Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What I've Learned In 2016

I learned a lot of useful things in 2016. Here a few.

Shipping hatching eggs
I've found out that, for me, having eggs shipped is not a good idea. 
This spring I tried hatching Ancona ducklings and Buff Orpington chicks. I got a dozen Ancona eggs from somewhere is OK, and 6 more from a place in North Carolina. The ones from OK hatched at a rate of about 75%, but only two hatched out the six from North Carolina, though all the eggs had ducklings in them. At the same time, I had got 18 Buff eggs. Out of those, I got 6 chicks, I think. The women sent me another dozen, and I think I got 7 out of those ones. Lest you think that it was an incubator error, in both of those hatches, my own duck and chicken eggs hatched at a rate of about 90%. This fall, I won an auction for some really good priced Ancona eggs from Maine. The women hatches eggs every 2 weeks, and has had a fertility rate of 100%. She sent me nine eggs, and when candling them, I saw that two had damaged air cells. The air should be stationary at the top of the egg when you move it, but on these two eggs, the air cell floated as I rotated the egg. This is usually a sign that the box was thrown, dropped, or otherwise roughly handled while in transit. The eggs were packed the same way that the ones earlier this year were, so I don't think it was any fault of the seller. I put them in the incubator anyway, because I have heard of them hatching even when damaged. After a week, I candled them again, and noticed that one was cracked, and out of the nine eggs, there were only two embryos. At that time I put in 26 of my own chicken eggs. In this hatch, I got 1 duckling and 22 chicks.
So to recap:
Shipped duck eggs-44% hatching rate
Shipped chicken eggs-43%
Homegrown duck eggs-about 90%
Homegrown chicken eggs-about 90%

The other aspect that I didn't consider, is the hens to drakes/roosters ratio. It wasn't good. Out of 11 Ancona ducklings, I got 4 hens and 7 drakes. Out of 13 Buff Orpington chicks, I got 4 hens also. So though the eggs are cheaper, after paying for shipping and then butchering all the males, the hens turn out to be about twice as much as I could have paid for them at Coastal. I kinda had to do eggs with the Anconas because most hatcheries don't have them and, consequently, neither does Coastal. And shipping on a box of ducklings costs about $40, and if they are sexed as hens, the ducklings themselves cost around $12 a piece. Oh well, with my own Buff eggs that I just hatched, and buying some more ducklings from a semi local person in November, I got my flock started pretty good now, so hopefully I won't have to ship eggs ever again. 

Being more open
    I've found out that it's not a shameful thing to be open and share your feelings and emotions, ask theological questions, and start deep discussions. So many people(read, everyone) put on a false front, to appear better or different to other people, instead of just being who they really are. Yesterday's quote on the daily calendar was, "Be yourself. Who is better qualified?" And it's so true. Just open up and LIVE, not worrying what others will think. Stop pulling yourself into your shell like a turtle, whenever other people are around. You're not living your life to please other people(hopefully), but to please God. For myself, I'm ashamed to say, that if other people weren't always watching, I might be a very wicked and evil person indeed. Or rather, even more wicked and evil than I already am.
    I'm not saying that you should do whatever you want, because there is a line.  We're fallen human beings, and the human mind loves evil and hates God. A lot of people nowadays say, "Follow your heart." I say, " The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) When I say live, I'm referring to the innocent things in life that you are scared of doing lest people think you are "strange," "immature," or(horrors) what they will SAY! Like training and playing with my dogs in public-that's a big one for me.
     When you're feeling down, or happy for that matter, talk about it. When you have questions, ask them, no matter what you think people will think of you. I've not, that I can recall, had a bad reaction to a question that I've asked, unless it was concerning the "askee's" personal life. Then they tell me it's none of my business. The closest I've come is when I asked Dad how much vodka you'd have to drink before you got drunk(long story concerning taking homeopathic tinctures.) He was pretty shocked, understandably, but then answered that he didn't really know.
   I don't know how to express it I guess. I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say.

I've found out several things about CAE this year. 
#1 There is still a lot that isn't known about it. 
#2 It's not as scary as I always thought it'd be. 
#3 Never buy a goat without seeing the papers that show that the goat is negative. 
#4 It's a good idea to make sure the whole herd is negative, not just the goat for sale.
#5 Never feed raw milk from another farm to your kids.

It seems like I had more lessons to share, but I can't think of them.

On to the next subject-the first two does are due on February 24th and 25th.

FF Marion is looking good. It depends how Marion's udder turns out, but her buckling(s) will probably be for sale. It/they will be bottle fed, and if they are picked up before three weeks of age, I'll let them go for a really good price.

Flicka's sides are bigger than Marion's but for some reason it doesn't really show on camera. I don't know if it's her color or what. 

Here's from above-maybe you can see better.

No comments:

Post a Comment