Our Homesteading Dream

Living, laughing, loving, and learning on our little suburban homestead.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Joys and Sorrows of Homesteading...

There are so many joys and wonders that we experience while living a homesteading lifestyle. Last summer, we saw the beauty of life in our baby goats. There was such joy and awe when we saw those little, tiny babies wobbling around just hours after birth. There was sorrow too when we saw the little buckling that didn't make it.

We have seen chicks hatch from their shells...and not all of them make it out.

This past weekend we felt a deep sorrow.

Most of our chickens were hatched and raised right here at home...many of them through incubators. There was one beautiful exception though. Suzanna.

We have a little silkie chicken named Sally. She's such a sweet little thing..and she was very determined to become a Mama. Nobody had told Sally that the eggs she was so stubbornly sitting on weren't fertile. After a couple of months, and many egg switches later..I caved in and slipped a couple of fertile eggs under her (these were supplied by a friend.) 3 weeks later, Sally had two beautiful fluffy chicks to mother. Alas, one turned out to be a little rooster and so was delivered to another home. The one chickie left was Sally's pride and joy.

For the past 8 months, Sally has mothered Suzanna..even when Suzanna quickly outgrew her Mama's little stature. It was the sweetest thing in the world to watch this full grown pullet trying to snuggle under her Mama's wing. :) What a joy it's been watching those two!

This past weekend came the sorrow. Suzanna lost the use of her legs. We think she may have had a stroke...and we had to put her down.

Sometimes the sorrows seem to overshadow the joys but just like in our every-day lives, we need to count our blessings.

We have ducklings that are about 3 weeks old. What a joy they are! And we have 34 eggs in the incubator...the excitement and thrill of new life is surely a joy.

I can only imagine the way our Creator feels...watching the ups and downs of our human lives...the joys and the sorrows.


prayzgod said...

Sad about the chicken, but at least you all had a lot of joy in watching her.

Question about duck eggs - The ducks and geese are laying eggs all around right now. We saw a duck egg the other day that had a small puncture and a crack, both looked like they came from an outside source. I could see through the puncture a little yellow - like the inside of an egg. The egg did not smell bad, so if the duckling died, it hasn't been too long ago.

Is there a defense? Can that little duck still be alive in that egg? I fear some child found it and thought it was an "Easter Egg." The kid's mama probably noticed it was a duck egg, and had the child put it back. I dunno. :-?

Homesteading Dream said...

Unfortunately no, once the egg is punctured from an outside source, there isn't a way for the baby to survive.

There could be several scenarios with a wild nest of eggs...the first being the one you suggested...that a child mistakenly picked it up and broke the shell.

Another scenario that is very common, is that an animal puntured the egg to eat the contents. (Snakes are very known for this one.)

Here's the releaving news...usually a bird will lay a clutch of eggs before deciding to sit on them. (And when they sit, they sit hard and barely budge until those babies have hatched.) In other words, more likely than not, this was the first egg in a clutch, hadn't been sat on yet and hadn't started developing. :)

prayzgod said...

Very interesting. Thank you for the information. :-)