Saturday, June 20, 2009

Time for ducklings

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I've been worried about not seeing three of our ducks for a month now. I've been hoping that they were setting, rather than being digested in a coyote's stomach. Thursday night, we were eating dinner on the deck, which overlooks the pond, and I shrieked, "Ducks!" and pointed towards the edge of the pond near the chicken house. Mike thought something was wrong, but I quickly corrected myself by adding, "Baby ducks!"

We now have six ducks again, and they have seven ducklings following them. I have no idea which ducklings belong to which ducks, but it doesn't really matter anyway. One thing I've learned about domesticated ducks and geese is that they fully support the idea of a village raising a child.

On a sadder note, the mama goose has finally given up. There is only one egg left on her nest. At least she is not injured. Perhaps in the goose world, she is considered a less-than-adequate mother, but I'm glad she ran when the coyote kept coming back to her nest. The last poor goose stood up to the coyote three years in a row. She was badly injured the first two years, and this year, she was eaten.

I shouldn't get too excited about the ducklings, however, because there is a giant snapping turtle in the pond, and she eats all the ducklings that swim out there. Trying to keep ducklings out of a pond is not an easy task. Two years ago, Margaret and I tried to catch ducklings. After an hour of running around, I wound up with heat exhaustion. It is not an experience I want to repeat. Unfortunately, we really didn't learn much from the experience, so I'm not terribly optimistic about our chances of trying to help.


Mom L said...

I'm glad your ducks are back, Deborah, and I hope all the ducklings grow up safely.


Gizmo said...

Your other option is to shoot the snapping turtle. She can get so big that it knocks the pond's balance off.
Good luck.

SkippyMom said...

I was thinking along the lines of Gizmo too - but perhaps you could catch it and relocate it somewhere else?

Then again - I Giz does have a point about the balance.

I am happy :) for you that the ducks are back and not coyote dinner. YAY!

Cheers! and heres hoping that they grow up big and strong.

Happy Saturday

Heather said...

When we had ducks, they really loved cat food, which we gave them occasionally, just as a treat. We'd rattle the cat food bowl, and they'd come running.

Carolina Trekker said...

On the Carolina Coast we catch crabs by dangling a chicken neck tied to a heavy cord in the water. That might attract the turtle and then maybe you can net it. (Like you have time? LOL) I know how you are feeling. I just discovered a Gray Rat Snake living near my birdfeeder station. It can climb trees & eats bird eggs & small wild birds. He hunts at night. Bummer.

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

We have giant turtles in our creek that feast on our ducklings, as well as blue herons and everything else. We've had good luck catching the turtles with chicken gizzards. We took the first hatch away from the mothers, and our turkey is raising them. We have around 40 and no losses. of course, they haven't been down in the creek yet...


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