Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Just Ducky

This spring and early summer, the duck population here at WTF Acres went  from 11 to 3. One by one my feathered friends met their demise. We’re fairly certain the guilty party was a hungry fox. My building skills are somewhat lacking, so my solution for stopping the carnage was running an electrical cord from the house and scavenging drop lights from the greenhouse.  Using the little boat by the pond as a rack, I plugged those lights in and scared every owl within a 10 mile radius out of their trees.

The duck population remained at 3. Sure, the electric bill has averaged $453 a month, but my ducks are safe!

The other day, while surfing Craig’s List for folks selling goats, I discovered a lady in Garfield who had 6 ducks and 1 goose for sale. They were so cheap there was no way I could pass up the opportunity. So, on Wednesday, Ma and I loaded Apun’s dog kennel in the back of her car and set out for the wilds of northern Arkansas. We laughed because we aren’t very efficient farmers. Sure, the ducks were cheap, but it was a three-hour round trip to get to them.  We decided since it was an adventure, the price didn’t matter.  It was worth the trip because instead of 6 ducks, we got 8!  Woohoo!

Two springs ago when we got chicks, we decided we would never purchase another animal without having the proper pen for it in advance. We’d forgotten that little promise.  My plan was to come home and put the ducks directly on the pond, but our journey took too long and it was dark when we arrived home. So, we decided to put our new friends in the chicken house–which is free of chickens at the moment.  Unloading ducks in the middle of the night with your 75 year old mother should be an Olympic sport. After tripping over the hose, hanging myself on an electrical wire, stubbing my toe on a rock and nearly severing my hand on the rusty hinge that secures our state-of-the-art chicken house, we tucked the ducks into their new home.

The next morning, my other brother Darryl called. He thought we should wait until he arrived on Saturday to put the ducks on the pond. He figured he’d get the barn and pen ready.  Sounded like a marvelous plan.  So, yesterday we made a nice, cozy coop (or whatever it’s called for ducks.) As a result, we now have a pond with 11 ducks and 1 goose and pastoral bliss.

 

Ducks and goose in the chicken house

New home–red barn turned duck house

My other brother Darryl and nephew Darryl Jr. built a duck run from the shed to the pond.

Ducks being transferred from the chicken house to their new home. Apun was not happy about the condition the ducks left her kennel.

My other brother Darryl and Darryl Jr. complete the duck transfer.

 

The ducks make a beeline (or would that be a deeline?) to the pond.

 

 

The ducks had been kept in a chicken yard with no pond or water. When they got to the pond’s edge, they had no idea what to do.

The expression on the first duck’s face when she hit the water was priceless. It looked like she was thinking: “Hey cool! When did I learn how to swim?”

The original 3 weren’t that thrilled with their new neighbors.

The newbies eventually convinced the originals to love them, but it took several laps around the pond before it happened.

 

 

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Comments on: "Just Ducky" (8)

  1. Awwwwww, congratulations on your new babies. Tell them Auntie Linda wants to see them asap.

  2. Great story, Claire. We had geese when I was a girl on the farm. During moulting season, I had to hold them while Mother gathered feathers for making pillows. The Gander held me totally responsible for the loss of his feathers, and would chase me every time i ventured into the barn-lot with his neck stretched forward, and a fearsome hiss emitting from his beak.

    • Oh no! Several people have warned me about geese, but my goose is so darn sweet. I sure hope she doesn’t get mean. Maybe if I just avoid the ganders? Although, that kind of ruins my chances of increasing my flock, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing!

  3. The two duck flocks were a little like Palestinians and Israelis, sounds like.

  4. Let’s take a lesson from the ducks- once around the pond, then bliss!

    Smiles,
    Linda Joyce

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