Merry Christmas 2015
Jan 11, 2016

Ducks can make you smile

As I get closer to the barn in the morning, I can hear the animals inside. mostly the chickens and goats. When I open the chain link gate of the chicken “fortress” it makes a clank sound. Then the ducks really go off inside. They are very loud and rambunctious. I open the door and there may be chickens at the top of the ramp but if there is snow on the ground, the chickens do not want to go out. The ducks will bully on past them, knocking them out of the way. If it is fresh snow, they will make “snow angels”. Waddling and rubbing in the snow. Sticking their beaks in the snow. Quacking the whole time.

If it is warm enough, and I can fill the kiddie pool, they will stand off watching me. Quacking. No sooner do I pull the hose out and get out of the way then they are falling over the edge of the pool into the water. They stick their heads under the water. They flap their wings. Six ducks try to get into the kiddie pool at the same time. They roll, quack, splash and just have a good time.

The chickens that have climbed the tree are looking at them. Jealous that they cannot join in the splash party.

I have watched the ducks stomp their feet in mud to loosen the dirt or drive the bugs up. Then they use their beaks to loosen the mud even more and get what it was they were after.

When they are free to roam the whole yard, one duck will take lead. I think it is the same female all the time. The two females, Peking ducks, will always be in the lead. And the males will be faithfully following behind. The Pekings are the loudest with one of the males voicing his opinion along with theirs.

They like to get under a pine tree that has low branches. The tall weeds are another good place to hide. There is a small stock tank that can hold one duck comfortably. They will try to all get in.

We do get eggs. Sometimes. They are good for baking, better rising. We eat them for breakfast. Cracking the egg sometimes is a feat in itself. The eggs have a very hard shell and you have to hit them pretty hard on the counter. I tend to have a slimy egg white trail from the place where I finally cracked the egg to the frying pan.

Welcome to the dog and duck yard!


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