TCLynx Hatfield

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since May 03, 2009
Inland Central Florida, USA
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Recent posts by TCLynx Hatfield

There are some sprays or dust that can be used on plants to kill leaf eating caterpillars while still being fairly safe and organic.  You will be looking for something like Thuricide or Dipel dust where the active ingredient is Bacillus Thurgensis. Not sure about my spelling though.  It takes a few days to kill the beasts so till then keep hand picking them off as you can find them.  They are sometimes really hard to see.
7 years ago
I'm not sure I would be into propagating hornworms as muscovy feed but to each ones own I guess.

A somewhat easier option for propagating insects to feed to your birds might be to get a Black Soldier Fly larva bin going, I believe zone 8 is warm enough for them and it is a great way to get rid of kitchen scraps too and the BSF larva are self harvesting if you set up your bin right.
7 years ago
It's not a bad grain mill seeing as it does have a nice selection of attachments but it is not an industrial piece of equipment.
Mine actually spends most of it's working time grinding fish food smaller for me since I've not been grinding much grain for bread.
7 years ago
I have not used the meat grinder attachment for meat.  I did once try to make whole wheat pasta with it by taking the blade out and using it to force the dough through the plate.

But as I said, never tried it with meat though I expect it should work fairly well provided you don't subject it to really hard bits (the auger is only plastic.)

7 years ago
I wouldn't put it past a Large Muscovy to eat an unattended chick of some other small bird species.  And I have seen the Drake pick on some of the muscovy ducklings before though so far as I know he has never really hurt one, just caused a lot of loud panicked peeping.
7 years ago
Thank you, and you are welcome too.  I wish I could be of more help with more concrete numbers but as we should all remember, everything is rather site/situation specific so what is possible here might not be possible elsewhere or it could even be far easier.

Now if I ever manage to get a place with more land/agricultural hopefully, I'll probably need to learn more about protecting my flock from larger predators.

Anyone know of a good type of dog and how to train them to protect a flock at night?
7 years ago
Muscovy's eat the scratch grains just fine.  They are good foragers and if you have enough space and natural forage for them I expect you could get away with very little in the way of commercial pellets.  Keep in mind I'm on a 1/3rd acre residential lot so It is really a challenge to grow enough bird feed.  Muscovy ducks also seem to be pretty good and getting rid of lots of bugs and I've been told they are happy to do in small rodents too but I've never seen that myself (though I don't think I've seen any mice or rats since I got the ducks.)  I can tell you the ducks and chickens both love fish cleaning days since they get the scraps.  Muscovy ducks are omnivorous like the chickens.  They don't run after the bugs quite the same way but it is terribly fun to watch the ducklings catching and eating small flying bugs.  I almost peed watching a duckling chasing a butterfly once.
7 years ago
depend on time of year.  Right now with the over abundance of young ducks that I have and the reduced forage I have for them after this dry spring, I'm probably going through a 50 lb bag of layer pellets a week and probably 10 lb of scratch.  At the moment I have 4 adult females and one big drake.  There are 7 laying hens, 4 full grown "babies" of about 5 months old, 7 3 1/2 month old "babies" starting to fly, 14 1 1/2 month old little piggy ducks that will eat everything in site and squirrles raiding the scratch feeder which is why I don't refill it very often otherwise I would be going through 50 lb of scratch a week too.

Certain times a year they don't seem to need as much commercial feed because I have lots more greens from the garden to throw to them but the cool weather crops are running out here now and I didn't get much of my normal hot garden going very well this spring.
7 years ago
I've got a kennel with a roof that I turned into a coop but they only rarely go in there (chickens use the nest boxes but they abandoned the perch.)

My Ducks seem to prefer sitting out on the ground.  I suppose it would be possible to herd the ducks in at night but they really wouldn't like it, I've got electric net fencing to help keep predators out and it seems to be working where I am.

I'm in Florida so our climate is warm enough and the ducks don't seem fussed about rain, water off a ducks back and all.  The chickens will seek shelter though.
7 years ago
Muscovy's don't need a huge amount of water.  The guy we got our original ducks from had 7 adults and a mess of smaller ones in a kennel with just one kiddie pool.

I like to give my birds far more than they need and make them really happy so no I really don't have any idea what the minimum number of gallons per duck is.  Our number of ducks is constantly changing as they are prolific buggers!!!  Just had 8 more ducklings hatch two days ago.  Gonna be taking 5-8 ducks of various ages to some friends Tuesday so they can try out raising and processing ducks.  We will take the 3 remaining grown out males from the oldest group of offspring to the butcher this coming week and it is time to clip the wings of the next set of babies as they have learned to fly.

The smallest container I've seen a duck take a good bath in was probably a 25 gallon tub though I've seen the adult ducks try to bathe in  a  2" deep plant saucer that I had put out for the babies.

If you have to go with small containers, a 25 gallon feed tub could serve probably 2 adult ducks (not at the same time.)  I've used a car top carrier lid as a pond for the ducks before and a little plastic kiddie pool will work just fine.  If you are up to dumping and re-filling on a daily basis a kiddie pool will serve probably 5-8 ducks just fine.
7 years ago