Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When your wheelhouse is the land of snow,
The first time you leave it can be strange, it can be shocking

Not everybody drives a truck, not everybody drinks Dunkin Donuts
Not everybody owns a gun, wears a ball cap Boston B's and "dungarees."
Not everybody goes to church or watches every Patriots game
Not everybody knows the words to "Shipping up to Boston" or "Amazing Grace"

Oh, New England,
I hope you understand
When I miss my Massachusetts Home
And I been away way too long
I can't see this world unless I go
Outside my Northern Comfort Zone

I have walked the streets of DC, I have been to foreign lands
I know what it's like to talk and have nobody understand;)
I have seen the Roatan beach lit up on a New Years night
I have kissed a Maryland Boy underneath the Kentucky Lights
I know what it's like to meet the only one like me,
To take a good hard look around and be a minority

And I Miss my Massachusetts home
I can see the ways that I grown
I can't see this world unless I go
Outside my Northern Comfort Zone

I miss your American chop suey
Fireflies dancing in the night
you have fed me and saved me
Mom, Brian, Dad, Emmie and Jesus Christ,

I have since become a wife
And I just can't believe I'm a mom 
But I know the home I love
It will always miss me back<3

And I Miss my Massachusetts home
I can see the ways that I grown
I can't see this world unless I go
Outside my Northern Comfort Zone

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whats For Breakfast?

While cleaning out their pen, the crew took off into the kitchen.  They might be shy ducks, but they are very curious!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Little Duck That Could.........

The mystery of Jase the duck has been solved.  And by chance.

I happen to be shade blind.  Not actually color blind- but shade blind.  What does that mean?   I see colors and shades as everyone else does, no problem really.  Its just that my interpretation of them, is perhaps....blind?  There is nothing wrong with my eyes- just my view of certain colors.  

(This is not an actual disorder.  I don't believe there is such a thing as being "shade blind."  I do however, believe that I'm weird and I do a really good job at making up words, talking about things people have no idea what I'm talking about. And saying that certain colors are actually not as they appear.)

This happens to be a case of "shade blindness," followed up with a dose of opinion.

I kept looking at little Jase.

Oh no he's not growing.  He eats but not as much as the others.  He doesn't waddle?  Maybe thats because he's not as hefty as the others.  He's friendly and sweet- doesn't mind being held...this must mean he is a weak duckling...oh jeeze I hope he makes it:/

And now his feathers are coming in gray?!  

Something MUST be wrong.

But alas no.

I thought deeply about it (and that takes effort)
Could there have been a mix up at the hatchery?  

I remember last year when the ducks came to Tractor Supply they had a whole mess of them, and all mixed breeds.  There was even a sign as a disclaimer saying "we can't really guarantee what kind of duck you will get."

That caught my eye.  It was like a duck grab bag.


So this year when we got ours I went by what the Tractor Supply man had said- "That they got Pekings, and Mallards in."   A whole bunch of small fuzzy yellow ducks, and the mallards along side of them, fuzzy and black.


Well - thats not so the case Mr. Tractor Supply Man.

Our Jase the Duck is what is known as a runner duck.

They basically look like a walking wine bottle.  Tall skinny, long neck, no waddle, but instead a graceful quickstep, and not....well......fat.

So when Mr. Tractor Supply Man scooped up the yellow fuzzys, he happened to grab a runner duck as well.  Am I passing a blame on him? No way- the runner ducklings (although a bit smaller than the pekings) happen to be yellow and fuzzy as well.  Jase being the skinner of the dynasty bunch was how he or she got his or her name.   I couldn't call him Willie.  That would just be duck hypocrisy.

(Sorry Willie Robertson.......)

I couldn't be happier with the surprise!

And as far as the colored feathers coming in--- They are called "fawn."

Oh...not gray.


Not brown.

But "fawn."

When looking up fawn colored ducks- a whole slew of pictures open up.

When looking up gray duck.

Not so much.

Anywho-  heres some pics:)

Willie's butt, Jase, Phil and Si peeping in.  
Jase far right- you can see the "dark circles," and a bit of the coloring on his/her chest.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Ducks New Dynasty.

"Redneck rule number one, most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords."

The ducks outgrew there previous confinement, in a week and a half time, so it was time to "upgrade."....again.

If you don't have such thing as a mudroom- then I am sorry for you.  Everyone needs a place in their house where mud, leaves, dirt, smells, and poops of the animal variety are allowed for short periods of time, and on constant rotation.  If you have never heard of a mudroom before, than you must live where there are a plethora of StarBucks.

So let me edumacate.

Our mudroom has been used to house goats, dogs, and mud since we have lived here. All for short periods of time and on rotation.  The room is never cleaned other than being swept out- and since its called a mudroom you feel like you are doing it a justice by leaving it dirty.  The ducks have been doing this service by residing in there.

Since thy have outgrown the horse trough they were living in, I turned part of the mudroom into their new residence.  There is a plastic tarp on the floor- so water doesn't seep into the concrete floor- and shavings laid out.  The screen is there for me to be able to easily get in and out, and also cause there wasn't anything that particularly fit the width of the mudroom properly.

Our dogs are very much enjoying the view of the ducks.

So how are the ducks doing?

Great so far. Growing fat and sassy all except for the little skinny one Jase.   BUT- as the other pekings, and Si the mallard get their feathers in,  Jase is slow and steady to get his in.  Willie and Phil, have such beautiful, thick white feathers, all over them pushing out the little yellow downy fuzz.  They are going to be good looking ducks!  Si the mallard (appears to be) a female duck considering the feather color and arrangement coming in.........

Then there's Jase's feathers.

He's supposed to be a peking duck- fat..  But he is oh so small, and skinny.

And he is supposed to have bright white feathers coming in.......but he is getting gray feathers instead??

Could there have been a mix up at the hatchery?  I've searched online for what kind of duck our little Jase could be and I can't find anything.......

It will be a duck mystery.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Battle of The Bulge.

The Red Feathered Coat is coming! The Red Feathered Coat is coming!

All events of this story are told in a manner only a Bostonian can give.

Completely and utterly true in their own mind.

I heard the telltale scream of the rooster.  It was a scream I have heard many times now.

Sometimes its from the hens- but now that the boys have found their voices, it comes from them mostly.

The scream much like that of the villagers of Heorot as Grendel attacks.

The hawk was in site, and the feathered plebes of Glory Downs lives were in danger.

I ran outside onto my balcony in time to see the hawk, aptly named "Eye of Mordor," watching the citizens dashing too and fro, trying to avoid getting caught in its glare.  As I peered over the balcony,  I bit my lip in anticipation of what was to come into sight

There was the hawk.

In my back yard.



Licking its hawk lips.

Doing donuts in my backyard, while driving and IROC and flipping me the bird.

So I go.


Muster up my bravery.

Maybe I painted my face.

Maybe I don a quilt.

Maybe I take a few licks of cookie dough thats in the freezer.

And prepare for battle.

I head back out onto the balcony.   By now the roosters have gotten their ladies inside the coop and safe from the watchful eye-

But the enemy will not give up.. Its relentless ability to have this thing called patience is astounding me.

But I have this thing called an AK47.  and that is pretty relentless as well.

I cock the gun.

Chew the butt end of my cigarette.

Adjust my eye patch.

And fire.

Blow! Blow! Blow!

I fire at the hawk-

The rockets red glare!

The bombs bursting in air!

The hawk turns!

Looks at me!


It gave proof-

that the hawk was.......

still there.

I snapped too.

I didn't have a gun.-

 let alone an AK.

there was no eyepatch,

or quilt.

My face was not painted.

I wasn't smoking a cigarette.

There was no Heorot.


No donuts stamped into the back yard.


none of that.

Just a Mom.

In ill fitting skinny jeans.

Who just got out of the car on a return trip from the stores, with a pop song still stuck in her head.

Holding Walmart bags full of babyfood.

And a baby.

in her slippers that have holes in them.

poorly chucking rocks at a hawk so high up in the trees,  it was hard to see in her day old runny mascara.

........yah actually...

it was more like that.

Alot more like that.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

“If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”

Its getting a little harder to take their picture- but heres the best shot.  Willie in foreground, Jase tucked away in back, Si the obvious, and Phil in front.

Willie the duck has begun to quack!!!

Like in the previous duck post- I mentioned that these ducks grow at a Gremlin rate- seemingly shedding their downy peep feathers, and having their white- or in Si's case multi colored- feathers come on in.  Willie was the first (being the -ahem- fattest?) with the tail and wing feathers sprouting and Phil and Jase in a steady second and third behind him.  Si, even though is growing rapidly, still not quite the same way as the three Pekings.

I'm loving these guys.

In the past few weeks I have been getting up purposefully early.  Around six a.m. to watch the sunrise (and see God greet the day that way) watch some TV. (catch up on Project Runway) and drink my half of pot of coffee.  Our daughter has been bursting out teeth number 9, 10, 11, and 12, these past weeks too so sleep at night, or naptime during the day has been a bit broken.  Getting up at six, regardless of how tired I am, gives me a chance to have some time to be quiet, and wake up, and do the things previously mentioned.


The ducks hear me get up.

You KNOW you are an animal lover when you turn on the kitchen light, and your heart lights up as well, because there are four little duckies excited to see you.

Going in there I realize that they are probably just hungry (cause Gremlins eat ALOT after midnight), but feeding them and cleaning out their water,  is a nice way to feel "important,"  in these fluffy little yellow, waddling meatballs lives.

The other morning, while going in to see them- I heard a quack.

As a mother shrieks over hearing her baby's babble for the first time, I shrieked hearing Willie "quack."

I told you - I love animals.

Its a mild, quiet one, but none the less- a change in the "peep, peep."

I'm a proud Momma all around.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Ahead and So and and So Forth.

Lots got done this past weekend- which was beautiful!

It seemed so appropriate of nature to have a gorgeous spring weather on the weekend we turn clocks ahead.  All of nature seemed to appreciate it too- the nesting grackles came back to our bamboo patch (Emmie you remember them?)  the song birds were out in full force,  and the skunk cabbage of a nearby brook bursted out of the ground (cmon honeybees!!! They love skunk cabbage!)

So while nature was rejoicing in the birth of the season to be- we got to work.

Work looks a little different to me, so I have to give the physical credit to my husband.  He has the vision to see how these "pond boxes," should be, and the gumption to get it all done.  I have the gumption to cheer him on, and get outside, and try to help in some way, during our daughters naptime:)

This weekend:

Chicken coop got blasted out and cleaned.

Pond built out

Old pond removed and drained (big undertaking)

Pad built for coming farmstand- Yup that's right our farm stand is in order and being built by the best builders- the Amish!  Should be here around beginning of April.

Ducks got moved to a bigger pen

Beehives moved to new location (sans bees since none of the hives made it)  Hoping new location closer to chicken yard will help cut down on beetles and other hive intruders.

Hives painted with fresh paint (decided to keep them traditional white)

Felt good to really start to see this dream all come together.  And these next coming weeks as we approach our goal date of opening is going to be full of work and preparation.  What good work it is.  Aint nothing like getting your hands dirty with Gods good earth and be tired and sore (not from sitting on your butt all day) but because you used your muscles when you played with the little world in your backyard.

This week is focused on the bees.  I got to level off the pallets that the hives will be sitting on (trying pallets and cinder blocks as opposed to just having the hives on cinder blocks)  Today I will be ordering the bees at the shop down the street.  Gonna try my hand at managing the Italians instead of Carniolans this year.  And after getting some simple materials - build a swarm catcher.  Hey its worth a shot and swarm season is getting closer.  But I'll blog about that on a later entry.

Side sad note:   we lost one of our pullets yesterday.  I came home in time to hear the roos screaming.  As I ran out into the yard a hawk had dove thru the fishing line that blocks the top of the hen yard. She then walked into the fort knox part of the yard, grabbed a pullet dragged it out, and broke its neck.  The hawk was so ballsy at her killing that she sat there until I chased her off the hen with a pitchfork.  Yes I always know where "protection," is in my yard.  Hildago tried his best at saving his lady because his feathers were scattered around as well.  We have had this same hawk (which happens to be mutantly huge) harassing our hens for over a month now.  She seems to attack when I leave the house.  Very upset about it.  She was a sweet and good pullet, and one that was hand raised.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Across The Pond!!!

Heres David driving his steam engine.  As you can see the "pond," (which I call it a pond for lack of a better term) on the right all dug out and leveled off. (Thanks Andrew!) and the other "pond," which housed the plants and koi this past winter is gone!  David drained it- got the fish out- and then removed the liner to re-use for this new pond and the next!  The reason why he is leveling out the land where the wintering pond was,  is for the farm stand.  We are having millings delivered in the next few weeks and the will be placed where the David is in this pic.   Once smoothed out the farm stand will sit in this location with the new pond in its background.  What is this new pond being used for?  Pond plants.  Both for sale and for propogating.
A nice drink for all the hard work!  Thanks Christine and Andy!!!

Some Poultry Pages.

Heres the ducks new digs!  Basically its just a horse trough,  that they will probably outgrow within a week- yikes.  Jase the sweetest duckling is not progressing as much as the other gremlins though.....I'm hoping he/she is ok- eats and drink plenty, just noticeably smaller.

Hildago and Miss Muma.
Saturday=day off.  Beautiful weather, and we were working outside, so the girls were safe to have a run at the yard.   Luckily NO hawks were present and the boys did an AMAZING job at keeping everyone safe and together.
The coop was cleaned this weekend- a two day affair- cause shit gets heavy man.... (really chicken poop is wicked heaby and we blasted the coop with a hose and a leaf blower to give it its spring cleaning. Washed the floor new hay, restrung feed, cleaned nesting boxes, and even cleaned the roost.)  Here are the ladies hopping in and out of the nesting boxes while Mr. Bohanan surveys the situation.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Big Day Out.

I let the ducklings have a go at the mudroom today.   With their (ahem never to be used other than as a swimming pool) roasting pan, full of water, and the sun shining. They had a blast.  The first time I took them out,  early this a.m., they were a little unsure of themselves.  Hey- the mudroom can be a big scary world when your about the size of a gerbil, but on the second outing they did much better.

They gained confidence, but once they realized I was out of the room and not in eyesight- they chirped and chirped and chirped.  Rather loudly.  It was sweet to see that they had jumped up on the step and were looking for me. 

Here is Indie "keeping an eye on the situation."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy One Week Birthday, you lil Gremlins!

From left to right- Jase, Willie, Si and Phil.

Our little Duck Commanders have turned a week old (at least we've had them for a week now- give or take a few days on their real birthday) and they've basically quadrupled in size.

Much like the movie Gremlins, I believe they grow over night because I DO give them water and food past midnight.  They spend most of the night playing, and eating but have yet to reek havoc like the actual gremlins from 1984.  Despite them being up most of the night they are very quiet and only make the peeps when they see me in the morning.  A little bit of their personalities are starting to shine thru-

Jase is very sweet and will lay down in your hands when you hold it.  He/she will also start calling for me when he/she hears my voice but can't see me.

Willie, is more adventurous. Always the first in the water, the first to eat and the first to run.  The others seem to follow suit.

Phil, is quiet. and a sleepy one.

Si is seemingly "getting over," being shy and will always "stare," at you when you talk to him.

Loving these lil ducks!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
― C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Make Way For Ducklings."

                        "When you don't know what you're doing it's best to do it quickly" 

 Looks like we have our own little "duck dynasty," now.

When asked "Why did you get ducks?" My answer is. "Why not."

     My sister in law got me interested in ducks a couple years ago when she lived with us for a short time.  She talked about how awesome, smart, sweet and fun they were so it got me thinking about getting some in the future. We have chickens so whats a few extra feathers hanging around to enjoy?

Knowing that it chick week at Tractor Supply I started calling daily to see when the ducks had come in.  And yesterday was the day:)

So in the morning I went, and grabbed everything we needed for these "just born," little fluff balls. Some heat lamps, shavings, chick starter and a chick waterer.  I came home and while Reveille napped set up the new pad.

By the time David got home from work- we shot off to the store to snatch them up.

They were incredibly dear and immediately sweet.

  I talked it over with David before getting them- only wanting two, but when we went to Tractor Supply we ended up getting four--- I have to say it wasn't me that added two extra;)

Its fun to watch them answer, chirp, and seek out your voice.  Right now they are set up in a large tank that is in the mudroom attached to the kitchen.  I have left the door ope so they can see me all day.

Here is a video of their "first swim," today

(some might argue that they can't "swim," yet, but after much reading I sided with the argument that "allowing them to swim," will help encourage their oil glands that will coat and protect their feathers.  After the swim I dried them off and wrapped them up under their heat lamp.  They were happay,  happay,  happay.

......and yes- due to my hopeless obsession with Duck Dynasty- their names are appropriate.

Willie is the -ahem- bigger one.
Jase is tall and skinny
Phil has the darker circles under his eyes, thus making him the "older," duck
And Si- well he's the one that's "different."