Saturday, February 11, 2012

Season of Song

I have noticed the song birds are back. Or at least our paths are crossing more frequently now. My wake up and feeding time doesn't change much, but the light is creeping back into the mornings and I have caught a sunrise or two on the weekends when I round just a few minutes later. I love the peachy purple sky. Tonight it will be COLD. One of maybe two nights in the teens this winter. I look forward to the morning. There will be ice on the animals' water. They will be extra happy to see me. Hopefully I get done with the rounds before the cold seeps into my clothes and I can get back into the house before the teeth start chattering. I will have the luxury of going back to bed once everyone has what they need. I almost never do that, but it has been a long week and some extra sleep would be most welcome.

Ducklings arrive the week of the 20th. We have much to do to prepare for the onslaught of tiny peepers. A water management system is critical. The last time the basement practically flooded with the splashing. And the stink. Oi. I have been hearing horror stories of combining flocks, but we are just going to have to go slowly and carefully. We can divide the duck house and the pen in half so each flock has their own space until they get used to one another. I can only imagine the drama.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Follow up

The trauma of Tuesday was followed (WAY TOO) closely with the trauma of Thursday, which was less traumatic but still darned upsetting. My neighbor, a different one this time, called and said there was a dog near the goat pen. She called a few minutes later to say that the dog had gone over the (4 ft) fence and had attacked Ella. Luckily, the neighbor yelled and ran into the pen and the dog lept out the other side and was off. Ella wasn't harmed but again, everyone was freaked out. We are very thankful to our wee neighbors H and C for alerting their Mama to the fact that there was a dog in the yard. They were ON IT after the duck incident. Thanks guys and thanks to our fabulous neighbor S who make the rescue.

Another morning spent with the Animal Control Guy. We are not yet on a first name basis and I hope we don't get there. The description of the dog is markedly close to the dog who broke into the duck pen. The time of day was exactly the same. The guy whose dog killed the ducks swears his dog was at home. I don't believe him. He also tells me he is sending his dog to the country to live with his parents. I really hope I can believe that.

The goats have recovered well. The ducks are coming more slowly. Josephine was the last duck standing in the pen, the two other survivors managed to flee though I have no idea how. Josephine is the one who is only now coming back. Since Tuesday she has been sliding into the thousand yard stare for very long periods. None of them have been eating much. Today though, things seemed a little better. They ate some food. The squawked at me when I went outside and they made more in the way of general duck noises. The sounds are what we really miss. The SB most of all, as he is here more to listen. He is pushing for ducklings sooner rather than later so we can rebuild the flock. Three is just too few ducks. I can't say I am thrilled about stinky ducklings in my basement again, but it will be nice to be on the road to normal. Ducks are what pass for normal now.

It has been a very hard week. I was having significant anxiety at work this morning. I was waiting for the phone to ring with more bad news. I made the SB go check on the animals as soon as he got up. They were, and are fine. It is me that is the wreck.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And then there were three

Yesterday an off leash dog broke into the duck pen and killed seven of our flock. We were lucky that a neighbor found the dog in the act and pulled him out of the pen. Otherwise we would be completely flockless.

It was a grim day. We were interviewing at work so I had to maintain the happy face all day with the candidates, despite having run home for 90 minutes to collect the bodies, find the the missing ducks and talk with the animal control guy. Everyone was traumatized. Our neighbor, the SB, the remainder ducks.

I am still uncertain if one of them will make it. She is moving slowly today, whether from injury or shock I don't know.

Thanks to our neighbor, we have identified the dog and hopefully will work something out with the owner.

I try to comfort myself with the good life they led up until Tuesday morning.

The neighbors, friends and family have been amazing. It has been nice to hear from folks how much they like having these critters here in the hood.