Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Disheartened



It probably wouldn't have worked out anyway.

The snappers have bred so successfully, that the minute his little webbed feet touched the pond, this duckling would've become turtle food. We think they were even behind the recent demise of the tweed duck, the largest of our Runners.

Indian Runner ducks aren't supposed to go broody. But this one did, and sat on a great many eggs. I didn't figure she would stick to it... after all, this is the home of the Muscovy duck who thinks she only has to sit on her eggs at night, and the hens who play musical nests when trying to brood.

This gal turned out to be amazingly fierce when protecting her eggs. Only this baby hatched, though. Oh, he was so cute! The first time I saw him, I'd leaned over to question her (in the proud tradition of prospective grandmothers everywhere), "Why haven't you had any babies yet?" And there he was, standing on her back.

There is not much in this world cuter than a duckling. Quick, run get the camera! By the time I'd returned, the baby was in this position, trying to take a little nap by her side. I had to use the zoom - she didn't want us anywhere near him.

He died three days later, of unknown causes.

14 comments:

pablo said...

Sorry about the tough luck. I suppose you were right about the turtles too. Still, I'm glad you posted about this.

Nio said...

Poor guy.

Floridacracker said...

DuckLINGS are cute and DuckADULTS are so funny.
Sorry for your loss, but I find raising poultry to be a series of death and disappointments...still I persist.

You need a recipe for snapping turtle!

meresy_g said...

Awww...poor duckling. Poor mama duck too. Better to die at your momma's side than to be the prey of a big old ugly turtle.

Hurricane Teen said...

Aww man. Ducks are my favorite animals on this earth. Sad to see one of them ducklings die. But just having ducks and being able to watch their antics would be worth it I believe.

KFarmer said...

I'm sorry- that just makes me sad reading about it. I have problems with turtles too- especially in the garden.

shannon said...

What a shame. I keep beignt empted to let one of the buff orps go broody but then think about the two too many roosters I already am trying to get rid of....

We keep the eggs in coolers filled with ice packs...they have to be below 42 degrees (we have thermometers in each one). We also have a "potentially hazardous food permit" from our town, and the town where we sell... Regs. also specify that we have to use new egg cartons and that they need to be labeled with our contact info, date laid, and date best by (28 days later)

happy and blue 2 said...

That is so sad.
I'm glad you got that picture though..

chiefbiscuit said...

Ducklings ARE the cutest things - but prone to misadventure - over here the black-backed gulls gobble them up.

Ontario Wanderer said...

This brings back many memories of ducks and ducklings from by youthful 4H days. I, and my parents, raised many duckling and had many die in pen and creek from various causes.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all. It was sad.

FC, I'd hate to try it, with the condition of the water they're in. (In the creek & drainage ditches, not the pond.)

KF, luckily they have left the garden alone so far. (Knock wood!)

Shannon thanks for the egg info! I've had wild thoughts about trying to do it here, but I'm not sure if it would pay for itself or not. (We are just giving our eggs away now.) Right now they're not laying much anyway.

LauraP said...

Very cute pic - I'm so sorry the little one didn't make it.

e said...

Ducks are notoriously bad sitters -Beatrix Potter wasn't making it up in Jemima Puddleduck.

You can hatch and rear ducklings under hens if you have a good broody (28 days vs 21). The funny bit is seeing the look on the hen's little face when the ducklings decide to throw themselves in water for the first time. It's priceless.

Rurality said...

Ha! I am laughing just thinking about it. :) For some reason I'd thought that duck eggs needed more moisture while incubating.