Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So... about those ducks....

When 4 little duck ducks came into my life, to say I was unprepared would be an understatement. Not only was I unprepared for where to put them, I was unprepared for the maintenance. It probably would have been easier, had I had a nice little run for them, with a small coop and an easy to clean pool.

But that's not what I had. I had a half finished chicken coop, 18 chickens in a playpen in my dining room and no place to put anyone.

Immediately, we doubled the size of the run, which still seems pretty small when you consider how big chickens really get. Once everyone could go outside, to relieve ourselves from chicken dust and smelly wet pine bedding, we just sort of tossed everyone in together. Ducks on one side of a partition, chickens wherever they damn well wanted.

That worked pretty well until about a week ago, when we got back from vacation. Seth took care of my ducks/chickens for me, and did a fairly good job. What he didn't do (because he didn't know he should) was to keep the bedding dry.

When I got back, it was a MESS. The ducks had obviously knocked over their water 1828 times and mix that with some duck crap and some heat. mmm... it was a lovely mixture. I'd had it, and immediately removed the partition.

It took about twelve 3 gallon buckets and a wheelbarrow full to get all the bedding out. Somewhere in there, I realized, I was overwhelmed. I'd just had enough. I had other things that needed doing, and "Raising Ducks in 15 Minutes A Day" was just not happening for me.

Add to that fact, that I was getting very little payout. After 8 weeks, they were still terrified of me (even tho the biggest one, my favorite, wouldn't freak out if I picked him up). They would run and squawk their heads off, I couldn't even pet the damn ducks.

I finally pulled up my big girl panties, and asked Gene if he minded if I found them a new home, and he said he did not mind and would not be offended. He kind of agreed with me, but really, he wanted something in return as we had so much invested into them.

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{Playing for the last time in their pool}

I put an ad on a local classified online, and soon had a reply from a lady not far from here. I made it clear, that these ducks needed a HOME that was SAFE. NOT meat birds. Period. Only I didn't sound that nice.

She assured me that she loved her animals, and that they took good care of them.

I admit, the first thing I did was check her out on facebook to see if there were any hints to her personality. I certainly didn't want to see a posting saying "Oh, a great big bowl of duck soup for supper - and free to boot!!"

What I found was a photo of their full grown goose, in the bathtub. What clenched it was they call their goose "Goose Goose". I call the ducks, "duck duck" and the chickens "chick chick" so it was kind of meant to be.

In return, she offered up two laying hens. Gene thought it was a splendid idea. I just felt rotten either way.

On Sunday morning, we made the exchange at a lake half way between here and there. She brought Goose Goose with her so that we could meet her. She was cute btw. Duck Ducks found a new home, and I think about them and hope that they are happier than where they were.

:'(

Later that day, I spent some time working on the window on the coop. One of the new hens started acting kinda crazy, it took me a good hour or two to figure out, she wanted to lay an egg!! I hurried and finished the temporary nesting box I was making (out of an old shelf that I was getting ready to toss in the trash), and picked her up and set her in it.

Immediately she started scratching around.

A couple hours later, I went to check and I had this:

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TWO eggs!

I kinda feel like a liar tho. I didn't do any of the work. Just brought them home and they squeezed out a couple eggs. *sigh*

Anyway, I get why it's fun, it's kind of like an easter egg hunt every day, wondering if there'll be one out there. We are up to 4 now, and that's just 2 chickens. Thinking by the time I have around 18-19 chickens laying eggs this fall, I'll be sharing egg recipes left and right.

No, I don't wanna be in the egg business.

However, I might be against my will.

6 comments:

Ms. Understood said...

It's hard to give up something you love, even when you know they're better off. I'm glad you found them good homes. They look beautiful. And what a blessing on the chicken getting to work as soon as she stepped foot in her new spot. Good luck with everything.

BJ_Mama said...

YAY FOR EGGS! :)

stopping by from SITS!

Dharma said...

Awesome! There are virtually millions of egg recipes for you to explore ;) I get the duck ducks had to go... I think you'll be happier in the long run with the hens. BTW - I'm painting your "Farm Fresh Eggs" sign as we speak - lol

Tracy said...

Awww sorry you had to get rid of your duck ducks. I can see it being hard to do as your raised them and took such good care of them. Happy they went to a good home though.

Eggs how neat is that. My daughter's friend had laying chickens and I was so happy as I got lots of eggs, then someone left the hen house open and a fox...well I need not say more.
This year they got some more chickens:)

LisaDay said...

I am glad duck ducks found a new loving home and were not dinner.

lisaDay

Schmutzie said...

You just reminded me of my recurring lifelong dream to have a duck. I don't know why. I've just always wanted one. And a chicken. And a goat named Edwina. Too bad my apartment building doesn't allow more than my three cats :)

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