The deed is done

The ducks are gone…well in the freezer.

Two nights, 4 ducks a night. It took two of us 2 hours each night start to finish. I had to do most of the “dirty” work. He caught them and held them down in the cone. He also helped skin/pluck them. I however got to do all of the “inside jobs” 😝.

I am looking forward to doing something different with the space they lived in. It will take some time for the yard to be usable again. I don’t regret the experience, but I wish we had ended it sooner.


Half way there

So, we’ve gone and done it…started a project we were both dreading. 4 ducks have been butchered and frozen. 4 more will be done tonight as long as all goes smoothly.

We started with the named birds, so that we wouldn’t give in and say having only 4 would be easier to care for, or less of an expense.

I am looking forward to not having my property smell like a farm, or needing winter boots to trudge through the “mud” the ducks made in search of eggs. We enjoyed some of our duck raising adventure, but we are done.

Hopefully I will busy cleaning out the duck house tomorrow.😉

Putting off tasks

Do you ever put off difficult tasks? I sure do. For example…we have 8 ducks. 7 females and one male. They give us eggs, and have provided ducklings, but we are so done with them. My husband and I have been saying for months that we need to butcher them and use the space they inhabit for another purpose. (One that won’t be so messy/smelly/ time consuming.) 4 of the birds have names. I’m only slightly attached to one of them though. She was mean when we bought her, but she ended up being a very good mother and then became the outcast of the flock. I feel sorry for her and will talk to her the most when I care for the birds. 

When it comes to butchering our birds I am the one who has to make the kill.😞 It will be so hard. I should probably start with her, so I don’t end up leaving her to the end and deciding we could keep just her. 

Cleaning the birds is a lot of work, so we really have to be committed to getting it started bright and early on our one day off together. We set the date a while back, but then the day came and we just didn’t feel up to it. We just purchased another bag of feed, so we have said it will be our last. Hopefully something doesn’t keep us from getting the job done, and we can move on from this experience. 

We have to do it before winter, since keeping heat on so they stay warm and to keep water from freezing gets expensive in New England. 

I was just thinking about this now, because I am boiling a dozen of the eggs I have collected. If we follow through with our plan these may be the last ones I do.😒

A bakers dozen…of ducklings.

We have raised ducks for meat and eggs for about 4 years now. We currently have 9 adult ducks. 2 males and 7 females.

We have allowed our ducks to raise some ducklings in the past, but not winter ducklings. We were not expecting our ducks to continue laying eggs during the winter. We figured if they were going to lay, we’d find them in the duck house where we have a heat lamp,water source and food. We stopped checking the outdoor nesting sites which are just plastic dog houses halved, so that the nest is on the ground but protected from rain and snow. The openings of these houses are really small right now due to the amount of snow we have had here in New Hampshire.

Last night while giving the birds food and water I noticed 2 birds were “missing” . I found one bird on a perch outside. We have Muscovy ducks, so they fly and perch. Then I started checking the dog houses. I found eggs in one, eggs in another, nothing in the third, but then the last bird was nesting in the fourth house.

The houses were frozen to the ground, so I had to get my husband to help me collect eggs and check the nest with the bird in it. The eggs that were not being sat on were all frozen and some were cracked too. No worries about those being fertile and growing. There were 14 like that. Then it was time to check under our broody female. She had a nice hot nest with 14 eggs. We candled them, and all but 1 was growing. We took the one dud away, but replaced the others. I am surprised that they are developing with frozen ground conditions. We will have to mark those eggs and check daily to make sure more aren’t being added to the nest. 13 ducklings is way more than the none we were expecting. 😉 We’ve actually been planning on giving our birds away since they are too much work, and expensive to care for.

Looks like we’ll have more birds available this spring. They are absolutely adorable, so we’ll get a few weeks of enjoyment from this mistake. Next winter, we’ll be sure to lock the birds up at night and check for eggs. (If we can’t give away the birds before then.)

* Here’s an update… the mother duck abandoned the nest.:( My husband had heard at least one pipping before she abandoned them, which means they were within days of hatching. It’s very sad that they made it so far. Since the nest was outside in frigid temperatures they were frozen when I found them.

The Days Are Just Packed Full

There are so many things going on in my life right now….

Trips to the pool, or lake

Baby getting his first 2 teeth… and therefore extra cranky and demanding. 😉

Projects getting worked on… our new fence is up, except for the gate, and we’re starting to get it painted.

Our ducks are laying up to a dozen eggs a day, so I am trying to think of what to do with them all. I have over 100 fresh eggs right now!

Trying to train a very active puppy, who thinks outside is for playing and inside is for peeing. 😦 We have finally found a leash that she will walk with though. 🙂

All of the regular household chores… getting done enough to make the house livable. 😉

Of course I still have my job to go to, and physical therapy appointments or doctor visits for my shoulder.

With everything that is going on here, sleeping has not been a priority. 3-4 hours on a work night is average, and that makes for a cranky me when I get home. Last night was my night to get some sleep since today is my first of 4 days off of work. Thankfully the baby was good for me last night, so I was able to get about 8 hours of sleep! I woke up feeling pretty rested and ready for another full day. So far that has just consisted of nursing the baby, reading blogs, cleaning up puppy messes, feeding the baby cereal and a couple other minor chores. The plan for today consists of a trip to the pool, taking care of our multitude of pets, washing dishes, doing laundry, more nursing and feeding of the baby of course, preparing homemade baby food batches, cooking something for dinner and possibly some outdoor chores too. I wonder what will actually get done, and I know there should be much more on my list to do. 😉 Obviously writing this blog made it on the list, even though I didn’t have much to say. I just felt like it had been too long since I had written.

I haven’t been keeping any kind of journal for writing about my baby’s growth or new experiences, so I thought having it documented here that his teeth are finally coming in would help me remember this occasion. My oldest had his first teeth pop out around 5 months, and my new little man is going to 8 months old in a few days. I am surprised it has taken so long for them to come in, but yet he is doing other things much sooner than I remember my first doing. I am shocked when my little guy starts climbing on the furniture, and practically pulling himself up and out of his crib. Last night he didn’t want to be in his crib when Mom and Dad had to get to bed, and his head kept popping up over the rail of his crib with his eyes just searching for someone to convince to pick him up. They were so tempting, but I could barely keep my eyes open to watch how cute his sad face was. Either it didn’t take long for him to settle down, or I was just too exhausted to hear him fussing and passed out.


Partially painted fence, and to the right is the area where we will be putting in a little pond.


Another view of the painting progress. We only worked on it for about 1 1/2 hours yesterday. The wood is rough and will get another coat.


Our fenced area (minus the gate) where our pool will be set up.

Our fenced area (minus the gate) where our pool will be set up.


Just a few of the eggs we have been getting. The girls started laying 5/15 and we can’t eat them at the rate they are producing. What can you do with a dozen a day?!