Well, the calendar says it's October 14th, but some of our poultry don't seem to realize that winter is right around the corner! We have a new mama duck with three cute little ducklings that are about 3 weeks old. Today, we saw a chicken parading her new babies around what we call "Goat Mountain". Goat Mountain is so named because of all the rock formations - great for jumping on and climbing - if you are a goat. :)
This afternoon, Paula went out to check on the critters and heard some peep, peep, peeping. Upon investigation she found 3 lost baby chicks, where did they come from? Another chicken must have hatched eggs and "lost" her chicks. Not really likely, but odder things have happened. When I got outside, I found another "lost" chick - teeny, tiny - could have only have been a day or so old. Where was the mama? The Mama on Goat Mountain still had her chicks and she was very protective and didn't want any interference. Paula and Sammey were setting up a brooder in the chicken trailer and I was hooking up the electricity - I thought we were done brooding chicks this year - when I found the mama and two more chicks. The surprise was that Mama was Duck - Duck. Duck - Duck is a six month old Muscovey Duck. Evidently Duck - Duck was broody and she wasn't particular about what species of eggs she sat on. Duck - Duck was raised with our meat chickens because she had gotten trampled as a duckling and needed some recovery time. So maybe that's why she hatched out 5 itty bitty chicks! We're leaving the chicks in the brooder - Duck - Duck evidently isn't a very good chicken Mama - leaving the chicks all over the barnyard. Hopefully, she will improve when she actually hatches out some ducklings.