Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Duck has the baby blues, and goes mental!.... and duck facts!



Lesson learned today: ducks make fierce mamas, and they are not to be reckoned with.

As you have probably read we have had some serious farm fiascoes in the last month. Farm animals are oftentimes hard to keep alive.
Let me elaborate, first there was the raccoons, then the mink, and now the owls...fiddle sticks, how do these critters survive in the wild?

So the latest mortality has been with the ducks. You see it is spring, and well, ducks just wanna have fun...you get the drift.
I so don't need to teach about the birds and bees at our house, bonus!
Well the silly ducks keep trying to sit on their eggs...this is the forth batch, no luck.

#1 got eaten by hawks...
#2 eggs got wet and cold in a storm..
#3 duck almost got eaten by a raccoon, but is thankfully healing up nicely...the eggs, not so much..

So me, thinking it is a good idea to move this silly duck to the barn to be safe, was not a stellar idea as it turns out.

Here is how it went down.

Me:"Dear daughter #1 can you help me to move this duck"?
Her: "sure mom I will get the eggs, you get the duck"
Me: "um OK, just get the whole nest....oh, no don't carry the eggs you might drop....oh...them, It's OK accidents happen. It is only one"

We transfer the eggs minus one, nest, and squawking duck to the barn, which so happens to also house the week old chicks. I think "no problem there is a barrier and this duck will just chill out and sit on her wee eggs. It is quiet warm and clean. We leave to finish up chores and dear son, bless his heart goes to check up on them.

I am slightly annoyed as it is well past bed time, and I seem to be doing all the chores.
Lucky he did, because I guess Mrs. Coco the duck heard baby chicks and thought it was Christmas, she had broken down the barrier, and was busily rounding up chicks. Who needs to sit on eggs for 4 weeks when you have a barn full of chicks to tend.

So here I am trying to save the frail little chicks from a crazy mama duck who is as mad as a hatter, Our sweet little duck turned snap dragon right before my eyes. Just saying, that is one strong bill!

So long story short I finally rounded up the crazy duck and put her and her blasted eggs in the duck pen, with all the other ducks....so we shall see?

Gosh, I am beat. Who knew.

Here are some duck facts! 


What Makes a Muscovy Duck Special?

Muscovies are not related to any other duck, in fact some believe they are descended from geese rather than ducks. They originate from South America where their name is believed to come from their insatiable appetite for mosquito’s and their larvae. How great is that – a critter that turns mosquitos into tasty protein! They also have a penchant for flies, small slugs, snails and even frogs & newts. Great for my garden!

The most obvious difference between them and ‘other’ ducks are the carruncles (the red stuff) on their faces which is more predominant in the males. Interestingly, in females the bright red dulls to a deep orange when they’re broody, right through to raising their ducklings. A blatant visual warning to the males to stay away!


Another difference is they have long, sharp claws which are used to attach to tree branches at night when they roost. Due to these claws there’s a right and wrong way to pick up a muscovy and the wrong way will end in bloodshed – yours that is. Put your carrying arm over and around its body, pinning both wings in place and taking hold of one or both legs (depending on the size of the bird and the size of you) gently but firmly. This needs to be done pretty quickly. as if they start to struggle with you they’ll lash out trying to find their feet, and you’ll have first hand experience of those claws.
Always an idea to do this manoeuvre with the duck facing backwards, as if they decide to relieve themselves whilst being carried you’ll end up wearing it down your back.
Yep, sadly I speak from experience.

We LOVE our ducks!
Bible verse for today:

Psalm 100:3 

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.



Came across these great pictures and facts from hedge combers!


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