Jake Esselstyn

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since Apr 21, 2020
South Louisiana, 9A
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Recent posts by Jake Esselstyn

S. Bard wrote:If I get the birds as unsexed chicks, and for example I want to be sure to have at least 3 female ducks, how many chicks should reasonably need to buy to have enough chance to hopefully get atleast 3 females? Is it like big chance on a 50% divide, so if I get 6 there’s a good chance I’ll end up with 3 males and 3 females? Or is there really no telling what ratio you’ll end up with?



If you get 6 birds and each has a 50% chance of being a duck and 50% chance of being a drake, then you have a 66% chance of getting 3 or more ducks.

If you get 8 birds, then chances of 3+ ducks is 89%.
2 weeks ago
Other breeders are able to sex ducks the day they hatch by checking out the cloaca, so it is possible. But I imagine it takes a trained eye and I guess this breeder doesn't have it.
2 weeks ago
The standard recommendation is 4 square feet of house per duck, so your sleeping arrangement plan should be fine. A 15' x 20' outdoor area will give a dozen ducks enough space to move around a little, but they'll quickly turn it into a mud pit. I'd guess it will be part of the pond after a few months.
2 months ago
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll try the combination of trimming, mulching, and trenching. That should slow the grass enough to keep the flowers competitive. This is in my backyard, so the HOA cops can't see it and I don't mind there being some grass mixed in. I just don't want the grass to dominate. Thanks again!
3 months ago
Last fall, hoping to attract more pollinators, I removed a section of lawn and planted a mix of annual and perennial wildflowers. It's only a small area (~80 sq ft), but has been a wonderful bee magnet, bringing in several species that I had never seen in my yard. Those bees seem to be a boon to my fruit and vegetables, and I'd like to keep the bees coming back. Unfortunately grass is already taking over the wildflowers. The grass is moving in even though the flowers are thick and completely shade the soil.  I'm wondering if there's something easy I can do to slow the grass without having to dig it all up and start over. I'm in the city and probably shouldn't burn. I'm afraid mowing would only speed the grass' dominance, but maybe there is a time of year when this would not be the case. Pulling the grass is tedious and tramples the desirable plants. I'm in a hot, humid area with mild winters, so the grass grows year round. Any advice?
3 months ago
In my garden they love the flowers from peppers, cowpeas, and any cucurbits. They are particularly fond of the leaves from peppers and collards, but also eat a bit of cowpea, raspberry, tomatillo, basil, blueberry, and passionfruit leaves. I try to keep them away from all my peppers, cucurbits while they're flowering, and anything young or tender. Otherwise I mostly let them roam around the garden. Tomatoes and cucumbers are special treats and great for training.
3 months ago
Even though they're self fertile, I think they produce better with a cross pollinator. That may be one issue. Otherwise, the tree is just young. I wouldn't be surprised if it does much better next year. I have a plum tree (different variety) that bloomed a lot when it was young, but produced only 1 plum last year (its 4th). This year, I got about 75 plums. Next year should be great.
5 months ago
Thanks Anne. It's possible, but I rarely see hoppers in the yard. I suspect something nocturnal and larval. I have found a couple cocoons on the tree, but they don't seem very numerous relative to the extent of damage. In the mean time, I will keep a look out for hoppers.
5 months ago
They're very common in my area, but they only slowly kill my vines. I'm usually able to get a decent harvest before the plants die by hunting the moths in my garden at dawn. I often find them sitting conspicuously on top of leaves near my squash vines first thing in the morning and I smash them at every chance. I don't know if it actually helps, but if my vines reach a decent size before the larvae are eating their insides out, I still get a decent crop. I only have a small garden though and I haven't tried the approaches you've found online.
5 months ago