Friday, February 16, 2007

Duck Slushee

Each morning for the past month or so I must break out a patch of the pond for the ducks after the overnight freeze. I usually remove the ice chunks with a leaf rake but this time they sped right into the ice bath hoping for the best . . .
A racoon got into the pen over the top a day after this was taken and ate little girl (top one) but sprig is still squalking. I immediately covered the pen with chicken wire and sprig is spending the nights under the duckhouse after being freaked by the coon whilst the two were in the duckhouse that night. I can think of no worst trauma than to have my buddy eaten within sound of my ears and hearing the crunching but I have to believe that ducks have short memories. There was a small pile of feathers and a webbed foot left after the incident.
Having gotten nine of ten ducks killed in the last two years, I wonder if I should continue with this endeavour. But sprig needs a few buddies and spring is almost here so I will get some more Rouen duck chicks for her. Death is , after all, just a heartbeat away for any of us and this serves to remind me of that.
I found a quote recently which makes me feel a bit better:

"If those who owe us nothing gave us nothing, how poor we would be." Antonio Porchia


  1. awww..thats so sad! i dislike raccoons..sorry to say that..not their fault of course, but still..cant stand raccoons(thay get into everything) and skunks.

    nine out of ten is bad! i do hope the next ones survive better.

  2. I didn't know raccoons ate ducks. I feel horrible for the little girl that got eaten. I know you must feel pretty down about it. I believe we humans can form bonds with just about anything. I remember when I was a kid, I had a small funeral for my dead goldfish. I buried it, and then celebrated when a beautiful bush started to grow over the grave. It reminded me of Where the Red Fern Grows.

    Hope your next batch of ducklings are a little luckier.

  3. Oh no! That's too sad! Now I will have to lay down and take a nap!

  4. Gosh, thats really sad.

    Nice quote though!

  5. That's so nice of you to do that for the ducks, and so sad about "little girl." Things like that break my heart.

  6. i'm sorry about all your losses and wish you luck with the new chicks.

  7. Thanks all for your thoughts.
    I know that this tiny death can never approach those of Iraqis and soldiers in a faroff land, but I don't know them. And all I can do about that situation is to write letters, cry, and vote. Paltry responses in the scheme of it.
    But I need to express my little griefs, as I suppose we all do, in order to put it down and move on. And this seems a wonderful place to do that.

  8. Give up and raise racoons.Sorry about your loss but perhaps you wern't ment to raise ducks. Cedar works better than redwood in a real sauna.

  9. sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking about what you said. True that all of us will meet ours soon enough. Thanks for the quote.

  10. Hi goatman.......

    I'm so sorry for "Little Girl" - and grief is grief......doesn't matter who, what , when, where....thank you for sharing yours with us.........

    I love your hopeful/fighting spirit! Tell those coons: Bring it On!!!!!!!! (I'm a good shot with a 22......)

  11. I'm sorry, Goatman, for the loss. It's hard to take, and I'm glad you wrote about it. I think blogging is a great place to do that!

    We had a problem with raccoons and mink, where I grew up. We finally put a goose in the pen with the ducks (don't know if that's correct or not, lol) and that goose was an amazing watchdog. Or watch goose, whatever, lol.

    We had no further problems after that, as I recall!

  12. Hi goatman.....your posts aren't depressing - they are slices of life - very real. We all struggle with loss and grief and serve it up in a different way that is unique!

    On a different note, the day I read your post, I drove by a dead raccoon on the side of the road and my first thought was of Little Girl.......I felt there was a karmic justice here: Little Girl, gone; one raccoon dead. It felt peaceful.......


  13. years ago we had a pet skunk ducks a dog and a cat and a pet crow v
    the skunk amost killed yhe, all
    so we had to give it away

  14. hi
    glad you liked that pic! not aware of doing anything in particular..:P

    some of the fuzzy background pics were done using picasa,(free software from google) used the soft focus effect, if you play around with size and amount buttons, you get the exact focus you want. its cool actually.

  15. I'm so sorry to read this, Goatman. I'm glad to know you'll keep trying and get a friend for Sprig, though.
    And the closing quote is wonderful.
    Be well.

  16. hi,

    I am glad you left a nice response for my post.
    I hope u'll keep visiting :)

    Good to know that you provide shelter for ducks.

  17. Oh, that's so sad about Sprig's friend! :-( I think you're right, though, that that is part of life... maybe some other deterrent needed though?

    Like the quote!

  18. I have alot of ducks and I have had racoons get them at times. I built floating islands in the pond for free out of shipping pallets with styrofoam underneath, it needs to be replaced from time to time. I put plastic crates with hay, leaves twigs etc for nest on them. They now stay safe and sleep there at night. I also have halogen worklights go on from dusk till dawn, they illuminate predators eyes and let the ducks see them coming. I also set a trap and call animal control to take the predators away. Good luck!