Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Eggs! No Eggs!

Listen- no eggs these days. Sometimes I really think those ducks are on to me. Even though the last week or so of closing them in at night has produced the most perfect eggs, now they are withholding! What, do they hold in the egg until I let them out and then find their nests and let loose? And by the way, I can't find one darn nest.

Two other possibilities: rats are stealing the eggs over night, or they are about to molt and therefore has stopped egg production.

For the past two months I've been bringing a dozen eggs a week to a local restaurant (the stellar Global Palate on 9W). I think I'm going to have to tell them that it might just be all over. I really liked selling my duck's goods. Made me proud. Now what happens when we have a clutch of baby ducks and a newborn baby human to take care of??

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Staying Out All Night

Well, last night, as I was making strawberry jam, I realized it was bed time for the ducks and dutifully walked down the hill for the billionth time. They were in the pond and they casually looked up at me and then looked away, not wanting to make eye contact. I called them, I sing-songed "grain, grayyyy-ne," and they continued to ignore me. These ducks were not going to be shut in the barn overnight, thank you very much. Keep your grain! they silently intoned.

This morning I saw them cross the road from the neighbor's back into our property! The nerve of these ducks!

I just may forgive their insolence, as they did lay two eggs in the barn stall.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Did the Duck Cross the Road??

I didn't address this perplexing question on my last post, which is shameful indeed! I don't have a terribly witty answer yet, but I couldn't just let it go. I must say the ducks have been happier with the new conditions, and the eggs are so much prettier when they lay them in doors. Maybe now they won't cross the road. Answer: Existential ennui? Snapping turtle anxiety?

A neighbor asked us if we wanted some Blue Swedes, which is the only other duck we've discussed getting. (This link is to an interesting man who lives in my area. He seems to be fanatical about dancing and ducks, which sounds good in my book.) My impulsive side got excited about more ducks, but I calmed her down realizing that we really can't get more ducks right now. Maybe next year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Put Down the Duckie

Last night I locked the ducks in their stall in the barn for the night. Good thing too because we had a terrific storm, loud and crazy. They didn't seem too upset when I let them out this morning. They left me one egg. Let's see if I can get them in there tonight. There's the real test.

Yesterday they crossed the road over into our neighbors property and we had to chase them back in. This morning on my way to work I saw them over there again! Bad ducks!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whistler Ducks

My mother sent me this photo of Whistler (or Goldeneye) Ducks. Aren't they cute??

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And Now There Are Six...

Well, yesterday I went down to gather eggs and I only counted six. When I went to feed them in the evening, there were only six. This morning I went down, and again, six. I am afraid to say that someone else has met their maker. At least, I am hoping, it was quick and painless. Amazingly, it wasn't our lame duck, who has some weird inflammation on her left foot. She's a tough bird. And surprisingly, it wasn't one of the males. We've lost two layers in a week! Where are the males protecting the females, I want to know. I can only figure that what happens is a female sits on her nest and is reluctant to get up and therefore loses her life protecting her eggs. So now we have four females and two males. I am wondering if I should start locking them up at night. The reason why I haven't is because they refused to. Maybe they have changed their mind. I figure it was a fox or coyote.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And Then There Were Seven...

Well, this is a sad post to make. Yesterday morning while gathering eggs we couldn't find number eight. Which happens, so we didn't worry too much. We thought someone found a very clever new nesting spot and was well hidden from egg-eating eyes. I got home from work not thinking of it, hearing Steve mowing the lawn by the pond. By and by, I realized the mower was off and there was no accompanying "clank!" that would indicate a stop in the great American past time. The silence lingered, so I went down to find out what it was. Was it a new animal sighting? A heron amidst the ducks? The kingfisher chattering around chased by an oriole? A snapping turtle out of water in all its algae-ed glory? It was eerily quiet and I found Steve at Duck Beach. He said he found number eight. She was badly mangled; her leg had been severely mauled. Steve had to do the brave thing and send her to her maker. This is life and death on the farm. We lost a good duck.