Written by: Amanda B.
HELLO! I hope this wonderful season has been blessing everyone’s family and friends with food from gardens and bugs for your flock! I am going to switch it up today! I wanted to talk to you about my tiny farm.
My tiny farm has been growing lately. We went from 30+ chickens and a couple ducks and turkeys, to well…a lot more birds. Our female duck (her name is Mama) and her husband (Shadow) have hatched us 11 out of the 13 baby ducklings. Our neighbors’ ducks went wild so we ended up taking in 20 more ducklings and currently Mama is on a new clutch of 13 eggs. Her favorite number is 13, bad luck to some, but her favorite and who am I to tell her how many babies she can have. Also, for those who are new to the duck world clutch means nest of eggs for ducks. I actually just learned this and saying it does bring a smirk to my face, because the more flock lingo I learn, the cooler I feel. Right? Anyone else feel this way when you learn a new word or just want to sound like you know what you’re talking about? No shame here, we all feel this in some way. Needless to say, we are now up to 31 ducks and 13 eggs (all fertile and hopefully hatch! Eeeeee!)
Raising a flock is not always so welcoming though. With the beautiful comes the ugly. And ladies and gentlemen, I am an ugly crier and when I lose one of my flock it breaks my heart and my husband gets to see the ugly cry sometimes. I wrote a blog called Let’s Talk Chicken. In it I expressed in short, my fear of turkeys and how I have been using the challenge to bond with them. We had two, a white and bronze hen. Well, we lost my beautiful white jenny to heat stroke and organ failure. She was a Broad-Breasted White turkey and their DNA has been basically genetically changed due to the past of adding hormones into the eggs and into the chicks. Luckily, they chose to stop this due to the effect it was having on us humans and our flocks. My jenny’s name was Precious because she was simply that. She made me change my whole perspective on turkeys. 3 years ago, we had a beautiful heritage black hen named Molly. Molly was stunning, we brushed her feathers daily and took very good care of her. After a year though, she started leaving the house for days and one day while walking my 2 year old to the swing, she thought it was okay to attack us. She was out of control and nothing like herself. Needless to say, she made me officially terrified of turkeys. To lose Precious was hard and now Bronzey is alone. Which brings us to 30+ Chickens, 40+ Ducks and 1 turkey and 3 new friends.
We all have been there when the ticks have been out of control and this year is seriously awful! So, I decided it was time to bring in the loudest, bossiest, most tick-eating machines I have known, Guinea Fowl. PLUS, THEY ARE GREAT COMPANY FOR TURKEYS! We used to have 13 and when Covid hit we butchered some and others we sold for decent money. I ended up selling them all though and this year I can’t stand the amount of ticks I have seen. One guinea fowl hen will eat up to 400 ticks PER DAY! EVERY DAY!!! Our neighbor, Kay, has a beautiful farm and has so many she was kind enough to sell me 3. I tried to get girls because I so badly want babies. I definitely will not be butchering them again (don’t get me wrong, they tasted amazing! Light and dark meat with bright yellow fat.. I just need them now more than ever for the ticks!). They will choose bugs over food. If you have a bug issue whether it be boxelder, crickets, ticks, fleas or ants, they get the job done. We have almost 11 acres. I would technically want one guinea fowl per 2 acres, so roughly 5. I chose 3, and hopefully we will get lots of babies. Also, they can cross breed with chickens. Beautiful creatures that they create. Check some pictures out next time your bored and online.
4 years ago, our tiny farm had 4 goats, 2 Jersey cows, 1 piggy and many, many rabbits. I miss these animals a lot! We chose to camp more this year while the kids were smaller and more into it. So, these things will come.
We have a garden for our family, a garden for our flock and we still do have some bunnies. This spring we were blessed with 8 mixed bunnies. If you raise rabbits, the best thing to do is let your yard go. When the grass and weeds get high, cut it down and feed it to the rabbits! Pasture-raised meat is the best meat. We supplement ours with Heinold rabbit feed and alfalfa cubes. Having the land to raise them on though is so wonderful. God gives us so much to use and sometimes we feel we have to spend, spend, spend, when nature has a lot for us and God is just waiting for us to see it.
My tiny farm is growing and each year we will be expanding. I have dreams of raising some more livestock, but for now we have so much to be grateful for.
Our Tiny Farm
· 11 rabbits
· 30+ chickens
· 40+ ducks (13 being eggs)
· 5 beautiful barn cats
· 1 13yr old leopard gecko
· 2 fun loving dogs (Olde English Bulldog and a Dachshund mix)
· 2 gardens
I can’t wait to share my tiny farm news with you and have you be a part of our growth! I’m praying for a chance to have honey bees, livestock and more!