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From flock reject to mother-to-be

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Eggs are piling up on our shelves. Dozens of chicken eggs and duck eggs. More eggs than we can even sell at times. Goose eggs are piling up in the goose nest, but our goose has so far failed to pile herself on top of them for any longer than a couple hours. Hope was […]

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Backyard Composting

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During the growing season, 30% or more of landfill waste is organic yard refuse. Home composting of yard and garden trimmings eases landfill problems and “recycles” these organics into a valuable soil amendment. The benefits of using compost as a soil amendment include increasing soil tilth, fertility, water holding capacity, aeration and drainage.

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The Protester’s last hurrah

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With spring blossoming in Utah, the birds, like the rest of nature, are busy with the business of procreation. For our backyard flock, that means the ganders crush our lone goose with their insatiable instinctual affection and the drake mounts his hens. In one respect, that was somewhat problematic for us. As I mentioned in […]

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Parent trap

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I came home from work yesterday to find our goose and gander* wandering around the yard as if they didn’t have any obligations in the world except to eat fresh green spring grass. Except they do have obligations: five big, beautiful eggs tucked into the goose’s straw nest under our bedroom window. Oh, but she […]

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Big fat goose eggs!

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Last week our littlest goose started hanging out in a corner of the yard – literally a corner between a fence, a shed, two cinderblock bricks and a weed tree. There was hardly enough space for her to rest peacefully. We watched her turn in different directions and settle only to rise and turn again. […]

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Learning Things the Hard Way

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Spring’s arrival has brought big changes and weighty revelations to our backyard poultry ranch, not least of which is the snow melting. Bigger yet, though is this news: our goose is laying! I say “goose,”  because, contrary to what our previous beliefs of the gender distribution of our American buff goose flock – that is, […]

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Positive peeper body language

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What is Ben talking about? Aggressive peepers!? This very morning I crouched down to talk with my birds and the Protester came right up, peeping. He stood close enough and still enough to let me ruffle his breast feathers with my fingers. I stroked his wings, too. He likes the attention. The ladies are much […]

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Do peepers have emotions?

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The other day, as I walked to the peeper pen to fill up the waterfowl’s drinking and washing bucket with fresh water, the geese and ducks were out and about, and as I passed by them I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the Hisser–who earns her name everyday–was chasing after me, […]

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Cricket Walks Again

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I thought you peeper fans out there might want an update on Cricket/Bumblefoot’s condition. A quick recap: Ben and I came back from a week-long vacation to find our male duck limping badly. We found a swollen bubble on a finger of his webbed foot. Some interweb research told us it was bumblefoot, a potentially […]

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Water, Water Everywhere…

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Ever since this cold snap settled in a couple weeks ago, we’ve been struggling to find a reliable and relatively convenient way to provide the geese and ducks, and the chickens, with fresh water. It hasn’t been easy, but I think we’ve finally found a working solution that could be as close to ideal as […]

It’s a Duck in a Box!

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  There is a duck in our tub in our bathroom. He, maybe she, is soaking its feet in a dog bowl full of warm Epsom salt water. Like many moments with our bird friends this one is extremely entertaining and photo-worthy. But, newly named Bumblefoot is there for a very serious reason.

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Winter worries

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With winter closing in on us, snow falling and ice forming in the animals’ water bowl, I am gripped with a bird-owner’s seasonal anxiety: will they be okay out there in the cold? I worry about drafts in the coop, frozen feet and waddles, dampness and chilling temperatures. And with the new ducks and geese, […]

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Producktive ducks

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Today, I waited until noon before finally braving some steps out into our backyard. From inside, looking out through windows into the heavy sleet, the yard seemed less than inviting. But the ducks, geese and chickens didn’t seem to notice. They were going about their day as normal. Some stood eating from the food dispenser […]