ChicksI ordered a batch of ducks and chickens, to grow up to be replacement birds for those who will be getting old in a year or two.

I got these from Welp hatchery, just because they had both Magpie ducks and Rhode Island Red chickens, and had availability of both in the near future. Last week turned out to be their last planned week of Magpies, so I got my order in just under the wire.

I just got 20 ducks and 10 chickens.

I’ll sell a few to offset my costs, and the extra birds offset any losses from shipping. Indeed one duckling was DOA, but they had packed an extra duck and chicken, so I’m still ahead, and no more mortality thus far. DucksThe birds are all healthy. I was a bit disappointed in the low quality of the Magpies marking-wise, there is maybe only one with pretty decent markings (and naturally, the dead one was marked the best of all). The rest look more like Swedish, with black necks and heads, and too much black on their bodies. There is one open-marked one that’s mostly white. But maybe this is the normal distribution of markings in the breed, where you only get one or two in twenty with show-quality markings? I haven’t purchased or bred enough to know. Anyway, that’s ok, I don’t plan on showing them, so I’m ok with mediocre markings as long as they lay well.

There is also a crested one in there-doh! So, that gene must manifest in the Magpie gene pool regardless of source (my other Magpies were from Welp and a local source). That one will definitely be going to someone else’s flock to wreak genetic havoc on their hatches! It is cute though!

The chickens are “rare dark” Rhode Island Reds. I’d never heard of that before, but thought it might be interesting to have a wider range of shades of red. They really are very dark.