Friday, July 08, 2005

Farm report

About a year ago, a friend gave us one male and two female muscovy ducks. One of the females went missing the weekend I was away at the soap gathering.

Recently the other female made a nest in the yard, in a spot where five tree trunks meet.

She tries to stay hidden, but on one side she's fairly exposed.

Yep that's poison ivy.

A glimpse of the eggs. She laid seven of them and then started sitting.

I've been hoping that
1) no coyote or other critter will eat her,
2) the eggs will successfully hatch,
3) at least a few of the eggs will be pure muscovies instead of muscovy-runner hybrids,
4) at least a couple of the pure muscovies will be females.

That's a lot to hope for. But the friend who gave us the ducks has only males left (a predator got the others), and would like some females back, if we can produce any.

So imagine my disappointment yesterday when I found that something had eaten half the eggs.

Guess who was caught red-handed.

Bad dog! Very very very bad dog!

On today's to-do list: fencing.


Sharfa said...

Uh oh! Bad Jasmine!

sugarcreekfarm said...

Yeah, fencing is on our list also. Ike has been running thru Madeline's new flower garden, trampling some and snapping others right off. Good thing they're cute!

robin andrea said...

Jasmine! Oh no-- bad girl.
That's really a shame--those muscovys are such interesting looking ducks.

shannon said...

Oh! Jasmine! Not the duck eggs! If some are runner-muscovy hybirds -would they hatch at all? Or do they hatch as sterile offspring? Hope you get a few baby muscovies soon. Guess Jaz doesn't mind the poison ivy....

Rainypete said...

And to think, you were worried about coyotes and the like!

Betcha never thought that Jasmine would be a duck predator.

Magazine Man said...

My son and I were likewise disappointed to hear of the egg-devouring, although each for completely different reasons. When I read to him the part about Jasmine eating the eggs, he looked crestfallen and said, "Aw, I was hoping the snake came back and got them." Can you tell he's a bit single-minded about these things?

What must the rest of the ducks and chickens think of Jasmine? To them it's got to be like having a cute, furry Hannibal Lecter wandering freely about the farm...

R.Powers said...

It's not Jasmine's fault, the cats talked her into it...

Charles said...

fencing is the way to go. I taught a duck to fence one time and nobody, I mean NOBODY, ever messed with it again.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah. Interesting story and all, but what kind of three is that???????

Crowe said...

It certainly couldn't possibly have been Jasmine. I expect a gigantic sabre-toothed egg-snaffling hippopotamus came along and Jasmine just got all yolky fighting him off. If it hadn't been for Jasmine, probably it would have eaten the whole farm. Why, she's a HERO ...

Rurality said...

Well we looked at another dog pen (like the one the ducks are in), but it has really jumped in price since last year: $218 vs. $100 last year! So we'll have to do something else.

So far the other eggs seem to be ok. I'd found one in the yard that had been carried off but not broken yet, so I put it back.

Sharfa by the time we got through yelling at her I think she realized she'd done something bad. I hope.

Kelli, Pyrs don't really do obedience very well huh?

RD there are at least a few eggs left. If all else fails and she still wants to nest I can always give her plain runner eggs I guess.

Shannon, I have no idea, but I think at least they would hatch. I know muscovies breed with mallards sometimes.

Rainypete, to tell you the truth, hubby sometimes wonders if Jasmine might have something to do with some of the chicken disappearances. I keep saying, "no not poor little Jasmine..."

MM, no! No egg-eating snakes allowed. No bird-eating dogs either (I hope).

FC Jasmine's cuteness obviously has you fooled completely!

Charles I wish I could teach that duck to fence! But how would she hold the epee?

Pablo, I think it's a hackberry. But it may be a hybridized one - it doesn't seem to fit any of the decriptions exactly. The leaves are long & narrow, but also strongly toothed.

Sara, sure, sure, I might even believe that story if I hadn't seen her stick her head in that hole and come out with an egg in her mouth...

Karen Schmautz said...

And to think I was mad at my Jasmine yesterday when I came home and found she had gotten into the trash again. She has learned how to open the cupboard door and remove the entire trash bin. Bad least she doesn't open the refrig. and get herself some eggs.

R.Powers said...

Just wanted to say we are thinking about you and yours during this Dennis event. It looks like the landfall track includes most of Alabama. Good luck and batten down the hatches. Take care.

roger said...

i was wary to comment because i also thought that you might have to reconsider jasmine's role in the fowl disappearances. a tough situation even if it is just eggs she eats.

Happy and Blue 2 said...

Sorry about losing the eggs but the dog does have a nice sheen on its coat now..

Anonymous said...

At least Jasmine didn't know what she was doing; I told my Dad about your dog eating the ducks eggs and he relayed a story about how he used to keep homing pigeons as a child. He was very excited about some eggs that had been laid, only to find that the next day his father was frying them up for breakfast!

Anonymous said...

Oh no, bad bad Jasmine!

At least she did not devour them all, so there is still hope.

Our journey to obtain a couple more females continues. I'm crazy about our Muscovy ducks, but 2 boys to one girl is not going to work for too much longer.

Good luck with yours! Maybe you'll get a couple cute sterile mule ducks...a Muscovy/runner cross could make for a very interesting duck ;)


Anonymous said...

I've forgotten (blocked out the memory?) how long it takes things to travel through a dog's system (I used to routinely have to retrieve paper money from one of my dogs leavings--I won't go into detail), but you could check for obvious signs of feathers in her stool a day or two after a bird disappears. Are you finding piles of feathers in the yard? Could be Jasmine, though not necessarily; but if the bird just clean disappears, I'd wager you've got a raptor enjoying the free buffet.

Rurality said...

Well after realizing that a dog pen would be too pricy right now, but before being able to get anything else, the rest of the eggs disappeared. I think it was Jasmine... otherwise I suspect the duck would have been gone too.

Hubby said we just need to make a nesting area that's better protected. Sigh.

Hick if she ever does, at least you'll gain a few extra steps chasing after her. :)

FC, thanks. Hope you make it through all this season's hurricanes as well.

DPR I really don't think so. I hope not anyway. We've definitely seen a lot of coyotes in the area. One was prowling right by the chicken coop!

H&B you always see the bright side of things. :)

Kai, LOL! Yeah it could be worse!

Sarah I guess now it'll have to be, "Well she can always lay more..."

C. Corax, hubby says you win the prize for the best idea of the day (looking for feathers in the stool). Pyrs are actually pretty good about hiding their poop! When we've come across it before, it hasn't contained feathers, but we'll have to make an effort to look for it again.

As far as raptors go, every time we see that one has gotten a yard bird, we do find feathers. I think they way they kill them causes a feather release. We did find one pile of chicken feather like that. But usually there is no evidence, just missing chickens.

The chickens spend most of the time in the woods anyway. (Merlins are in the woods but I don't think they could kill chickens.) I think if Jasmine got them, we'd find evidence. We've never seen blood on her or any other clues. I keep thinking that coyotes would leave no evidence, since they'd just grab and run.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Anonymous said...

Kinda gives the phrase "egg-suckin' dog" a whole new twist!

Sorry 'bout yer babies!

Did Dennis wuss out before giving you any trouble?

Rurality said...

Yup. Luckily for us, it not only wussed out, but wussed out in a more westerly direction. :)