The Running Duck Farm©
We decided to add some chickens in the spring of 2003. We purchased the eggs on Eggbid.com and were very pleased to have this dozen hatch out very healthy and vigorous. Yes, there are 5 runners in there too. They hatched the day after the chicks so we put them in together. It was a good temporary arrangement although it doesn't take long before ducks are just too messy to keep with chicks. But it was very cute while it lasted.
The spitzhauben (spitz) is said to be the national chicken of Switzerland where it originated. It is a beautiful black and white bird with a forward facing crest (spitzhauben = pointed hood, hat, or bonnet). They are active foragers and we expect for them to give the runners and the guineas lots of competition for the best bugs.
A few weeks after we moved them to their new house and had been congratulating ourselves on how easy it was to shut them in at night (in contrast to the guineas and ducks) one evening they settled in the woods and have refused to return to the house except to check out the food dish, which we keep filled. It hasn't really gotten cold yet so they may return to the house when that happens but for now they are determined to sleep in the trees. Well, now we know what happens when it snows - it did get them out of the trees for the night.
We have been able to allow our spitz to "free range." And they range everywhere - the yard, the back porch, and wherever they please. We are down to 2 roosters, most of the time they are best buddies but sometimes they mix it up.
A hen (pullet really - she's a just spring chicken) we named Martha decided where her nest would be. It seems they like to choose a favorite spot. Here's the latest.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben at the excellent Feathersite.com -- nice pictures, including a picture of a girl wearing a spitzhauben.
Home Table of Contents