Hey Pack, I hope you are all having great spring weather and getting tons of gardening and other outdoor preps done too. Being spring, we have been busy with numerous livestock births, both on our own survival retreat, and helping out members of our tribe.
I hatched ducks for the very first time this year. Duck eggs are notoriously difficult to hatch when compared with chicken eggs, at least. They are typically far more sensitive to humidity changes and really need to be turned in a different motion than chicken eggs to increase your chances of a high hatching success rate.
Duck eggs, like chicken eggs, need turned at least three times per day. Putting chicken eggs in an incubator with an automatic turner rocks them back and forth as they are situated straight up, as if they were in an egg carton.
For the best chance of good results, duck eggs should be placed in an incubator like the one shown below so they can roll back and forth sideways. Chick eggs don’t mind the sideways turning at all, and can usually be incubated inside either type of automatic turner.
We keep Pekin ducks. I do love them so. Don’t get me wrong, they will be eaten if the SHTF, but, for now, my meat and egg ducks are used solely for their eggs.
The only problem with the Pekin breed is their unwillingness to sit eggs. To put it simply, the little yellow mommas have no work ethic. They get bored with sitting and wander off to do something else, and then maybe a day or two later decide to give sitting their eggs another try. Rinse and repeat. So, natural hatching of our duck eggs has been an epic failure.
I slid some duck eggs beneath a wonderful Banty hen momma once, but the difference in the eggs left her lopsided and she really did not like that.
I placed 12 duck eggs in the large incubator with the less optimal type of automatic turner because I was out of space in the small one and figured what the heck, give it a shot. In 13 more days I will know if anymore cute little ducklings will be joining our flock.
Other preps this week involved the foraging, harvesting, and storing of wild edibles found on our survival retreat. Our four and half and three year old grandchildren were able to pick their own wild salad with only minimal assistance – I am so proud of their emerging self-reliance skills.
I also used some barnwood that to make trail signs not just for orienteering self-reliance training with our young tribe members, but also to make it far easier for anyone to let us know exactly where they are. Several trails already had names, like “Oh S**t!) trail and Mad Dog Drop, but most did not.
The curse word named trail was dubbed by me because that is what I yelled more than once when my beloved and I were creating it. It was FULL of briar bushes, ruts, thick grapevine that would smack you in the head or side through the roll cage on the side-by-side and was incredibly steep. I believe my cursing was entirely warranted, but my mother might disagree.
Radio training was also a priority this week. We practice not only usage and the channel switching routine, but the easy-to-recall code that I created after adapting a prepper code sheet we happened across online about five years ago now.
There is a no-tech communications plan on our survival retreat as well that involves using a combination of knife markings on trees and color signs created using either bandanas or little cans of spray paint that are part of everyone’s gear and cached around the property.
This Week’s Questions:
- What experiences have you had with incubating poultry birds? Please share your tips and what you have learned from failed hatched with various birds.
- What one self-reliance skill do you think children should be taught from an early age and why?
- What communications plan and supplies will you and tribe or loved ones use during a disaster?
- What did y’all do to prep this week?