Our poultry are an important part of White Stone Farm. They are our natural insect control, fertilizer makers and feathery entertainers. (And one day, some of them will make it to the dinner table as well).
Poultry are fascinating. The way the chickens go about their business in their endless search for tasty bugs, the way they relate to each other in the flock, maintain their pecking order, interact with the other animals, peck, preen, dust-bathe, squawk, cheep, cluck, scratch, explore and cock-a-doodle-do (for the rooster at least!) – all of that is really interesting stuff! And it entertains us to no end! Except the cock-a-doodle-doing at 4am…
Our house chooks – Avalon, Bentley (and her 2 chicks), Commanche, Delorian, Eldorado (and her 9 fluff-ball chicks), Ferrari, Galaxy and rooster Henry Ford (yes, all alphabetical and car-themed…) live in the old stables and go about their business of scratching and exploring around the house, garden and nearest paddocks. On a hot day their favourite spot is under the house, so it’s not uncommon to be sitting in the lounge and have Henry cock-a-doodle-dooing under your feet directly under the floor! Continue reading
As April rolls into May and the leaves turn golden, the first frosts appear and the landscape is blanketed in autumn colours around Clunes, things are also busy as we prepare for winter at White Stone Farm.
Our winter crops have been planted, out in the newly established growing beds enriched with mulch, multiple animal manure (the llama girls certainly contributed!) and worm laden soil. The garlic is sprouting, reaching out to the sun as the days begin to cool, while other seedlings are gathering strength and size in the greenhouse.
And in our desire at White Stone Farm for more manure makers, natural insect eaters and a possible food source later on – we’ve officially gone quackers! White Stone Farm welcomes our first domestic birds to the farm – our new Pekin Ducks!
Originally bred from Mallards in China, the Pekin duck is now a popular meat bird across the world, but is also a good egg layer too, laying about 200 each year. They are highly sociable and can bond closely to humans if imprinted when a duckling and can also be good guards (enough to rival geese apparently – which is great because geese freak me out slightly with their aggressiveness!). Our first three duck members to the farm are a little more wild, having lived the first 5 months of their lives on a dam at a nearby farm, but they are slowly getting used to us and living in their new home. Continue reading