Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Duck Story

You want to keep them alive.  After all you put them there to survive if possible.  But when it comes down to stems and seeds, extreme methods are necessary.  It is a  harsh winter,  worst in my memory: snow follows cold  with wind and ice between then more cold.   My attempts to keep part of our small pond open for the ducks involved two sets of pump/motor combinations to keep water flowing at the surface  to avoid freezing.  Both failed in the extreme conditions.  The last pump froze up during a -4° F morning leaving the four ducks without open water for protection from the marauding coyotes.  The dogs know when the ice will hold their weight and it now will.   The next morning  would be the end of ducks without intervention -- the coyotes are sneaky and slinky, built high,light and leggy -- since ice was thick enough to support even my 138 puunds.

The plan was to chase the ducks out of their tiny corner of the lake onto the snowy yard where they could be caught by hand.  That plan proved unnecessary since it turned out Ginny and I could herd the little ingrates back down through the yard to the duck pen I built years ago (which they seldom used and wouldn't usually go into)  Me with a long aluminum  pole and she with a  plastic-bin cover managed to get them  herded to the pen with rest stops every 50 feet or so.  Safe and sound they went into the duckhouse strewn with straw and (we can only imagine) happy to be there -- who knows?

A dove flew in . . . . . . .

Ducks started out to be a birthday present for Ginny years ago (the local farm store sells duck and chicken chicks in the spring) with 4 of the little critters.  Little did I know the process needed to keep them going:  From dining room floor to garage cage to building a duckpen with cedar poles and plywood, extending into the pond 8 feet or so, totally enclosed since racoons like duck too as I later found out.  Eventually I managed to hatch several with an incubator I made as one of many.  Sitting back to ponder, I cannot remember the number of ducks I have killed through inexperience or injury.  Little mama, spotts, sprig, big al . .many more,  some stand out, some don't but all part of the flow of life  we must all experience.


  1. I apologise for not popping in to say "G'day" sooner, Goatman.

    I can't imagine just how cold it's been for you guys up that way. Brrrrrrr! Snow might look pretty on the greeting cards and in romantic movies, but I don't think I'd like to be surrounded by it, day after day, night after night. The winter you're experiencing is horrendous, without doubt.

    I bet your ducks are very grateful for your caring.

  2. Sorry for your troubles. Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  3. Hi Goatman-thanks for visiting CC today. I hope your ducks the ducks are making out ok and that the coyotes found something to eat, too. It's not an easy winter for the wild things.

  4. Your ducks are lucky to have you.

  5. Oh the fun of raising animals. Hope they made it through the winter.

  6. I wondered if any of you duck people have seen wild and domestic ducks playing in moonbeams of light on the water of the pond. We saw it on the 13th of June 2014 a full moon. The ducks were ecstatic flapping diving swimming in the golden water light. The wonderful sight did not last long. Col.

  7. Anon,
    Would liked to have seen that display of cooperation and fun. Typically my ducks will chase off the wild ones from the pond, which is a short chase when they fly off.