues they lose much of the cracked corn they fill there beaks with. They have little manners. Not to mention they cackle while eating.

All beaks but one gobbling. She just had something to cackle about. When done eating I closed the solid wood door & put a tarp over the top & sides of the bunny hutch. Now my little feathered friends will be shielded from the cold winds tonight. They are spoiled.

Today was shopping day a the school store. Each elementary student can earn school cash by helping the teacher clean the classroom, doing homework & good test scores. Well Sam spent $25.00 on this little football & $5.00 for each pack of gum $4.00 on packs of nerds he ate on the bus. At those prices it don't take long to use up the school cash. My sweet boy gave me my very own pack of gum.

Sam wanted his favorite chicken tonight. Crispy Chicken! This is something I came up with & he eats well when I make it. Sam is a picky eater. So when I find something he will eat it is so worth the time to make it. Chunk 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, Mix in a 9X13 cake pan 1/4 cup of flour - 3/4 cups of instant tatter flakes - 1 teaspoon of baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon each of salt pepper basil & garlic powder. Roll each piece of chunked chicken in the dry mixture & fry in about an inch hot cooking oil until golden. Chicken will need turned a few times to cook even. I make a honey mustard sauce to dip the crispy chicken in. Equal parts each of honey & brown mustard. We had southern string beans to.

A little salad & dressing!

My sewing basket is full of projects I am working on. A little prim doll I call my Stubby Little Bubby. I drew her out on news paper then cut her out of an old t-towel. She is my work in progress. The little mice & pin cushion I have rescued from the waiting to finish sewing basket. I put the little doll dress into the waiting to be finished sewing basket. Later to be rescued. I am trying to dry a pineapple too.

This is the wood project I have Lucas working on. I used a picture in a Country Sampler Magazine to help Lucas see what I had in mind.

The angles have been cut & fitted. Stay tuned for the next step. Much studying to help Sam with tonight.

Of late I have had little time to read the many blogs I enjoy. If time allows tonight I will be able to catch up with you all & do some more chicken research. Oh Nen. Your in put on the chicken breeds were very thoughtful. Thanks & if you have anymore info it will be welcomed.

A thought to ponder: To have a good friend you must be a good friend first...

Blessings Til Next Time!


  1. Lara,

    Thanks for the age on your ducks. I guess their long life can be attributed to the loving care they get from you. We have a bunny in our bunny hutch and we have a light in there to keep him warm and when it's really cold cover the hutch with a heavy sleeping bag and then a tarp. He isn't too happy to be completely covered all the time, so we try to uncover him during the day so he can see us.


  2. Oh the poor duckies in the cold, but I guess they're made for that. You're like me as of late, not enough time to blog hop. We'll have to squeeze it in somewhere:)
    Mmmm more food photos! Yum!

  3. Yum, your crispy chicken looks delicious! Glad they don't charge $5 for gum in the real stores! Your ducks are beautiful.

  4. Your ducks are so cute! We raised the white pekin ducks one year. They were talkative little personalities just like your ducks. They are quite messy compared to chickens.

    Keep in mind when choosing chickens:
    The super duper egglaying breeds that lay very large eggs everyday like Leghorns and Production Reds tend to be very skittish and do not make very good pets. Every time you go near them they squawk and run. These breeds have sleeker body types and originated from the Mediterranean. They will lay huge eggs almost everyday the first year and egg production falls sharply in the second year and generally stops the third or fourth year.

    Many of the old time barnyard breeds like the barred rocks, speckled sussex, wyandottes, and cochins make good pets and lay about twice every three days will still continue to lay going on 5 years- but will gradually diminish each year. Barred Rocks are probably the best layers over years of time.

    Ameracaunas lay large green to blue colored eggs are friendlier than Leghorns but a little less friendly than the old time breeds.

    I now buy pullets and not straight run chicks, which you will end up with half being boys and half being girls. You will spend alot of money raising the boys in feed and they may become aggressive during their first spring as adults. Finding homes for a lot of roosters is difficult also. I do like having one rooster as he will take good care of his hens-but it is very hard to find one that won't attack you or your kids. I went through 10 roos to find the nice one I have now. Silkie roos are an exception to this and are almost always friendly.

    Also I have noticed that keeping one or two different breeds at the most is best for harmony in the coop. Chickens tend to pal around with hens of their same breed and pick on the hens not like them. Too many different breeds and sizes causes some hens to be bullied-sometimes almost to death.

    None of these breeds are as gentle and friendly as the Silkie. You can raise Silkie chicks with the full sized egg layers but sometime during the first year, the silkies with their calm nature will start to become picked on and in my experience will have to be removed and placed in their own coop. I have kept bantam sized cochins with my silkies and they have done well together. I use my silkies to raise chicks from my larger egg laying hens who rarely go broody.

    Hope some of this info helps!
    Heather in PA

  5. Your ducks are so cute and I love the doll you are nmaking. I can see you have lots of projects on the go!

  6. Love your ducks, Lara!!! ♥♥ and your blanket crane! Go ahead and send that to me!!! ;)

    Carmen and the Primcats

  7. The ducks are so cute, eating, they look spoiled & loved!
    Supper looked yummy!
    Can't wait to see your projects all finished up!

  8. Oh, those ducks are so cute! Supper looked yummy! I have a picky eater at my house too! Maybe I will try this crispy chicken recipe for him. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Your ducks are so cute!!! Lily sounds precious. How long did she live? I always think it's amazing when animals live past their expected years. to me that says the people who took care of them were very loving..and I'm sure that contributed :) :) I love animals.

    Okay, the crispy chicken looks awesome and so does your doll!!! Stubby Little Bubby, that's a great name :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :) :) :)

  10. That is a good "thought to ponder," and I like your ducks! Ducks are just common enough that most people fail to notice how fun they are to watch.

  11. Hi there Lara, I love your ducks they look so cute all eating together..and I love the blanket crane Lucas is working on..and all the goodies you are working on too.;)

  12. Hello, thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Ducks are so cute, and I loved hearing about yours. Would have loved to see them sliding down the hill.

    You make beautiful things, can't wait to see the finished project.

    I see you've already received some good info on chickens. I am no expert. :) We have about 20 chickens, and I don't even know what breed some of them are. This is what happens when your hubby and kids buy from the mixed chicks at Tractor Supply! We have had a Silkie and she was very nice, she loved to brood; but she wandered too close to the dog one day and he wanted to play. I have one Buff Orpington, and she has been a good layer and a good mother. We have some white leghorns and they lay beautiful white eggs. We also have some bantams. Then I have some fat brownish/red hens and some black ones that I don't know which breed they are, but they give me plenty of eggs. I have one neighbor that buys a couple dozen at a time, and he set his own price for them, usually $2.50 or $3/dozen. Our kids get really attached to the chickens, so we don't eat them either, just their eggs.
    My husband built our chicken house, but I would like to have one we could move around.

    Have a great day!

  13. Hi Lara,

    You have a wonderful blog. I love your homestead lifestyle, hard work, but a fantastic way to live. Maybe in my next lifetime I will have that opportunity. :-)

    Thank you for sharing your "oil can collection" story with me. Glad to hear that you have a few oil cans in your possession for memories.

    Have a great day Lara! :-)

  14. Hi Lara, Wow, I'm so glad you dropped by. I've been thinking of you! Your ducks are so darling! I've raised them to 'teen' size and they were just too messy for my hubby. We'd love to have ducks, but really, our pond is too small and they can really make a mess in the pond. Besides..they'd probably last a week before they got eaten unless we kept them in a pen of some kind.

    When I was a girl, we raised three mallards. I adored Papa Duck and showed him at 4-H. Everything you are doing sounds so fun! How exciting that your son is building something. I can't wait to see it. :o)

    Donna @ Comin' Home

    PS. If you like growing things, you might like my post from a week ago (It's on the sidebar) where I forced bulbs. It was such a fun project. They are really tall this week.

  15. Your ducks are so adorable!!! I love that chicken, looks so yummy!! :-)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!