Still sick with a cold today but not as bad as yesterday.
Cold, rainy, and windy all day. The forecast says only 42 tonight but it barely hit 42 all day. Rain and cold forecast for tomorrow also, but then sunny weather ahead which means at least the cabin will be warm with all the windows - though not at night. Still no heat source till the chimney arrives. The girls have plugged in a space heater. We wear several layers of clothes. And drink hot tea.
The ducks don't mind the cold or rain and free-range happily all day. The guineas after last night in the trees in the rain headed to bed early in the coop. At least they have that much sense [a guinea, compared to a chicken, is an imbecile - the semi-domesticated ones at least. The wild slate-colored guineas that live around here seem rather intelligent and raised a batch of keets successfully even while the bobcat was killing right and left].
The ducks make a mess of their food and dump it everywhere. We started them on a homemade diet of mush consistency which they did well with [they like their food wet]. As they got older we switched to high-quality layer pellets which the chickens were getting. We're now trying to get away from kibble-style factory food and do a homemade diet for all the birds. We've put a lot of research into creating the right homemade diet for poultry. It will have to be adjusted seasonally. We just picked up the ingredients today at Tractor Supply and Walmart. A 40# bag of alfalfa pellets, a 50# bag of whole oats, a 50# bag of bird seed, 5# of lentils, 5# of peas, 8# of thistle seed . . . we already have flax seeds, cracked corn - here are the proportions we worked out:
Bird Seed Mix
Nyjer Thistle Seed