Today was the day the ducklings were supposed to arrive. Or not. It was Tuesday, likely Wednesday or maybe Thursday. I started out by calling the post office at 8:15. They were very nice and took my name and number. Then I had to wait until it was 8:30 in Iowa to call the hatchery. Yes, they shipped Monday but without a tracking number. So great, they would likely be here today. Called back to the post office later, talked to someone else who was incredibly nice and said the package wasn't there, but I could call the distribution center. Which I did, and got another unbelievably nice person who said to call back after noon because that was the last truck of the day coming from Richmond. I called back. No live birds except for the Tractor Supply order. Dang! Canceled my ride, moped to the SB, CHO and my Mama. And fretted about the little critters being in a box for another day.
At 2, Tuck from the loading dock called to tell me the birds were there! I had to call back my ride V. We had been planning the duck run since I placed the order. She was on the phone. GAD I must have called about 18 times in 12 minutes. She finally whisked me off in the red Duckmobile. We picked the little darlings up around 2:40 this afternoon from a postal clerk who looked like she couldn't wait to get rid of them. I told her that I was supposed to inspect the package for losses in front of a clerk and I thought she got a little green around the gills. Luckily I could just pry the lid up a bit and check them out. No feet sticking straight up in the air, so I guessed that was OK. Then V and I navigated traffic Oh So carefully home. Where we stuck there little bills in water to get them drinking. Which they, for the most part, took to - well, like ducks to water..... Right.
Next we moved them to the new basement quarters (theoretically cat proof - the basement, not the quarters) and got them rolling on some crumbles. Three point two minutes later there were crumbles and water spread across the cage like a very small tornado had come through. Really. It was impressive. As we were watching them tear around making the cutest little pat pat sounds with their feet, V pointed out that we had 11 ducklings. Right. Ten would have been plenty. Even nine if we lost one. Crikey. The SB said, "That's about 300 more eggs!" Right. But I am betting it is a male, why else would they have thrown it in for free other than they have lots of extras. We do have one little one that may or may not make it. It is just teeny and not up to speed. I kind of hope that if we lose it, it is sooner rather than later....
The majority of the little beasts are eating and drinking like champs and the SB and I went ahead and cut off the leg bands since he is here and it was DEFINITELY a two person job.
So? Are you ready for the photos? Actually, most of them are terrible, I will try to get more good ones soon, but the little buggers are FAST.
Upon arrival at the Future Urban Farm. They were actually pretty calm. Until we dipped their bills into the equivalent of duck gatorade - which inspired them to begin leaping around and trying to climb out of the boxes. Or maybe it was just being handled and stared at that made them a bit nervous....
This is probably one of the chocolate colored ones. The feet are the best.
This is before everything got really crazy.... Wow. You should see the place now. Crikey. Oh, and they started to smell bad almost instantly. The cat is still blissfully unaware. At least I am blissful that the cat is unaware. I don't know that he is blissful. He is always on the cranky side. When I was last downstairs, they were all sleeping under the lamp and next to the heater. I need to go look at them and make sure they have food and water for the night. It is just remarkable how much they have gone through in such a short time.
In other news.... the potatoes are loving this weather. But frankly, I am ready for a little sunshine.