Friday, May 22, 2009

Duck Daddy and His Six Girls - Day 3

So, I thought I might share a few links to let you know why Bev and I decided to go about the ridiculous task of raising Indian Runner Ducks from day old babies.

Here's our story:

Bev was raised on a farm. Bev does not feel complete without animals around her. From time to time over the 26 years of marriage Bev would call me at work and say, "I have a surprise for you." By the tone of her voice I would realize that she would actually have a surprise for herself, and that it would be a living, breathing, eating, pooping kind of surprise.

"When are you getting off work"

"Soon. I should be home in about an hour."

"Well...I have a surprise for you when you get home."


"You got a Greyhound, didn't you?"


"No. What makes you think that I would do that?"

Well, guess what was at the front door when I got home. Yep, a greyhound - only a few weeks off the track.

So, Bev has been threatening (she does not see it that way) to get some kind of farm-like animal for awhile.

First she wanted chickens. I reminded her of the stinkiness, and the potential for disease, and since she has bird flu phobia, that idea was nixed easily.

Then it was a desire for a miniature horse. I suggested that with a mere quarter of an acre in urban Salem, MA, and city rules which would make a complaint by a neighbor force you to get rid of your horse that this might not be a good idea. Whew, dodged that one!

Next it was pygmy goats. Dang they are cute! as the below You Tube video link will attest, but I thought that 5 or 6 pygmy goats might be problematic for neighborliness as well. Besides Bev was thinking of something practical, like getting milk from goats. I began to make fun of the idea of milking pygmy goats. I mean, heck what are they gonna do? Stand over your coffee cup in the morning? Do you have milk them with tweezers? Pygmy Goats Stand on Big Dog

Then Bev came up with the idea of getting ducks. She looked at You Tube videos of ducks, read about ducks, and became obsessed with ducks. The prolific Indian Runner Ducks came to the top of her list.

Well, I had a roommate in college who had a couple ducks. The girlie duck laid eggs around the yard, and they were better eggs than one buys at the store. The ducks were easy care, disease resistant (compared to chickens), and not a bother to neighbors who loved them. So realizing that a surprise might eventually be in store, I agreed that ducks would be an acceptable offering for our little urban farm to be. Heck, Mark and Kelly across the street have bees, and they don't even have a quarter of the yard we do.

So, here is my morning offering of our six girls, now on their third day at home with us. I need to show you what their washbasin brooder looks like just before we change it. They play in their water as much as they drink it, and at this age they should not be getting too wet, but everything gets wet, and then they poop like crazy. In fact they will poop in the newly changed washbasin as soon as we put them in it. (We have two basins, and simply rotate them) So, here's the mess they make:

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