You missed me didn't you? Both of you did, I just KNOW it.
There is much news, I suppose. And as with farms and life, there is good and bad.
We'll start with the bad and just get that out of the way....
It has been a rough year for ducks here at the urban farm. We lost 2 over Labor Day weekend to a fox, with an additional one mauled pretty good. Josephine "the survivor" Duck, managed to make it. Much to the surprise of both the SB and I. I cleaned her wounds with water and hydrogen peroxide and then sprayed them with "wound spray" which is pretty much an anti-everything spray. I don't know what is in it but it is anti fungal, anti bacterial and probably tastes really bad to foxes. We tucked her into her own little sub pen and tried to get her to eat. After a couple of days, she started on some spinach, moved on to water fowl food and finally to regular duck food. I don't know if I missed a cut on her leg, or if there was some kind of fracture. But over the next week or so her knee swelled significantly and got hot. I called my gung ho vet and he allowed me to pick up some antibiotics from the compounding pharmacy in town. It was nice that my Mama could pick them up and she paid for them. Which I appreciated even more when I had to pick up the second round and pay $38 for them. Sheesh. So we gave Miss J oral antibiotics 2x per day for most of a month and topical antibiotic cream as well. And the SB gave some physical therapy along the way as well. She got better, finally. Then she slipped a tendon. Which is not good. This can come from prolonged swelling. Maybe we let her get too much exercise too soon? I don't know. The SB has redoubled his efforts in the physical therapy, stretching the tendon and hoping to convince it to stay where it belongs. So far there is not much of a change, but he is persistent. I hate to see her hobbling, but she otherwise seems in pretty good spirits. Certainly alert and engaged in her flock so I don't want to put her down.
In the meantime, we lost another duck to the fox in broad daylight right behind the SB's back. Damn fox. So now, the ducks can only go in the fenced in garden unless we are right on top of them. Pain in the butt and hard on the garden. There is much planning to do to make the garden work next spring. Now we have some half assed fencing keeping the ducks (mostly) out of the fall garden.
Because all the ducks we lost were females, I bought three older ducks to add to the flock to keep the boys from harrassing the girls too much. We are still a little boy heavy, but I don't want more ducks. I could get rid of one of the boys, but I would hate to send him off to a new home without a friend and I don't want to get rid of any more of mine. We'll see how spring goes.
The good news is that the goats were out in the country this week getting knocked up. Yup. My girls are gonna have them some babies this spring. I took them out to Dragon Hill Farm to meet their baby dady. Apparently deeds have been done and I am going to pick them up tomorrow. They have been gone less than a week, but it feels like forever. I am excited about the babies, but terrified. Clearly things don't always go as planned in these little events.... and the real issue is how on earth and I going to bring myself to take the babies away from their mamas? Oi. I am either going to be very unpopular or cave and leave them on their mothers and never have milk. Oi. My head hurts just thinking about it.
In other good news, in the process of buying the ducks I met this really amazing lady who has had ducks for a long time. She is a fantastic resource and I look forward to talking more with her in future.
As the light wanes for the year, I have been being more social. It has been great to catch up with friends and neighbors now that the air has cooled and the mosquitoes aren't hounding me at every instant.
Fall is such a relieve.