Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spring Already???

If you didn't notice the temperatures, or the lack of leaves on the trees, or the frozen water all around, you might think it's spring here.


We seem to have babies.

Not only do we have Bella's babies (not necessarily springtime littles, I know),

Little 3 day old baby kit.  They complain a lot now if they are disturbed.  Grunt grunt!

Safe in their warm nest.

Mama watches wearily
 No, I don't take them out and touch them every day.  I don't like to bother them too much.  I do, however, peek in the nest once a day to make sure they are all fed and warm (and alive).  Then I cover them back up.  Mama watches me but seems to know I mean no harm.  Bella and I have an odd relationship, and winning her trust at all has been hard.  Me looking at her babies is a true test, and maybe because she's accepted it so far, it means we're sort of friends.  I have always been gentle with her, and I'd like to think she understands that somehow.  It's hard to say, though, so I don't push it.
I took a picture today to do a comparison of their growth.  The pictures are bad, but I can see that mama is feeding them very well.  They are very chubby, and though you can't tell here, they are getting fuzzier.  They are blacker this morning than before. 
Today:  A three day old fat sausage link with ears

Then:  A little chubby sausage link with ears
That's pretty exciting, as the baby front goes.  But then yesterday I got a bit of a surprise.  To backtrack a little here:  Ginger is an American Buff goose who was injured a few months after moving here.  A dog got her, and as a result, she can't lift one wing anymore.  It no longer bothers her, and Ginger and I have a special relationship, so I don't care.  She can manage just fine with it, but since she was injured and Ferdi went insane and went to live elsewhere, she is shunned by the rest of the gaggle.  Therefore, she has her own house, which she lived in alone until she hatched two eggs this spring, and since that day, she has insisted that her babies live with her.  So there have been three in her little house, which can accomodate them well.

And then....

I let all the noisy ones out yesterday morning, and all three came out of Ginger's house as they normally do.  But in the midst of the din, I heard "peep peep peep", from Ginger's house.  Hmmmmm....

Turns out Ginger's girl (Ginger hatched a girl and boy in the spring--both ducks) has been sitting on a clutch of 11 eggs.  Yes, 11.  And there were six hatchlings in there yesterday.  There are 8 today, with another pip I expect to hatch later today.  And two more eggs to go, which are about ready.

Holy crap.

How did I not know?  Mama duck looks like this:

which is to say, exactly like 3 other ducks that live here.  Anyone who owns ducks in a larger number knows that they don't hang out all together, they have "cliques", and they never hang out in one spot all day either.  So I don't bother counting them at all, I check them by color.  Grey duck?  Check.  I move on.   Most live in one house, two live with Ginger.  They come out in the morning to eat, and then I don't bother with them until I lock them in at night.  Whoever shows up gets locked safely away.  There are 20 of them, and they are skitsy, so they are too hard to track.  So yep, she snuck it past me.  Sneaky little devil.

These are the little blessings, as of this morning.

The nest was WAY back in the dark corner of the house, completely covered.  I never even saw it.

Three eggs left; all viable. 

The nice thing?  Only two look like Charles so far.  That's better than last time.

Charles spawn
We can't keep them.  It would be 31 ducks, and that's more duckage than I'm prepared to keep or house or feed.  So off they will go.  If you know anyone who'd like some duck-mutts, let me know!  Buy 1, get 10 free!  What a bargain.

And that's all the news here that's fit to print.  Until next time, friends, I will be swimming in ducks.

Take care!

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  1. Congrats on your very 'busy' critters!!! You have such an interesting life on your farm :)


  2. Wonderful surprises!! Baby ducks are just the cutest things! Sounds like a Black Friday sale on ducks : )

  3. Mandi--Interesting is a fair way to put it. :)

    Michaele--They are cute, I agree.


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