After months of what appeared to be decent fence training, two neighbor dogs banded together and rushed our barn to “play” with our last two ducks. The Khaki did not survive this playtime and the Cayuga hurt a wing and may not survive long enough to be killed and parted out for supper tomorrow.
We did not have the best luck with ducks, clearly.
As I’ve probably already noted, we just didn’t really think about the prep that poultry needs for safety. It isn’t a lot of work initially, but it’s a different kind of work than we were expecting. Lining a fence with hardware cloth, for example, wasn’t really on the list, but by all accounts it’s five extra minutes and a lot of saved poultry.
It’s certainly humbling to see how despite growing up “with animals” for much of my childhood, I’m still pretty inexperienced at the basic nuts and bolts of homesteading. Mostly what is missing is a mindset of ordering the environment to meet your goals first instead of ordering the environment based on minimums of cost or time. I mean, if we were getting half our food from the old homestead, losing those ducks would be a pretty big deal, and since our goal is to work towards getting foods we like to eat easier, we’ll have to plan better. Books, the internets and talking to local people with animals are good, but we really haven’t done enough plotting out exactly how to arrange the land we already have to meet our goals.
So that’s the approach we will aim for this coming year.