Farm to Table Chicken Farming & Egg Production

 

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Ducks and Other Fowl

silver and pearl guinea fowl

Guinea fowl are a good bird to have for protection of your free ranging chicken flock. They are quite loud so do not keep them unless you live some distance from your neighbors. They will squawk loudly at hawks, crows and coyotes. A group of them will even confront a coyote who is roaming into their territory. They tend to roam and return to roost high in the trees near where they were raised. Most guinea fowl come in a gray color and are often called silver guineas. The pearl guineas, shown on the left side of this picture are more rare. The female guineas makea sound that sounds like "buckwheat" while the males squawk. The females have a small wattle while the males tend to be longer. We like the book "Gardening with Guineas" by Jeannette Ferguson which can be purchased from http://www.guineafowl.com/

pekin ducks waddle lined up

Pekin ducks are a good choice for the family farm for the primary reason that they do not fly. Ducks are useful for eliminating pests such as snails. They will also forage on weeds. You need to protect your yard and flowers or they will be eaten as well. A very short fence (we use a railroad tie border) will keep them out since they do not climb or fly. The ducks follow a leader and if for some reason the leader is killed, the other ducks will become confused. For instance, if your lead duck is hit by a car the rest of the flock may very well stand in the middle of the road. They seem to remember the last place the leader was and nothing else.

a bunch of pekin duck chicks

The ducks are very habitual and once trained to sleep in a coop, they will always return in the evening. They are slow moving and slow witted so expect to lose them over time to predators.


bobwhite quail with chicks in the wild

Bobwhite quail should usually be raised simply for the reintroduction into the wild where permitted. They fly and are quite wild so once they reach adulthood they will disappear into the surrounding areas. In unique instances, a small handful of quail that are hand raised will bond with their owners and live in the house. We had two California Quails that lived inside and would bring us worms as gifts. Unfortunately, these birds are wild and are not easily incubated into healthy maturity.

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