Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just Duckie

Blowing hard and cold with that horizontal snow coming off Lake Ontario to the west.  We put a heater in the milk room to keep the pipes from freezing and to help out the Milk Room Kitties.  Last winter I kept the electric range on with the door open and an oven rack set upright to keep the cats from crawling inside.  They love to sit on top of the warm stove but they can't help me with the electric bill.  Hopefully the heater will be more cost effective.  The barn is shaking and creaking around me now.  I still have some ducks on the south side of the barn.  Less wind but still cold.  It will take some doing to herd them all the way around the east end to get them inside.   I just got one band of ducks that were in with the sheep out of that area into the designated duckie land near the milk room door.   Ducks are very clannish and persnickety about who they hang with.  The summer ducks were in the barn with the sheep where they had wandered all by themselves when the weather got bad.  I was not able to feed them without them being run over by sheep and goats.  Tonight I took my staff, moved the sheep away (they fear the magic stick) and turned to run the ducks out the door to the non-sheep area.  When the two groups of ducks mingled there was much posturing and loud quacking...until they discovered all the corn and sunflower seeds I threw out for them.  I prepared some lovely nest boxes with fresh hay to encourage egg laying.  I've only been receiving one egg a day from my chicken room and am hoping the ducks pick up the slack.   I've grown quite fond of my ducks even though I have no idea of who is male or female.  If I see one sitting on eggs I can be reasonably sure it is a female.  Maybe.  I know they'll miss the juicy earthworms, the crunchy bugs, sweet leaves of grass and drinking out of Finn's water bucket by the trailer.  Quite frankly I'm happy to have the ducks captive in the barn where I can have their eggs.  Who knows how many eggs they've hidden down by the marshy area behind the barn with only the fox and porcupines to enjoy them.  Those ducks are so busted.

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