**Contains an image of a fox ravaged duck
It’s been a funny old month on the farm. Christmas has been and gone and in terms of farm life, everything carried on as usual.
Having the children off school meant any animal feeding
had help took three times longer but they do enjoy collecting the eggs, feeding the ducks and going checking on the Ryleand sheep who are still nearest the house.
It is Poultry Land where most of the changes have happened. I am still on a chicken ban. The farmer is not even entering into conversation about if or when the ban might be lifted.
Mr Fox has reared his ugly head a number of times this month unfortunately. The first casualties were my guinea fowl.
This is the last photo of them alive. No remains were found but they haven’t been seen again. They were wild things and roosted in trees so they must have hopped down at sunrise and the jowls of the fox were waiting. We had gone from five to three and then two but we are on zero now. I did like the sound they made and the irony has not been lost that someone told me their noises would deter foxes. That obviously didn’t happen.
Due to the hen ban, I am always on the look out for more ducks. I bought five ‘Aylesbury’ type birds off a man who would deliver them. He said they were mixed gender and the inverted commas above are due to the fact that when they arrived, they were not Aylesbury at all. The Aylesbury duck has a pink beak (think Jemima Puddleduck). There are definitely yellow. They were not expensive so I didn’t really mind and onto the pond they went. They had a lovely time splashing around having only had a paddling pool before.
I checked them throughout that day and the next but then on the Monday, my five ducks were down to three and I found the headless carcass of one at the side of the pond.
I hadn’t had chance to sex them all (and I am not very good at it anyway) but the remaining three definitely is one female because I saw her being mated by one of the others.
Duck house plans are afoot so I am hoping the remaining five large white ducks and my original quackers five will be ok. I know the remaining five definitely sleep on the pond because you can often find me (when the farmer comes in), driving round to the pond and using the main beam on my car to check them.
The most hilarious story to come from Poultry Land is-remember those tiny little ducks I bought from auction last year? I already told you that two were taken by buzzards. The remaining one, which is a good three times smaller than all the other ducks is now King Duck. How funny is that? Whether the big Aylesbury imposter will see to that, time will tell but, up until now, he is reigning his flock like a duck boss.
That is mostly it for January but Baby Bell, our vicious farm dog has now been introduced to most of the animals so I will leave you with some photos of her recent meetings.