How to Integrate Ducks with Chickens

If you’ve been following me here, on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, then you know that I recently had a little duck that was sick. Her name was Pringles.

Pringles was such a special little duck! I say “was” because unfortunately, she passed away the day after my family arrived in Toronto to care for my terminally ill mother-in-law. I knew she would likely die soon since she was old for a duck, but it was hard never-the-less. You can hear the full story here on my last Bawk Talk LIVE show:

We’ve been through a lot of changes lately here in Chickenlandia, but when one thing ends there will always be a new beginning. Enter my two newest Chickenlandia members, Angry Marshmallow and Mr. Robot!

New Call Ducks!

If you want to know why the little white one is called Angry Marshmallow, then check out this hilarious photo from right after I rescued her. She looks ANGERY! lol

Angry duck is angry!

As with all transitions, there’s a way to do it to make it the easiest for everyone. In this week’s Welcome to Chickenlandia video, I show step by step what I do to integrate new ducks into my flock. Since ducks don’t have as extreme a pecking order instinct as chickens, it’s fairly easy. But you definitely need to keep an eye on them and it works best if your chickens are already used to ducks in the flock.

Hahaha an oldie but a goodie from my flock.

So, without further ado, here’s my new educational video on how to integrate ducks with chickens. As always, be sure to do lots of research to find out if ducks are right for your flock. And make sure to watch them closely those first few days to make sure there’s no bullying.

Do you have ducks with your chickens? Would you like too? Let me know in the comments!

Welcome Duckles the Duck!

Welp, the kids’ birthdays are over (they’re both in October) and Halloween is finally done. Even though I’m so happy things have slowed down, I confess to being a little bored this week. Boredom is a dangerous state for those who suffer from chronic #BirdMathFlu such as I. A couple days ago, my sister (The Pippa of Chickenlandia) and I got to talking about ducks and guess what I went out and did? Yup, I got another duck. Please welcome Duckles the Duck to Chickenlandia!

The day Duckles came home to Chickenlandia.

I actually did put some serious thought into whether I should add a new duck to Chickenlandia. This past Spring was the worst for us in terms of duck luck. I had two ducklings die in transit to me, one die in the brooder, and two juveniles die suddenly of an unknown illness. It was just awful. You can see them toward the end of this video. They were both healthy and happy, then tragically passed away just a few days later.

Sweet Rosalina at the vet on the day she died.

So, you can imagine I had some moments where I thought no more ducks, ever. But here we are a few months later and I’m ready to try again! I feel confident that Duckles will do well here. Take a look at what she accomplished her first morning in Chickenlandia:

Big o’ duck egg! The best kind.

Since we have some chicken egg intolerances in our home, Duckles is going to serve a great purpose as well as being a wonderful pet. In case you didn’t know, duck eggs makes the absolute best pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked delights. They’re also delicious how I like them, in an omelette covered with sheep feta. I just love eating them and so does my family.

So, of course, I vlogged all about my trip to go get Duckles and her arrival in Chickenlandia. You can see where she lived before, and how I’m integrating her into my flock. I may have also taken some creative license to make it more fun LOL. To watch the video, click the play button below!

Have you had any new arrivals in your flock lately? Let me know in the comments!

Chickenlandia Stories: Animal Sanctuary

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit an animal sanctuary that is very close to my heart. Some of you that have been following me on Facebook for a while might remember the tragic loss of one of my friends a couple of years ago. What I didn’t say at the time was that her family contacted me to help them find homes for her beloved chickens and sheep. Enter Pasado’s Safe Haven.

Not only did this organization help me find one home for her whole flock of chickens, they also took in her entire herd of sheep, which was no easy task. Her sheep were terrified and didn’t want to go into truck. I’m sure they were confused and missed their mama. That was a hard day. Here’s a photo my friend shared with me before tragedy struck her life.

My friend died in a way that made me question the good of humanity. But when I saw the lengths that the people from Pasado’s Safe Haven went to to help her animals, my faith was restored. That’s why I was so delighted to tour their facility. I hope you’ll take the time to watch the third episode of Chickenlandia’s new series on YouTube, Chickenlandia Stories: Animal Sanctuary. You can do so by clicking the play button below. <3

For more info on Pasado’s Safe Haven or to make a donation: pasadossafehaven.org

To learn more about the tragic story of my friend and her husband click here.

Find me on Facebook: Welcome to Chickenlandia on Facebook

There’s Poop in my Coop!

Have you ever looked at someone else’s life and thought it was perfect? Maybe you’ve even felt a little bad about your own life as a result. I think we’ve all felt this way at one point or another. That’s why it’s about to get real in Chickenlandia. We need to talk about the nitty gritty of chicken keeping (and life)! Yup, you guessed it: we need to talk about POOP and how everyone deals with it.

I’ve been in this chicken game a while, so I’ve spent a lot of time learning from the big time chicken experts. Of course, I love their photos on Instagram and their books about the joys of chicken keeping. But I always feel there’s something missing in their images. I’m always wondering, where’s the POOP?

I want people to see the real me and to know that in chicken keeping as well as in life, poop happens. Cleaning and dealing with poop is just part of the territory. I’ve got some nice products that I use along with good husbandry to keep things under control. And for dealing with life’s poopy moments? Well, that’s why I have chickens: to give me perspective. Watch my latest YouTube video to find out more!

And just remember that even though other people’s lives look perfect, EVERY coop has poop. <3

 

Fermenting Feed with My Mom and The Story of Chickenlandia

I love fermenting feed for my chickens. I love it so much, I can’t imagine how it could be more fun. That is, until my mom joined me!

I decided to make a demo video about fermenting feed with my mom. After we sat down and went through the demo, we got to talking about something people ask me about a lot. Just how did Chickenlandia get it’s name?

Rooster Boy George

Most people assume I named it after a certain television show, but that’s actually not the case. The first glimpse of Chickenlandia was actually born many years ago, when my parents immigrated from Guatemala to a small Texas suburb. We lived in a great community, but as a child, I often felt alienated from my peers, and even my own family. Can you relate? I’m sure you can, because feeling lonely or different is another common denominator among human kind. For more on this, you can check out my latest YouTube video:

If only there were a place where everyone fit in, regardless of where they’re from, what they look like, or what language they speak! Fast-forward a few decades, as I sat among my first flock of chickens and felt such peace among them. The soft clucks and the pecking and scratching gave me such a tranquil feeling, and almost every chicken-person I’ve met has told me they felt the same way among their flock. I realized that chicken keepers all over the world, from all walks of life had this commonality. I thought to myself, THIS is where I belong. This is where everyone belongs. Thus, Chickenlandia was born.

If you only know one thing about Chickenlandia, I want it to be that you are welcome here.

Every. Single. One of you.

Coffee, Chickens, and Humans!

How many of you go to your chicken yard in the morning with coffee in hand? I’m betting there’s a lot. In fact, I bet there’s millions of people all over the world opening their chicken coops in the wee hours of the morning, listening to the soft clucking, all while sipping one of the world’s favorite morning drinks. Chickens and coffee. The world agrees it is So. Much. Yes.

I know some of you have seen my TEDX talk at Western Washington University called “I Dream of Chickens”. If you haven’t, you can check it out by clicking here. Spoiler alert: I spend a lot of time talking about how chickens are one of humankind’s common denominators. Guess what another one is? You guessed it! COFFEE.

That’s why I was so happy when a new chicken friend invited me to visit her family’s coffee roasting business, Barnyard Coffee. With just a little drive up to Blaine, WA, I got to meet some new members in a local chicken group called Whatcom Chicken Wonks, tour the coop and roasting room, plus give a presentation about fermenting feed. It was a blast! Not only did I leave with some delicious coffee, but I also made some new friends (human, cat, and chicken!).

I hope you like my first installment of Chickenlandia’s new series: Chickenlandia Stories. Just click below to check it out!

Coop Confetti!

I arrived home from an event last week to find a mysterious package on Chickenlandia’s doorstep. Okay, so it wasn’t THAT mysterious; I knew the folks at Scratch and Peck Feeds had sent me something, but when I saw the shipping notification and inquired about it, no one would tell me what it was! I was only told it was a “surprise”. Of course the kids and I had to open it right away. Check out the “unboxing” video on our new YouTube Channel, or click the play button below (we also introduce a chicken adorably named by my four-year-old):

So, what exactly is this new product from Scratch and Peck? Well, it’s called Coop Confetti which is totally the best name ever and I LOVE it. Seriously, I’m not just saying that because I’m an ambassador for them. I genuinely love their products and this one is no exception. Scratch and Peck teamed up with Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily to create it, so I’m not surprised how fab it is. It’s a mix of lavender, peppermint, rose and other calming aromatic herbs. I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say that all those things smell a lot better than my coop on most days LOL.

The instructions say to sprinkle it in the nesting boxes and on the coop floor as needed. So far, I’ve been using a little every day and it really helps to keep the coop smelling clean and fresh. I have to say I think my chooks love it too. 😉

So there you have it, Chickenlandia’s mysterious package revealed! Look for it at your local farm store or go to scratchandpeck.com to grab some for yourself.

What about you? Do you have a favorite way to freshen up your coop? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

“Dice” the Duckling!

Thought you would enjoy a quick update on Chickenlandia’s adorable new addition, “Dice” (this is what happens when you let a four-year-old name something LOL). Enjoy this cute video on Chickenlandia’s YouTube Channel!

Do you have any new additions in your home? Share in the comments!

#DuckMath Surprise at our Local Farm Store!

Is there anything more fun than a trip to the local farm store? The Little Prince of Chickenlandia, our friend Audrey, and yours truly recently visited Downtown Bellingham’s Hohl Seed and Feed and got a special surprise for Chickenlandia! You can watch the whole story here (it’s super cute so I highly recommend you watch!):

Some of you may remember way back when The First Man and I were part owners of a farm store in Lynden, WA. It was both a fun time and a challenging time, but I will be forever grateful for the experience. Especially since Chickenlandia was born there!

Welcome to Chickenlandia

One of the things that was really hard for me in the farm store business was the selling of small animals. I’m very conflicted about it, even when it comes to baby chicks (more on this later). I have to be honest and say that after we left the business I vowed never to do that again. It was too hard, and I really feel like the animals got the short end of the stick. This is one reason why I believe in rescue. Here’s a not-so-great pic of our four rescue dogs!

Rescue dogs of Chickenlandia

My friend Kelcie was an employee at our store and is now the manager of Hohl Feed and Seed (you can see her in my latest vlog). She and I are very like minded in our care for animals, which is one of the reasons I love Hohl’s so much. I know the animals there are cared for extremely well, and that they do their best to educate people on proper care. I also know that if there is a sick or injured animal, it WILL be cared for by expert hands. In fact, I’ll be telling the story about how Kelcie saved a little chick with splayed leg soon.

Welcome To Chickenlandia

Hohl’s did sponsor this video and blog post, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I would not promote a business I didn’t believe in whole-heartedly. I’m so proud of Bellingham’s local farm store! What about you? Do you have a local store you love? Give them a shout out in the comments.

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