This week passed in a flash. I've been keeping busy finishing up a few articles for publication this summer in some of my favorite magazines and also working on book number three (eeek!). I also attended my first Master Gardener class at the University of Maine. In my free time, I'll be working towards that certification - finally. It's been on my bucket list for awhile now and I'm excited to be finally taking the course.
|-Photo credit: Peppercreek Farmgirl-|
Soft-shelled eggs, lash eggs, "wind" or "fairy" eggs, wrinkled, misshapen or speckled eggs. I get asked fairly often (and sent all kinds of crazy photos via email) about eggshell issues - bumps, ridges, tiny spots, speckles, soft shells. Most are nothing to worry about.
Probably the biggest difference I've noticed between living in Maine and living in Virginia where we moved from, besides the snow and colder temperatures of course, is how much drier the air is. While I love that our bath towels dry much faster and I can (finally!) try my hand at baking macarons, I have discovered why Southern belles have such gorgeous dewy skin - the moisture in the air is their beauty secret.
We kicked off this past week with Valentine's Day - I got a pink snow shovel, so now I have a set! and gave my husband a pair of vintage wooden snow shoes - and followed that up with another snow storm that dumped a couple of inches on us and the temperatures plunged to -8 degrees. But by the end of the week, we were enjoying warm sunny days, so the ducks enjoyed time in their pool, and all the snow melted. Egg production is really picking up nicely with the longer days which is nice. Enjoy this peek at our week!
Wet feather is a condition most common in ducks not allowed regular access to a pool. It can also be caused by a poor diet, a lack of essential vitamins or external parasites. Likely if you provide your ducks regular bath time and a good-quality diet, you won't encounter wet feather in your flock, but it's always good to be aware of the condition and how to treat it.
This week brought us our first 'real' winter temperatures with the mercury not budging above 20 degrees for days on end, and wind chills well below freezing. I did find one frozen duck egg that one of the girls laid outside in the snow in the run, but other than that, everyone's doing just fine. The ducks seem to not mind the snow, but the chickens have been hibernating in the coop for the most part. With the slightly longer days, laying has even picked up a bit thought. Enjoy this peek at our snowy week!
A healthy chicken will normally have a bright, rosy red comb. The comb is an external indicator of chicken health, overall condition and most importantly her circulation. By keeping an eye on your flock's combs, you can often be alerted to internal issues going on.
This week we went from winter to spring and then right back to winter all in the span of seven days! We actually saw the grass again for a few days, the temperatures soared above fifty degrees, the ducks got some pool time, and then winter came back with a vengeance and dumped 10 inches of snow on us! Have I mentioned how much we love Maine? Enjoy this peek at our week!
I built my first two coops myself. And they were fine. Even sort of cute actually. They kept our chickens safe at night and provided them a nice place to lay their eggs. But when we moved to Maine last summer, I decided that building another coop myself just wasn't in the cards.