Animal of the Month : Smew Duck

The Smew is a striking little merganser found primarily in Eurasia (mostly Russia and Scandinavia), though some sightings have placed them in British Columbia, Alaska, and even the state of Washington. These sightings are fairly rare, however. Since no other duck in North America or even Canada looks close to the Smew, getting them mixedContinue reading “Animal of the Month : Smew Duck”

Babies in the Aviary

We have begun our summer season in the aviary and this year’s hatch is looking good. I thought I would share with you some of the little birds that are growing fast. There are still birds laying, such as the Baikal Teal. Jeff showcases this beautiful duck in his latest YouTube post at:

Visions of Spring Dancing in my Head

I have visions of spring gardening dancing in my head for real. Today is sunny but cold, only a high of 23o F. Spring doesn’t reach the zone we are in, 4b, until sometime in May. However, the dreaming goes on and with it, semi-plans memorized or put onto paper (or into a computer). DuringContinue reading “Visions of Spring Dancing in my Head”

My Version of Garden Planning

At this time of year, every homesteader or prepper seems to be planning their garden. They use charts and other tools to perfectly plan what they want to put in the space(s) that they have along with just where each plant will be. I’m not that organized. Last year, I put a lot of informationContinue reading “My Version of Garden Planning”

Animal of the Month – Tufted Duck

The Tufted Duck is a Eurasian duck that , in the winter months, is usually found across Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is a diving duck that will sometimes reach the eastern and western coasts of North America during the fall and winter migrating season, but this is lesser common. During the breeding season, theyContinue reading “Animal of the Month – Tufted Duck”

New Season – Swap Meets for 2021

We are happy to say that we will be at the following swap meets this fall of 2021: September 11, 2021 – Montrose Orchard, 12473 Seymour Road, Montrose, MI 48457 September 18, 2021 – Shipshewana Trading Place, 260-768-4129 October 9, 2021 – Kent County Youth Fairgrounds, 225 South Hudson St., Lowell, MI 49331 October 16,Continue reading “New Season – Swap Meets for 2021”

Animal of the Month – Canvasback Duck

The Canvasback Duck is a relatively large diving duck that is successfully raised in private collections, though its natural habitat is lakes and marsh areas across North America. In the winter, they migrate to the coastal shores and some inland lakes that do not freeze over. In the summer, they can migrate as far northContinue reading “Animal of the Month – Canvasback Duck”

Of Farm Animals, Compost, and the Results of it All

Composting makes all the difference in my garden. This year, we used well rotted goat/sheep/chicken/rabbit manure and bedding as well as green wastes from the kitchen for the majority of our homemade compost. Other items we tossed in from time to time included paper, coffee grounds and untreated coffee filters, wood chips, weeds pulled fromContinue reading “Of Farm Animals, Compost, and the Results of it All”

Incubation – When to Incubate Eggs and When to Leave it to the Birds

At Life-Springs-Farm & Aviary, we have fired up our incubator for a trial run. Every spring about this time, we thoroughly clean and disinfect our incubator and hatcher using a reliable disinfecting spray made for incubators. Once that is done, it’s time fire them up and make sure they come up to, and stay at,Continue reading “Incubation – When to Incubate Eggs and When to Leave it to the Birds”

Animal of the Month – The Mandarin Duck

The Mandarin is a bright and colorful wood duck from Asia, primarily China and Japan, but they are also found in Siberia and North and South Korea. They are Asia’s counterpart to our North American Wood Duck. Easy to raise in captivity, the Mandarin is a duck that is becoming more and more in demandContinue reading “Animal of the Month – The Mandarin Duck”


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