Sunday, May 17, 2009

Moving Day

The baby pen was overcrowded -- an understatement! Can you believe how big those ducklings are?

I spent Saturday morning building out a pen for them within the chicken pen in the barn. Now, no one will ever confuse me with a carpenter -- "square" and "plumb" don't enter my vocabulary! But what do chicks and ducks care from square and plumb? They just wanted to be able to walk around, and I want them to get some distance from the water!

Here they are taking the inaugural constitutional around the new pen. Now their kennel is about an inch above the floor, keeping them warm and dry. And they have the opportunity to peer out at the adult chickens. I hope they'll get used to each other before I leave the door open for them to mingle.

Just look how tall those ducks are! They're very rubbery, and truly waddle around on their webbed feet. Not the most graceful on the floor, but put them in the water and they're Baryshnikov and Pavlova! And how are we?

Just ducky!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ducks to water

The first time out for Ari Duckass and Dick the Duck (I can only assume I have a pair at present, time will tell!).

Ready to go back to the barn. Tomorrow: deeper water!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update from the barn

Look how tall the ducklings are! They have the sweetest faces, and if I quack at them they run over to the pen door. I think the chicks believe the ducks are their caretakers -- when something startles them, the chicks run over to these tall, yellow fluffballs for protection. It's endlessly amusing to watch them.

I've held the ducklings a few times this week. They are remarkably rubbery, their fluff is very dense, I suppose to help with swimming (which they have not yet had the opportunity to do, but I'm working on it). Their tailfeathers are just developing, while the chicks have their wingfeathers all in now. They grow up so soon!

There was another blessed event in the barn this week, no photos yet. The house sparrows who moved into the old barn swallow nest (feathering it lushly with chicken feathers!) hatched some number of peeps yesterday. We now have a symphony of sparrow-piccolos, chick and duck violins, and adult chicken tubas! I guess I can turn off their radio.

On another note, I found a surprisingly small egg in the box yesterday (see above and below). I think that it was layed by the hen who tried to hang herself on Monday. My theory is that the trauma caused a disruption in her normal egg laying, causing her to send out this midget egg. Part of me is very curious to see if it has a full yolk and albumen, but it's so darned cute I kind of hate to crack it!

That's a quarter on the plate for reference. Camera is a bit choosy lately about when it will or will not flash, ahem.

I wish I was posting photos of my veggie garden, but it still has a flooding issue and so no progress there. The seedlings in the house are large and strong, so all I need is a week of sunshine and all will be well!

And that's this week's update from Busy Solitude Farm!