Don't be a chicken!
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That's a big chicken!
Joy Stapleton's son and husband went to a farm auction to buy chicks, with the goal of having a few egg-laying hens. Over time, one started to crow, and the other just kept growing. "One day while outside I heard a turkey 'putt.' I looked around in hopes to see a wild turkey nearby, but I saw nothing," she says. "I heard it again, only this time it was at my feet. I looked to see the little 'chicken' looking up at me." Butterball grew to be a huge tom turkey and a favorite pet. The Stapletons have since added two more turkeys to their flock.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Snapper and friend
Snapper the Pekin duck had a rough encounter with a snapping turtle in the pond when he was just a few weeks old, Katiane Myers says, leaving him with two legs but only one foot. He gets around well, but isn't too proud to get a little help from Katiane's son. The duck also enjoys (or at least tolerates) going down the slide with the little guy, too!Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
"For our first foray into poultry, we didn't go the traditional chicken route," says Carolyn Evans-Dean. "Instead, we opted for Coturnix quail. Their reputed gentle nature coupled with a fast rate of maturity won us over." <br>Quail live in a cage similar to a rabbit hutch, eat very little feed, and begin to produce eggs at 6 weeks of age. Hens generally lay eggs every day until the shorter daylight of autumn causes them to take a break until spring. <br>Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Four years ago, Dee Lynch's 11-year-old son, Tyler, started a poultry project, which has taught him valuable life lessons. He raises chickens and ducks. The daily chores in keeping poultry not only build his work ethic and sense of responsibility, but also give him basic business experience, Dee says.
<br>His flock consists of eight Easter egg chickens, three Barred Rocks and three ducks. Each day he makes sure his poultry are well fed, watered, and protected from predators. He gathers the eggs, which have shells in a range of colors from blue to green and rosy beige, and cleans them. Eggs that don't become a weekend family breakfast are snapped up by a bevy of enthusiastic friends who strike a deal with Tyler to get a few dozen.<br>Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Are you my mom?
"For my son's science class experiment one year, we decided to do imprinting," says Becky Ramsey. "Is it true that a baby animal thinks the first thing it sees is actually its mother? Our ducks had been laying eggs, so we purchased an inexpensive incubator and took the eggs inside. My son was present when each of the eggs hatched and was the first to pick up the babies and show them how to eat and drink. It turned out it was true -- they thought he was their mother! They would follow my son all around the barnyard and ignore their biological parent. It was an awesome experiment and fun for the whole family!"Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Ducks for a cause
Alexandra Konefal enjoys having Pekin ducks on her Virginia acreage, but they're more than just pets. She volunteers at shelters and hospitals, and brings the ducks along. "A duck can bring on a huge smile from kids with cancer, to kids with no family," she says.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Sarah O'Hara and her husband bought four Bourbon Red turkey poults at a local swap meet, and kept two, Thomas and Essie, for breeding stock. "We chose Bourbon Reds because they were a heritage breed that were known for hardiness and full-flavor meat, even if they lack a little bit in full-grown size," she says.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Children's author Jan Brett raises chickens, but a number of quiet duck breeds like East indies and Mandarins call her place home as well. "None of them makes much noise, because my husband is a musician and doesn't want to hear them when he is practicing," she says.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Bonnie and Clyde the swans take their first baby, called a cygnet, for his first swim.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
This reader says her guinea is the best yard alarm ever. Guineas are known to be good "watchdogs," and they also eat bugs out of the grass. Good dog! Err ... bird!Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
A turkey with history
These Narrangunsett turkeys, a heritage variety, seem happy at their home on Serenity Heritage Turkey Farm. Other breeds raised on the farm include Royal Palm and Kentucky Bourbon Red.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
What will we be?
These fuzzy two week-old keets will grow up to be Guinea fowl!Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Mr. Bossy Pants
Not only does this duck think he's a chicken, but he also thinks he's their boss!Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
Caroline Freese had to bring her family's ducks inside when it got really cold in the winter.Date Published: April 13, 2012Date Updated: July 18, 2013
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