This is a page that my other half, Tim, said I should add to agroshare!  Ever since we moved on our farm he has talked to me about many mistakes people make when they are first starting out as homesteaders and farmers.  Boy was he right. He has always said he wanted to write the greenhorn chronicles!!
I was born a city girl in Chicago and lived in suburbs all my life until I was married.  We did not grow anything nor did we do much that resembled homesteading.  I was and still am a newbie!  We had dogs and cats, gerbils, guinea pigs, a rabbit for my oldest daughter and an iguana as a pet but that was about the extent of it. I hung clothes out because we could not afford a dryer and I did cook from scratch. We were poor! But living on a farm with goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and growing lots of food was all new to me when I moved here 12 years ago to Collinsville. So this page is for stories of people trying to learn when they did not learn from their parents as they were growing up. It is for anyone who has a story and wants to contribute or for you to read others stories where they had to learn a hard lesson.  Sometimes animals are involved. My greatest hope is that we can learn from each others stories and hopefully not make the same mistakes as someone else!!  Please send me stories and we may not be able to post them all but we will post what we can!!

Muscovy males have a cork screw!!

Last year I bought some muscovy ducks as very young ducks. One of my daughters had moved here with her family from Brazil and were ready to be back in the US. My grandson who was 11 at the time helped me catch them by climbing in a mud/manure  filled pen so we could take them home!  We were mudded from head to toe! I kept them in a closed area until they got big enough to be out with my other birds which are all various breeds of chickens. We had 10 but have only ended up with three, two males and a female. They would fly out of the fence and disappear or get killed by a predator. Over the winter we had problems with opossums stealing our chicken eggs and raccoons killing my ducks and chickens.  We put out cages that catch our intruders alive and attempted to re-home them in a remote area away from our farm. In the mean time our ducks and chickens were living happily together in our chicken yard which is 1/4 an acre. I have a chicken house and we would close them all up every night.  This spring the problem got worse so I decided to leave the majority of the birds closed up for a few days until we could catch another marauder. I went in and found two of my largest and prettiest hens dead. They were very healthy and I could not understand what had happened. I got them out of the hen house and happened to let the chickens and birds out that day. Tim took them to our burial location and figured out what had happened. Muscovy males have a cork screw! He knew this as he grew up hunting and fishing all his life. He grew up in the country in Cajun country!  The muscovy male had tried to mate with my chickens while confined with them. The chickens had no problems at night or during the day being penned in with the ducks in a large area but not in the chicken house where they could not escape the wiles of the male muscovy! I felt very badly for my chickens so beware and do not leave them confined together!!