Monday, April 13, 2015

Muscovy Ducks

When we moved to the country our goal was to become as self sufficient as possible.  We now raise grass fed sheep as a business along with grass fed beef for our own use.  We have chickens and guineas for eggs and hope to raise enough for all our poultry meat needs in the future.  I have been wanting to add some other animals that will be dual purpose here at WildWoods.  When I finish the poultry house we plan on raising broilers and heritage breed turkeys.
I have always wanted to raise ducks since I was a kid.  I can remember going out to an Aunt's house on the lake in the summer and she had all these ducks.  She also made wonderful cakes and such with the eggs and always sent some eggs home with my grandmother.  I don't have a good pond so I just figured no ducks until we build a pond.  Then I got to reading about the Muscovy Duck and how it does not have to have a pond.  They forage for their food and roost in trees since they are excellent fliers.  They have gripping feet with claws that allow them to hold on to tree limbs for roosting.  Muscovy Ducks are really a type of tree duck and their own species.  They will cross with other domestic ducks but the offspring are mules or sterile.  Of all the different ducks I decided Muscovy ducks would be the best for us to raise.  These ducks are quiet and seldom make any noise except a hiss when angry.  These ducks wag their tails like a dog when I take them out some feed or just if they are content.  They are excellent mothers and will raise several clutches of baby ducks each year.  The meat is less greasy than other domestic ducks and tastes more like pork or veal.  The eggs are great in our morning omelets and breakfast tacos. 
A local gentleman offered to sell us eight hens and two drakes.  He told me to clip their wings or they would just fly off.  We kept them in a coop for the first week to get used to us and the place and now we let them out every morning to forage, they march right back in just before dark to roost for the night.  When the wing feathers grow back out we will let them roost where they want.  If you are looking for poultry to supply meat and eggs without a lot of feed and fuss you might want to take a close look at these unusual birds.  Wild Ed

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Taurus Model 94

I currently own only one double action revolver.  I have owned many through the years and one of my favorites I wish I had not sold.  It was a S&W 686 in a stainless 6 inch barrel that was a dream to shoot single action.  I could not fire it double action very well as I have extremely short and fat fingers and my grip had to be incorrect to fire it double action.  Due to this I have always been more comfortable shooting single action and semi auto handguns.  I had always wanted to get a small frame S&W kit gun in .22 long rifle as I felt I could shoot the smaller frame double action with my short fingers.  The prices wanted for those and also the S&W 617 .22 long rifle kept me from buying one through the years.

I had handled a little small frame .22 long rifle revolver made by Taurus that I really liked, but the reviews on the little gun were real iffy with quite a few problems being mentioned.  Of course you mostly hear about the problems people have with guns and not all the great ones when you read reviews as a whole.  Taurus had decided to discontinue the Model 94 in small frame which prompted me to buy one before they went out of production.  I bought the 4 inch 9 shot stainless steel model 94 in .22 long rifle. It also comes in an 8 shot .22WMR as the model 941.  It has a satin stainless steel finish, adjustable sights and Hogue rubber grips.  The double action pull is pretty heavy as it must be with such a small hammer.  The single action pull is about normal for this type firearm and allows me to place the rounds very well.  The gun shoots about as accurate as I can see to place the shots and all in all I am quite pleased with the little gun.  I have now fired around 150 rounds with no failures to fire.  I have yet to find anything to gripe about other than the heavy double action trigger pull which I am sure a little judicious polishing would help.  For spending less than half the price of a comparable S&W I am very happy with my purchase.  Now if I can just find a suitable leather cross draw holster for the little gun I will be quite content.  Wild Ed


Monday, March 9, 2015

The German Sport Guns GSG 922

I got my first 1911 when I was 15 and have been a fan for some forty five years.  I later bought an Ace .22 long rifle conversion kit and carried it for many years while ranching or hunting. In a dumb move I sold that Colt 1911 and Ace unit and have wondered all these years why in the world I got rid of them.  I now carry a Kimber Pro Carry or a Springfield with a Kimber .22 conversion unit.  I have been wanting one of the Kimber compact .22 units that they have had on their website for a couple of years but did not actually have for sale.  I understand Kimber is just starting  to deliver them but meanwhile I picked up a German Sport Guns 3.5 inch barreled compact called the GSG 922, it is imported by ATI (American Tactical Imports). German Sport Guns also makes the Sig 1911 just different cosmetic markings.  The GSG 922 is a 1911 style gun designed to fire the .22 long rifle from the git go and is not a conversion.  It uses 80% 1911 parts and weighs in at 34 ounces loaded so it feels like a 1911.  The magazine is metal and impressively made.  It holds 10 in the magazine plus the one in the barrel for 11 rounds on board.  I have fired over 250 rounds from mine so far with no failures to feed or fire.  It seems to be as accurate as these old eyes can shoot and has become my carry gun around the ranch when I am working or feeding livestock as it fits well in the pocket of my barn coat.  I do plan to remove the laser/light rail as it will not fit in my 1911 holsters, when it gets warmer I will need to carry it on a belt.  If you like the 1911 I think you will find a lot to like in this little package.  You can find it in many places for less than $300.00 which makes it a deal in my mind.  Wild Ed

The 922 sports and overall length of 7" and a height of 5.5". It is constructed of Zamak-5 zinc alloy, which provides maximum hardness and durability. Designed for years of economical .22LR shooting pleasure, the 922 has a threaded barrel and is available with or without a faux suppressor.
Ambidextrous Thumb Safety
Extended Beaver Tail Safety
2 Inch Low Picatinny Rail
Single Action Compatible w/ Many Standard M1911 Parts
Specs Caliber: .22LR
Height: 5.5 Inches
Length: 7 Inches
Weight: 31.92 Ounces
Magazine Capacity: 10RND
Frame Material: Zinc Alloy
Finish: Black Anodized
Slide Material Zinc Alloy
Finish: Black Anodized
Sights Low Profile
Adjustable Rear Sight
Grips Black Synthetic Double Diamond Pattern
Barrel Threaded Length: 3.4 Inches
Material: Steel Trigger Material:
Aluminum Design: 3-hole Skeleton