We’ve arrived at our final Meet & Greet and this one includes more than half of the creatures residing at GiPop Acres. The poultry group is made up of chickens, ducks, and geese and they really are a lot of the activity around here. Seriously, it’s quite a challenge to drive, walk, pull a wagon, etc around here without having to dodge at least half a dozen chickens.
We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 hens and roosters of various breeds (Delawares, Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, etc) hanging around here to provide us with eggs and meat. The hens pretty much do their own thing, wandering around trying to find bugs and seeds to eat.
The roosters chase the hens, each other, and sometimes us. Our Delaware rooster (above) has gotten a reputation for being aggressive towards people. In fact, he once attacked GiGi so thoroughly that he got one of his spurs stuck in her leg. PopPop ran outside when he heard her yelling to find her standing in the yard with a rooster hanging from her hip. This crazy rooster has avoided the stew pot on so many occasions, though, because he is a very good protector for the hens. Unfortunately, some of the younger roosters started to pick on him so he stays pretty isolated from the flock these days… and the younger roosters now pick on the hens instead. So now all of the roosters are destined for the stew pot the next time we’re ready to butcher.
One (and only one) of our hens has a name and that is Priscilla. “Cilla” is a Polish Crested hen which is more of a show breed than a meat or laying breed. Although we don’t plan on showing her, GiGi loves her and we all find her pretty adorable.
Jon Sow (above) is our White Muscovy duck drake. Isn’t he handsome? He watches over his hens Blanche and Snow White (below). They are sweet little ducks and they pretty much just mind their own business, waddling back and forth from the pond to the coop.
Our Rouen and Pekin ducks (below) came to us from friends and neighbors. We got the Rouen (the brown one) and one of the Pekins (the white ones) from a family friend who also raises ducks and chickens but felt she had too many ducks for the setup she had at the time. The second Pekin came to us from a neighbor who had several. GiGi went down to the coop to feed one evening a couple of months ago and heard a duck quacking outside the door. She was confused because she thought all of our ducks were accounted for but when she opened the door, there was a little white duck outside. She knew our Pekin had already come in so she figured one of the neighbors’ ducks had wandered off. She let the little guy in coop since it was bitterly cold that night and called the neighbor to let them know we had their duck. When the neighbor called back the next moring, he confirmed it was their duck but said that she wouldn’t stay at their house because a predator had gotten the rest of her buddies. He asked GiGi if she would just keep her since she seemed to be happier with our other ducks. So that’s how we ended up with three bonus ducks 🙂 These three don’t have names, though, so we might have to think of some.
And now we come to the geese. Fred, Barney, and Betty (there used to be a Wilma but she got eaten by coyotes) are our French Toulouse geese. They are very beautiful and usually mind their own business… unless Betty is thinking about sitting on her eggs, that is. That’s when Barney and Fred become demon spawn.
You’d think that they’d chase off other animals but still let us come around to feed them. Well, you’d be wrong. The ganders don’t mind any number of Canadian geese, ducks, chickens, donkeys, alpaca, goats, and/or dogs wandering in and around their house. But if GiGi, PopPop, or I try to take them a scoop of corn at dinnertime, we have to take a feed can lid with us to use as a shield. Take a look at my leg below and you can see what happened the other day when I thought I could sneak in and out quickly to feed them without my shield. I was wearing jeans so I thought the ganders wouldn’t be able to get much skin in their beaks. I was so very wrong 😉
Right now we do have some ducklings and turkey poults but I will let them get to maturity before I talk about them more. The ducklings are doing great but the turkeys are trying to find new and different ways to die so I’m not sure how many (if any) we’ll see grow into adults.
So that’s the end of our Meet & Greet series and now you know who we know! I’m going to be putting together some other posts about the kinds of thinks we make and other things we do around here so look for those to come. Summer’s just around the corner so things are really starting to gear up here at GiPop Acres!