We have ducks now!
My friend brought over fifteen ducks, crosses of Indian runner, Appleyard, and Khaki. I only wanted five to start with but she said no way, fifteen is better for sure. We don’t have a drake yet, I think, and that is okay. We need to get use to our new routine, as do our dogs! Hopefully we will have some good egg layers though, they just finished molting so the production could be slow as we go into winter, but we shall see.
If you haven’t seen the videos from the morning they arrived, the link is a couple of lines down, Barb who owns Wolfridge Icelandics and who is a good friend is so knowledgeable as we go forward with our urban farm DUCKS.
We put up a temporary pen for them in our yard, to let them settle in, have some nice soft grass, tree shade, a splash pool, and really because we didn’t have their permanent enclosure ready. One easy plan got super complicated and then we couldn’t agree, and then we did, and then we looked at other ideas on-line, and then got confused, and then came back to simple and sturdy, and so on.
Having prey animals is not my strong suit, 1,000 ways to die, or think about dying, or imagine death with any new movement, please relax, I mean you no harm. On the other hand, I love working with and am good with predators, we get each other. Prey animals, well this will take some getting use too.
I love watching them, however they still need some distance from me in order to relax, so thankfully my zoom on my camera is awesome.
This morning they were having a blast in their pool after breakfast.
My two senior dogs walked around them, sniffed, watched, and then walked off. It was nice but not what they were hoping for I think. They prefer being construction dogs and hanging out with the Spore.
My other three dogs are super interested.
Rhumb and Mama Beetz have such natural balance, and have been working them through the fence, both counter and clock. Rhumb can do it with a bit more finesse, but she is also older, Mama Beetz does such an amazing job for her age, and then when she gets frustrated, she barks and screams at them to do as she wishes. Oh youth, how I love thee!
If I call, Rhumb will come off of the ducks, Mama Beetz will only come off of them if I open another gate to the pasture or if I have the hose and am walking away, otherwise, the ducks trump everything else right now. As always Mama Beetz makes me work very hard for everything.
Massimo will watch them, move them a bit, but his super power is to sit on the dirt mound outside of their enclosure, bluff charge and bark at them, and then run back and hide behind a post, so apparently the ducks wouldn’t know who scared them. Did you see who barked at us, no man I didn’t, there isn’t a single dog around? He came up with this game all on his own and seems so ridiculously proud of himself, he likes being sneeky like this sometimes. If I call him off of the ducks, he comes 100% of the time, he is making this very easy for me.
My Fort Duckworth carpenter is hard at work today with the permanent enclosure. Everything he is using is re-purposed or re-imagined from our other projects over the years. The fence posts are from our old fence, the fencing is left over from previous dog pens or past gardens, the Quack Shack is awesome and all bits and pieces from past projects, including the metal roof and ramp in and out (which will eventually have metal mesh over the top of it for safe entry and exit). And of course, our Fort Duckworth wouldn’t be complete without an old closet door!
Later this week we will have a metal mesh roof and then it will be predator proof and ready!
So here we are, starting our duck egg adventure and all that comes with it! Nancy