Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I hadn't even thought of the total till Mr. T brought it up while we were doing yard work over the weekend. We were taking a break and he sat next to me and said " you know we have like 40 birds out there, right" as he nodded his head to the pasture. I responded with a "...well yeah, but we are only gonna keep 4 geese, and like 16 ducks, so really there are only like 20 out there. The rest will be dinner..." I wasn't about to tell him that his "like 40" is actually 45.
In the 1 and 1/2 acre pasture they really don't look like that many, at least to me, there is still sooooo much space. And the 10 Muscovy ducklings are only 6 weeks old so they are still pretty little, they don't even count. Everyone is grazing and our feed costs are currently NOTHING... I can find a million ways to rationalize having so many birds.
Ok lets get real. Here's the breakdown. 20, yes 20 Ancona ducks, 16 Muscovy ducks, 5 American Buff goslings, and 4 Embden Goslings. Of the Ancona we will keep probably 10 or so, maybe as little as 6. I haven't decided yet and the Muscovy we will only keep the girls of the recent hatch, I think it will end up around 8 muscovy total. And I think we only have one American Buff girl, but if we happen to have two we will keep 4 and have two breeding pair. That makes 22, which is still alot, but much more acceptable. All the others, all 23, will be sent to freezer camp, which is their intended purpose anyway. I still think it is funny that we have 45.
If we hadn't lost two goslings to failure to thrive, 1 duckling to the fox, had 3 culls this spring with sick ducks and then the countless ducklings that either didn't live through hatch or mysteriously disappeared when Godzilla was too close, we could easily have 60+ birds right now. Thankfully I did not let every broody sit on every clutch they wanted, I would easily be at the 100+ mark. So really 45 birds isn't so bad...as long as we aren't feeding them anyway.