We found Milt a farm! Our drake, or male duck, is now spreading his love among a large flock of ladies living on a farm just south of Eugene. Whew! We were not looking forward to having him for dinner.

I think Bess, Pepper, Gladys and Ramona are enjoying the peace and quiet. We are getting a steady supply of eggs already from both Gladys (green eggs) and her daughter Ramona (brown eggs). We are in the process of trying to teach these girls where to lay, as they seem prone to laying just anyway – like right in the middle of the lawn. Some days they lay in the duck house and other days it’s an Easter Egg hunt.

In a new homestead mystery, our Rhode Island Red chicken Florence stopped laying. We gave it a few weeks, thinking she just needed a break, but it has now been a month of no eggs from her. I checked her over carefully for signs of pests, like mites. I carefully felt her body to make sure there was no egg binding, which is when an egg essentially gets trapped inside her.

She seems completely healthy. The only thing that has changed has been their feed. Since the ducks and chickens were eating from each other’s feeders, we switched to a feed blend safe for both ducks and chickens. We talked to our local feed store this weekend and picked up a new blend, slightly higher in protein, so we’ll give it a shot and see how it goes. We definitely have no shortage of eggs right now, but we want the animals to be getting all the nutrients they need.

With the departure of Milt, it feels like things are back to “normal” and we can work on these other little homestead mysteries. The egg bowl is overflowing and the garden is producing more than we can eat. All feels right again around here.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson