Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Its almost MARCH!!!

It has been a seasonal "roller coaster" here at K&S Waterfowl Farm. With some days including sunshine, rain and snow all in the same day. We aren't sure how the birds can tell what season they are in? Up until today (Feb. 28) we have had all of the Muscovy & Welsh Harlequins in the same large pen together and the Calls & East Indies have been together simply because it means hauling fewer buckets when the water hoses are frozen. Thankfully we were blessed with temperatures in the 60's today so while we were outside, we cleaned out dog houses and added fresh shavings to them and separated the Muscovy ducks back into the breeding pen they were in last year and the Welsh Harlequins and the single Tufted Roman female now have the run of the bigger pen again. We still haven't seen any eggs from the ducks as of yet, but there has been a lot of breeding activity going on when we turn them loose to free-range or whenever you give them fresh water in the their water pans. :) Hopefully this is a sign that we can expect eggs soon!

The d'Uccles have been laying on and off for the past few weeks but we haven't tried to set any of their eggs yet because we haven't been able to collect more than and couple at a time yet. We will probably set a batch of them in the next couple of weeks if they ducks decide to give us a few too.

Yesterday we drove to the out-skirts of Danville and picked up a pair of White Silkies to add to the Showgirl breeding program. I wasn't convinced any of our young Showgirls from last year were males and we only had the females from the year before. After bringing home a new white Male, I through them out in one of our "puppy play yards" so they could enjoy some sunshine only to immediately have a cock-fight take place between one of the black Showgirls and the new white male. (WELL!!! turns out, we have a black Showgirl male...I don't know why I didn't notice him before since it looks pretty obvious now!) We don't like to breed Showgirl x Showgirl anyway, so it turns out to be a good thing. We put the new pair with the Showgirls so hopefully we should have some of those eggs soon, and now hopefully we will have fertility!

There is a "side duck" project going on this year, it involves breeding for a color pattern. I don't have any great plans to show these birds, I am mainly looking to increase the number of broody ducks we keep around here because we seem to have the best results hatching Calls & East Indies under duck broodies. I just happened to be in the right place to find birds of this variety and plan to make a couple of crosses to my old line of Snowy Mallards to hopefully make "prettier yard ducks".

I am down to two breeder pairs of Roller pigeons in the breeder box. (An un-named son :) might have been responsible for opening the door one day and letting several of the breeders go...) But two pairs are together and sitting on eggs. I've so far, managed to band on bird for 2016. He's a really pretty Lavendar, but I haven't had the chance to turn any birds loose to fly because the minute I do, three different hawks show up and enjoy the "buffet". Hopefully with warmer weather and longer days soon, we will be able to fly them while the hawks are off in another part of the neighborhood.

Our County's Ag-Day is fast approaching here in March and as always we already have plans to set-up our usual "Poultry Petting Zoo" where we will be able to have children and adults of all ages visit with us and the birds and be able to actually touch them, hold them and ask questions. ITS A GREAT OPPURTUNITY for us as breeders and even more fun to see how people react to ducks, chickens and the other birds we take each year. We too often take for granted, that not everyone has poultry in their back yard!

In the flower beds, we are starting to show signs of new life popping out of the soil. Today we discovered the tips of the tulips starting to push their way through, and the daffodils and what few crocus we still have are putting out leaves. The Lenten Roses beside the porch are just about ready to bloom...which is right on time for them considering Easter is early this year. I need to get out side and spend some time cleaning the rest of the leaves and debris away from the Iris beds...I can see green shoots coming up but I am skeptical they will get frozen off again like they did last year. The children are making plans about what they want to plant in their raised bed gardens here soon, and we have some plans to do something special this season. We hope to be able to participate in our local Farmer's Market, but we are still working on those details. If it happens, we will be thrilled, if not there's always next year.


Monday, September 7, 2015

The Dogs...

The K&S dog "flock" :) 
(and reference pictures of their parents)

Every "farm" needs a dog! And like the potato chip commercial says "I bet you can't stop with one"... 
So here are some pictures of the "dog flock" at K&S and FQF Farm. 


Keeney's Hopalong Kassidy

"Kassidy"
Black Abstract-Parti
PR18477501


Her Parents
 (For reference, we do not own these dogs)




Tuffies Levi Blue Jeans       x       Tuffy' s Hoppin' Lily Pads
             Cafe                                                Black & White Parti
PR17447501                                                     PR16271707



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



FQF's Sir Percy Blakeney

"Percy"
Chocolate & White Parti
PR18553101


His Parents 
(for reference, we do not own the dogs below.)


            Caralot's Black Tye Affair         x          Amber Stars Co Co Chenel
                           Black & White Parti                                         Brown & White Parti            
                        PR15051703                                                       PR17442807

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Keeney's High Kalibur Two

"Kali"
Light Golden
SR58188401


(We do not have any pictures of her parents for reference...)

Hyatt's Beau    x     Hyatt's Blueberry Hill
                        SR33573403                 SR43389607                                

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The other four dogs..."



Shandy & Jubilee
(Golden Retrievers)

Dilly & Mally
(Great Pyrenees)






Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Breeding Season!!!





2015 is here! (Actually we are 19 days into it) but who's counting... I guess it is finally time to get the breeding plans in order. (I've had a vague idea for quite some time. But here is my draft of it as of today.) 

We have made a few changes here at the farm and discontinued working with a few our our breeds, and have decided to go a slightly different direction with another. So without further ado...

Welsh Harlequins:
     Since this is "our breed" and everyone knows we have them, we are going to use 2015 to dedicate even more of our time and resources to this wonderful breed. Our breeding flock currently has 11 females and 3 males in both silver phase and gold phase. We hope to sell hatching eggs, hatch a couple of dozen for ourselves to go through to pick out some "replacements" and some young show birds for this season. I also want to work on the Gold x Gold breeding project a little more to try to maintain the nice dark coloring in the plumage while slimming their overall body type down a little more. They are almost exactly the same size a most of the silver phase birds, but there are still a few here and there that show the influence of the Gold phase male we brought in from Clare Sheir's flock several years ago. (We no longer have that particular gold male and actually weren't very happy with many of his offspring, but did keep a few "for diversity". Young breeding pairs should be available around Labor Day weekend.


Muscovy:
      These silly white birds have managed to win us over more and more the longer they are around. Our main breeding drake acts much more like a dog than a duck. We have kept a trio from last year's birds and have our original trio of breeders so now we have 6 birds total to breed from. We are hoping to sell eggs as well as hatch out several of these (NATURALLY!) Letting the hens do the work. AND to Micah's dismay, we are hoping to butcher some of the extra males this year for our freezer. We will sell breeder pairs starting around Labor Day weekend. 




East Indies/Call Ducks/Mandarins:
       We have trios of BEI's and Calls and a pair of Mandarins. They are strictly ornamental birds here as well as the kids pets, so we will be keeping them all in their individual pens, but if we have any for sale it won't be until late Summer/Early Fall, and it won't be in any large number. No eggs!


(We only have a trio now.)

(We have a pair of Blue Fawn & a pair of Grays. White drake is sold off)

White Showgirl/Silkies:
      We are working with these crazy birds because the children love them! Our breeder trio has been laying but we have not had any fertility yet. We are LOOKING for additional birds to add to this breeding project. We do have one pure black Showgirl hen our of our white female and a different white male than the one we are currently using, but we have decided to go a little more in-depth with these birds and try to improve upon what we already have and add to them. We would be interested in Whites & Blacks, and both homozygous, heterozygous, and non-expressing birds from this breed. Please contact me at kswaterfowl@yahoo.com




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Plans for 2014...

 

Welsh Harlequins
We will again be breeding silver and gold phases in the same breeding pen. We should be able to hatch quite a few hatching eggs in '14, and already have a short waiting list from this year and new people looking to get started in this wonderful breed.

Mallards
We will be breeding Snowy as our main project, as always, but we are also working with blue fawn and gray this year in hopes of breeding some pastels. These aren't really anything we plan to show or reproduce on any large scale, we just have the birds to breed from, and really like the color patterns. Hatching eggs will be available when they begin laying for both Snowy and the Blue Fawn/Gray project.

East Indies
These belong to my wife like the Mallards belong to me. We recently added another breeding pair to our small flock so hopefully we will have better fertility this year and hopefully, fingers crossed, hatch enough of these where we can pick out and replace some of the breeders with better birds. We will not offer any hatching eggs from these but may have young birds available by Fall.

Tufted Romans
We will sell hatching eggs if we have extras. We plan to let one or two of the hens set, if they choose, but we really don't need additional birds, they are guard/show animals mainly but we would like to hatch and additional female to even up our flock.

Pilgrims
We will be offering hatching eggs for these as well, if they go broody we will let them sit as well, but we do not plan to incubate any of their eggs ourselves. The geese tend to hatch best by themselves and we are more than happy to let them since their eggs take up space we could use for ducks in the incubator.


Light Brown Dutch Bantams
These are very special to us, after breeding them years ago, we finally got back into these! We will not offer any hatching eggs but should have a few individuals available late season.

White Silkie/Showgirl Bantams
These will be our son's other project for '14. He managed to get his hen to go broody in August and hatch some babies, well now he's hoping for a repeat and build up his flock. We have whites, and while our Showgirl and Silkie are both pure white, they may throw other colors, but we will offer hatching eggs when available. (We did hatch one blue this year???)

Dun Ameraucana Bantams
These are another one of my projects, they came from the farm up the road where they had decided to no longer breed these so since I am a huge fan of the chocolate color, they had to come down and live with us. We are hoping to secure some nice black females to put in with them in order to breed 50/50 black/duns.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blue Trout, Apricot & Brown Trout

 The following information is for genetic research only, these birds are not owned by K&S Waterfowl Farm but by friends and fellow waterfowl breeders. We are no longer breeding Trout patterned birds but love the color pattern and find it very interesting from a breeding starting point.
 
After the previous post, I was doing more research and came across some other interesting birds, all in the same "trout" series, but variations on the same.
 
Blue Trout is the same as regular Trout with the addition of one (heterozygous) Blue gene, making them 'BLUE Trout'

Male: M+M+ lili e+e+ Blbl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+D+ Bu+Bu+
Female: M+M+ lili e+e+ Blbl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+- Bu+-
 
 
Blue Trout Drake and Blue Trout Hen (background), Trout Hen Foreground. Photo from Geese Wranglers LLC. Thanks Kathy!!! **This was our original source of the Trouts we bred from.**
 
 
Apricot is the same as regular Trout with the addition of two (homozygous) Blue genes, making them 'SPLASH Trout'

Male: M+M+ lili e+e+ BlBl C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+D+ Bu+Bu+
Female: M+M+ lili e+e+ BlBl C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+- Bu+-
 
 
Photo from Quacky Acres Gamebird Farm
 
 
Then these I ran across just looking for pictures to better explain some things. These birds are owned by Keystone Waterfowl Farm and are Brown Trout. Without seeing them in person I think they are regular Trout with the Brown dilution gene added in making them brown where they would be black. (Like a Gold Welsh Harlequin.)

Male: M+M+ lili e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ dd Bu+Bu
Female: M+M+ lili e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ d- Bu+-

(I think these are the correct genotypes for them.)
 
 
Photo from Keystone Waterfowl Farm

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trout/Harlequin/Snowy Indian Runner Crosses (Breeding Comments Only!)

 
Recently I came across pictures on Facebook of some ducks that a friend of mine acquired for herd dog training. After contacting the friend and a friend of hers I finally ran across these pictures of the friends birds. (Not all pictures are ours, See bottom for proper credit.)
***For Blue Trout, Apricot Trout & Brown Trout see next post.***
FOR GENETIC REFERENCE!!!

 
 
A bunch of young birds showing typical trout or light phase markings with eye stripes. These look a lot like purebred Trout Indian Runners in that awkward teenager stage.
 
 
Two ducklings: these are trout marked ducklings.
 
 
A Momma-duck with her brood. (ducklings L-R: silver/splash, harlequin, trout, harlequin.)


 
A trio of breeder birds. They show a little of both breeds, they are more elongated than a typical Welsh Harlequin and their bills and heads show the Indian Runner influences. The females have very distinct eye stripes which is a fault in Harlequins but is common in Mallard-patterned genetics.
 

 
More birds for type perspective.

 
Ducklings again: Note how three of the ducklings appear to have the nice trout markings found in typical trout ducklings, two are harlequin/snowy because they are yellow with the tan blush over their heads and wings, and the third is probably either light blue snowy (Aleutian) or a splash/silver.
 

The Trout Indian Runners we bred for several years. (No longer breeding Trout) but you can see that the drake and drakes pictured above are very similar, The pictures above are all Welsh Harlequin x Indian Runner crosses, the birds below are pure Trout Indian Runners.
 
The Trout variety is a Light Phase Mallard, meaning the Light Phase is expressed over the top of a normal Gray (Wild Type).
 
Trout Genotype: M+M+ lili e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+D+ Bu+Bu+
 
Female Trout Genotype: M+M+ lili e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+- Bu+-
              
 
 
Female Welsh Harlequin Genotype: mdmd lihlih e+e+ bl+bl+ C+C+ B+B+ r+r+ D+- Bu+-
 
**note: Gold Welsh Harlequins will both be homozygous for Brown Dilution, so  B+B+   

 
 
Typical Welsh Harlequins
 
 
 
Below are some of our 2012 Welsh Harlequin, Snowy Mallard and Trout Indian Runner ducklings. Note that the Runners already show the longer bill length and stance even a few days old. They show variation from duckling to duckling but each one has the same dark head "Mohawk" and then single brown eye stripes that run "through" the eye, and brown over the back. The Welsh Harlequins and Snowy Mallards have the light brown blush eye stripes and heads but are generally yellow with the color showing on the head.
 

(Welsh Harlequins & Snowy Mallards Left: Trout Indian Runner Ducklings are brown ones on Right.)

For More Information on Trout Indian Runners and Color Breeding please visit the links below, they are all very well put together websites, worth reading.

http://www.ashtonwaterfowl.net/indian_pics.htm

http://www.runnerduck.net/photo_gallery/default.html

http://www.steepleducks.co.uk/ducks.htm

 
 
Photos 1-6 photographed and owned by D. Williams
Photos 7-10 photographed and owned by K&S Waterfowl Farm