The Real Reason I Got a Tractor


We’ve been working on a duck pond!

And you know what that means….


So I took another trip to the chicken farm where we got our babies. Not for eggs this time, but for a breeding pair of ducks. I’m not up for another round with the incubator just yet and we just broke the tractor in digging this pond out near the spring on our hill. It will take a bit for the pond to fill, so while that happens (and while the ducks adjust to their new surroundings) I need to keep my ducks with the chickens. My chickens are three months old now and I was afraid to put small ducks in with them. I was looking for three-month-old ducks.

There are plenty to choose from at the chicken farm. They have a lot of ducks.

And guineas and geese and…. Do you see that thing in the center of this picture?

It’s a Turken, or what they call in Europe a Transylvanian Naked Neck. But it’s all chicken despite its turkey-like bare neck.

I think it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t want any of those.

I did wish I had some of these again.

They’ve always got babies at the chicken farm. But I wasn’t there for more chickens. I was there for ducks. And I brought these two home.

A three-month-old breeding pair. They’re a Blue Swedish cross. (I don’t know what they’re crossed with, just that they’re predominantly Blue Swedish. They like to mix it up at the chicken farm. I do, too, so that’s okay.)

The chickens were terribly curious.

There was a lot of clucking and crowing and quacking when they came out of the crate. But eventually the chicken yard settled down and they worked out the pecking order. I’m a little bit worried about one big bad brown rooster, my alpha male, who has tried to peck at them, so I’ve been keeping a close eye on them and at night I’m keeping the ducks in the crate. I’m not ready to leave them alone inside the chicken house with that big bad brown rooster yet. These ducks are used to being around chickens, but my chickens aren’t used to being around ducks. I’ll be careful till they are.

And so–I have ducks!!!!! Aren’t they pretty? (I bet they do synchronized swimming and baton-twirling, too.)

I’d like to get some more ducks, some white ones, who knows. I like variety! This is just the beginning. Our first farm ducks!

The rest of the farm creatures reacted along with the chickens. Dookie-the-farm-shih-tsu was quite excited for awhile.

Clover said, “I don’t care if you have ducks. But would you please–

–save me–

–from this–


Coco: “What?”

***P.S. See the Charleston Daily Mail story!


  1. connie says:

    Suzanne I love your new ducks..I have a question though…will Coco always have to stay in the goat pen with the goats all her life..

  2. Michelle Willingham says:

    Awww…looks like Coco is excited to have new friends to play with.

    And I worry about the ducks and Spartacus.

  3. Carolyn A. says:

    I’m with Michelle, how does Spartacus feel about all these new additions to the farm? Is he cool with it? xxoo

  4. jane says:

    Love it – again write a childrens book

    coco just loves everone – great pictures. I wonder too if she needs to be let out once in awhile and walked or alowed to roam. big dogs need the exercise.

  5. Shirley says:

    You are accumulating quite a menagerie. Now that you have chickens, ducks,and goats, when are you going to get pigs. I don’t know if you have any problems with snakes around your farm, but pigs are wonderful for getting rid of them.

    We raised pigs when I was a child growing up. Just wouldn’t have been a farm without them. We also had a milk cow.

  6. Kathy R says:

    Chickens and goats and ducks — Oh My! To say nothing of cats, a dog, and a giant puppy, growing larger by the minute it seems.

    I think everyone should click on the newspaper story and read it through. In my opinion, the reporter did a very good job of capturing the experience of living on the farm as Suzanne relate it. (Except for the misprint spelling of McMinn – McGinn – at one point in the article. What’s that quote? “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right” — isn’t that how it goes?)

  7. CarolW says:

    Such beautiful ducks and Coco is a real charmer!

  8. Blaze says:

    Chickens!Ducks!Giant Puppy!
    Your farm is coming along pretty nicely now, so when are you gonna get some cows and horses?

  9. Gail says:

    Hip,Hip, Hooray! Ducks and a pond! What will their names be??? Love the pictures of Coco and Clover, they are so sweet! O.K, should we do poll on what the next Chickens In The Road Farm animal to arrive will be? How about that cow?

  10. Shari C says:

    Great article in the Charleston Daily Mail. I enjoyed it as I do your posting each day.

    You are getting quite a menagerie now at your place and I bet it is really interesting at your home…especially with Coco around to add her puppy antics. I think you are going to need horses pretty soon to add to your growing animal family…hmmm.

  11. Crystal B. says:

    Congratulations on getting your ducks. Love the photos.

  12. Snapper says:

    Great story!
    Ha….poor Coco.

  13. margie says:

    but what are you going to do with the ducks? are they guard ducks? we had easter ducks, donald and daisy, and when they grew up both laid eggs every day! mom wouldn’t cook the eggs and dad kept giving them to a woman down the road-2 every day! she said she used them for her bread. anyway, about the guard ducks, we (the kids) couldn’t use the back yard at all because the ducks wouldn’t share. they would chase us out of the yard by removing the back side of out ankles. along in the fall, around november a kid tried to steal one of our ducks! the ducks attacked, the dog was biting at his rear end, my oldest brother ran out in the yard in his tighty whities with his sling shot and the would be duck thief was clearing a 4 foot fence in a single bound!
    gosh that had to be 45 years ago and its so clear a image!

    anyway what are you going to do with them? are they decorative or eggative?


  14. MARY says:

    :biggrin: Suzanne, what great pics! That pup is SO cute!! The article about you is really nice. I know the kids are thrilled to be in the paper! The ducks are beautiful, too. I think a few pigs might be in order! Bacon anybody???? LOL! :sheepjump:

  15. Kim A. says:

    Enjoyed the newspaper story!

    And congrats on the ducks. :shimmy:

    -Kim A.

  16. Diane says:

    Nice ducks. I am also wondering what is next?? A horse. You need a horse, or a cow, Or sheep. You can make your own yarn!!

    Will CoCo get out of the goat pen?? I would let her out daily. She is so sweet and cute. I see she loves her goat family. πŸ™‚

    Off to read the news article.

  17. Kathryn says:

    What a great article! Made my day. I love the picture of Miss Thing swinging into the creek. We had a rope swing into the lake when I was growing up, and I spent hours flying into the water.

    I am canning quince preserves today. What are you cooking? I have a line on some gooseberries that will be ready next week. Love gooseberry preserves!

  18. Beckynsc says:

    Great post, Suzanne! Also, great Gazette article!
    I kinda like the nekked chicken. Out of the ordinary appeals to me. I march to a different beat. Can’t wait to see the ducks in their very own pond!

  19. Suzette says:

    You can see that Coco just loves her goats already. Too bad she can’t send them a card or something, instead of being so – well…demonstrative!

    Loved the story. She did a nice job. Congrats!

  20. Nikki C. says:

    The ducks totally look like they’re smiling…which makes me smile. It’s contagious!

    What animal will be next to arrive on the farm?

  21. Suzanne McMinn says:

    We will let Coco out sometimes to be with us and run around more than she can in the goat enclosure–though it is a fairly large enclosure. She gets her exercise in there running circles around Clover, LOL.

    What farm animal is next? I don’t know. It will be a surprise–even to me! I do love sheep…..

  22. Amelia says:

    Naming the ducks…when will that be…soon I hope.

    Coco is just wanting to play with the goats…they just don’t understand her yet.

    Certainly enjoyed the newspaper article.

  23. Robin G. says:

    Dude! Ducks! I love ducks!

    I’d wait awhile on the sheep, though, they’re a massive amount of work.

  24. heidi says:

    You got the tractor so you could get ducks- and a pond, of course! I like you, Suzanne, you are so purposeful! The ducks are picture-worthy- I like their mottled colors.
    I enjoyed the article-you should use some of those pictures on facebook.

  25. Jyl says:

    The picture of Coco loving on Clover is priceless! I love it. The new ducks are cute too.

  26. DeeBee says:

    Now it’s ducks! What will it be next? It’s been great watching all of this take shape. What a life you have. They are all so great to see!

  27. sunnid755 says:

    I never saw any ducks like that before, here in Texas, we’re used to the wood ducks and mallards, you know, with the green headed males. But you sure have nice ducks. Guineas and geese might be fun too, but it looks like it’s starting to be WORK. Be sure and have FUN every day and just soak in the wonder of it all. THe pic of coco and clover made my heart happy this morning. They are adorable, who says animals can’t talk, coco’s like “I love you” and clovers all “get off me, somebody please make her get off me” I didn’t like the turken, he reminded me too much of a buzzard. The newspaper article was awesome, you’re all famous and stuff, thanks for sharing, you are heart warming and heart happy.

  28. happyathome says:

    Oh my gosh…I can’t believe Clover takes that from Coco! I almost spit my coffe out laughing! A very unexpected end to your post! πŸ˜†

  29. Employee No. 3699 says:

    Great article and pictures!

    Will you name the ducks?

    and…Have you named the farm yet?

  30. Mary says:


    I read the Daily Mail story, too, and wanted to say…

    Welcome to the Neighborhood!

    I, too, live in Walton and am a transplant from New York. Talk about culture shock, huh?!

    We have two ponds, had four ducks (notice that’s past tense, thanks to a fox), have five dogs and a cat. Hopefully, our paths will cross some day.


  31. G-Mama says:

    Wonderful pictures with your post today. I look forward to the updates on the progress on your farm. The newspaper article was very well done. You have achieved so much for someone so young. What a wonderful childhood you are giving your children!

  32. Jill S. says:

    GREAT article, congrats!

  33. J says:

    :shimmy: way to go !!! great article :clap:

  34. Suzanne McMinn says:

    The ducks are definitely decorative, but they might be eggative, too! I’ll probably let them have their babies the first time they lay, though. I want more ducks!

  35. Sandra says:

    As a displaced West Virginian in Houston, TX, it’s such a pleasure to find your blog. I grew up in the country…here in my gated, manicured subdivision, the people have no idea what they are missing by not having the experience. You might enjoy another favorite blog “”

  36. Kelli says:

    I must confess… Over the past few months, I have developed an addiction to your blog. I check it every morning, wanting to read your latest farm adventure. My husband and I are hoping to purchase a small farm in the very near future, but for the moment I have to be satisfied with living vicariuosly through you. Thank you.

  37. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Re naming our farm, yes, I think we’ve decided on a name. I’ll post about it soon!

  38. Katie says:


  39. Dru says:

    What a great article. Thanks for sharing.

    I love the ducks and the photos especially Coco with Clover.

  40. Donna says:

    OMG, that is THE FUNNIEST picture I have EVERRRR seen of Coco lapped over Clover! That is THE most adorable picture – you should submit that to something and get an award! You could submit it to the fair contest, if nothing else! LOVE THAT!!!! Coco is a ham!!! LOL LOL

    The DUCKERS!!!! I love ducks. I had a pet duck named Wacky, when young – I won it in a contest and eventually gave it to my best friend and she eventually gave it to a duck farm. But, it was adorable and friendly! Those are the CUTEST ducks you picked! DONALD DUCK and DUCKIE!!! LOL

  41. Donna says:

    P.S. – how exciting to be getting eggs soon! I picked eggs once and it was fun! I so belong on a farm. LOL I LOVE to pick vegies, fruit, eggs…maybe I should be a migrant worker??? :mrgreen:

  42. Donna says:

    Oh, on the Turken – it reminded me of a thing they have here, called a Turduckin – They take a Turkey and stuff that with a duck and then stuff that with dressing…for Thanksgiving or anytime. I had one once, and wasn’t real impressed. Not sure if it is a Cajun thing or something.

  43. Susan in CA says:

    Congratulations on the newspaper article. Very nicely done. :hellokitty:

  44. Bertie says:

    It’s such fun to come to your blog each day and see what you have to share with all your readers. Your little farm menagerie is coming together quite nicely; I definately think a horse and cow would make great additions!

    Great article, nicely written!

  45. Treasia says:

    I love the ducks and can’t wait for the baby ducks. Coco is getting so big. Love the pictures of him on Clover. that’s to cute. :mrgreen:

  46. Beach Girl says:

    I have a feeling Clover isn’t quite so happy about the guard puppy Coco right now. I loved the picture of Coco draped over Clover’s back.

  47. Tori Lennox says:

    That Transylvanian Naked Neck is one of the freakiest things I’ve ever seen!

  48. catslady says:

    LOL on the pics – and congrats on the new additions. Looking forward to hearing what you named the farm and what the next additon will be!

  49. Maureen says:

    I love all your animal pictures, they are all so adorable.

  50. Shimmy Mom says:

    I loved having our duck. She used to sleep with our dog. Really, it was so cute. And their eggs are bigger! Good luck with your new additions.

  51. Shimmy Mom says:

    P.S. Your article turned out GREAT. I enjoyed reading it. :thumbsup:

  52. Conni says:

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing West Virginia with the world.

  53. SuzieQ says:

    You brighten every day..wonderful article..

  54. Kim W says:

    Love the ducks.

    The news story was GREAT! Hope you bought several copies!


    Blessings from Ohio…

  55. Jodie says:

    Ducks! Wow, the farm just keep expanding. I agree a horse for the kids and you to ride would be good. You could also get an old horse drawn plow to plow up your field for the garden. My grandfather used a human push variety in his large garden. He kept chickens too. But no giant puppy, goats or ducks. You’ve got a great farm going!!!

  56. Gloria Jean says:

    Ducks! Ducks are maybe even nicer than chickens (maybe). The newspaper article was great!

  57. jeanne.macbean says:

    Congrats on the nice article(I’ll bet your publisher is thrilled). Your empire is growing and so is that adorable fluffy puppy.

  58. Jean says:

    What great pictures! I’m glad you’re having so much fun. You might have to put your ducks up at night if you have racoons or possums. In Oregon, we had a lot of mallards who decided to nest in the pasture above the pond. We couldn’t put them all up at night so we ran out every night and put boxes over them with a big rock on top. First thing in the morning we had to run out and remove the boxes. They all survived and we had a LOT of baby ducks.

  59. Joanne says:

    OMG that Coco is just too much πŸ˜‰ Love the new ducks, i’ve never seen that coloring before. What a great addition to your farm family. And anytime you want to bring that tractor by I have some work for you!

    Great article too πŸ˜‰

  60. Cynthia says:

    LOVE the pictures of Coco! And the ducks are adorable too. Your farm animal collection is growing by leaps and bounds! :catmeow:

  61. jennifer says:

    Hello from Kansas. :wave:

    Do your ducks wag their tails? We have a duck pond in a park that we sometimes take bread to and there is this one addorable duck that comes up to you and wags it’s tail. I was just wondering if this is something many ducks do, or is it just this one? I wish I could take that tail wagging duck home with me.

  62. Brandy says:

    Coco looked like a coat for Clover there for a minute! *G* Great article!
    The ducks are pretty!

  63. Susan says:

    First, the ducks are just too cute! You will have to video their waddle for us. πŸ˜†

    Now that was a wonderful article about you, your family and your farm! :clap:

  64. Egghead says:

    That photo of Coco and Clover is hysterical. So cute. I read the article and it was very nice. You have a great life for you and your children. :mrgreen:

  65. wkf says:

    Great article!!! Cute ducks. :flying:

  66. jaq says:

    Love the article and the ducks!!!

  67. robin says:

    are you going to keep all the animals around your house…do you have any other area or just that side of the mountain…?
    you broke the tractor, oh dear…that has been quite an
    adventure in itself.

    that was a very good article in the charleston daily mail – very good photo also…

    poor clover has a pesky friend – its a wonder she doesn’t
    butt him away!

  68. Chris says:

    :flying: how cute is that HUGE puppers and that goat! Guess they are all getting along, sooo cute! I had chickens hatching duck eggs and vice versa when I grew up on our “farm”. Those were some wierd years but so much fun! Enjoy!

  69. TeresaH says:

    Great article Suzanne!

    Yes, what will the ducks be named? The turken bird for a moment looked like a small buzzard or something in the midst of the birds!

    I had a big laugh over the Coco and Clover pics! LMAO I even had to call the bf in here to see them.

  70. Alison says:

    We had ducks at my parents house growing up. They were fun. We also found you have not seen a truly white egg white until you have had a duck egg. They cook up much whiter than chicken eggs πŸ™‚

  71. Patty says:

    I am so glad I found your site Suzanne! I just finished ready from Jan 08 to present. I was addicted and just had to keep reading! The pics of Coco hugging Clover are too cute!! Gorgeous ducks! My Mother in law has had a slew of animals over the years including turkens which I never liked, but I never saw the blue coloring in ducks. Beautiful! Can’t wait to see pics of the pond. You talk about 40 acres, are they mostly the wooded hill behind you?

  72. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Re duck names, we haven’t named them yet.

    Patty–we have a pretty good-sized meadow bottom along the road that’s cleared, and that’s where we’ll be building a barn and fencing more pasture. (Hopefully by next year.)

  73. Sharon Elkins says:

    I don’t think you’re going to be happy with all the duck poop. Yuck.

  74. MsJamie says:

    The pictures of Coco and Clover are PRICELESS!!

    I want ducks!!!

  75. MsJamie says:

    You know, if you wanted, I’m sure you could charge people to tour your farm and meet all the animals. I know I would pay :). And you could sell your goat cheese and eggs, etc! But you probably wouldn’t want all those people traipsing around and it would be a lot of trouble.

    I have wanted to find a bed and breakfast to stay at where they would let me help with (i.e. pet) the cows and goats. But a farm within driving distance would be even better! I wouldn’t even have to stay! Okay I guess my ideas are not for your benefit, they are for mine! Ha!!

  76. Christy O says:

    I can’t wait to have ducks! I want the black ones.


    THANK :clap: YOU FOR THE good pic at the ducks&chicken

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