A Raft of Ducks

Just a few duck photos. These guys make me laugh every day.

Just a little morning mud bath:

This is how she runs up to me, wanting to be picked up and snuggled. She gets scritches instead.


 

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Duck Sagas: Egg-cellent

So Penelope started laying consistently this week. Her endeavors have been adorable. The eggs have ranged from full-sized to fun-sized. I should have added chicken egg for comparison – but the third egg in is about chicken egg-sized.  Duck eggs are much bigger than even extra-large chicken eggs.

You can also see that Mabel and Maddie have been busy, as well. Their eggs are back to being hard-shelled after a few months of soft-shelled eggs. The culprit? Bixby’s dog food. They do love their dog food, so I switched Scout and the ducks back to the old food, while Bixby has to have a beef food because he’s developed a chicken allergy.

Ten days off of dog food and many days of Ducks On Strike and everything went back to normal. Except they still wouldn’t lay eggs consistently, so I relented and give them about 2 cups of Scout’s food to share in the morning. They are eating more laying mix of seeds/scratch but happy to have their dog food back and laying eggs daily.

They are also EXCELLENT bug hunters and I love watching them run around the yard devouring flies, grasshoppers and grubs.


 

Day Four: Ducks On Strike

three ducks gathers at door

So the ducks LOVE dog food. I’m assuming whoever raised and abandoned Mabel (l) and Maddie (c) fed it to them. I’ve had little luck moving them to duck crumbles. I finally resorted to very expensive duck seed specifically for layers, so it’s not processed into a pellet. They will eat that, but not until after their dog food is gone.

After discovering Bixby is sensitive to chicken (of all things), I had to change the pups food to a different type and brand. Over the summer, the duck eggshells have become thinner and thinner, and the only change I could think of was the dog food. So I’ve stopped giving it to them.  Monday.

They are now only getting their good duck seed. Expensive. Full of a variety of seeds and nutrition.

What you see above is the result. They stand outside the patio door and bitch at me because I have not provided them with the proper nutrition for the day. In protest, I have not gotten an egg from either of them since Monday.

Penelope has not been as picky, but in solidarity, she has joined the picket line.


 

Duck, Duck…Not Goose

This gives you a good idea of how much bigger Penelope is than Mabel and Maddie.  As you can see they have integrated well and there are no more dominance issues. No idea why all three are piled in the one tiny pool!

We are having a bit of an issue with Penelope suddenly, as her hormones are going crazy, wanting to bond with Bixby. I’ll get photos or video this weekend if I can. I am very concerned, only because, you know, Danes are NOT the most graceful of beasts.

If you remember, Maddie and Mabel had the same issue with the late, great Jake Panther and he was not amused. Bixby is just…confused.


 

Ducks Saga: We Hear You’re Having Salad

I usually make a salad for lunch. The ducks want in on the goods:

It never fails, I open a bag of greens and it doesn’t matter where they are in the yard, they do their fast paddle to the patio door. I swear they have sonic hearing.

Domestic ducks running is hysterical. Every morning when I let them out of the coop they charge all over the yard making sure their territory is safe from all threats.

I had a new “duck sitter” when I went away a few weeks ago and she would text me every morning saying that watching that made her day. Makes mine, too.


 

Duck Sagas: It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses A Beak

Seriously, these guys. I’ve been trying to do some landscaping and whenever I have the shovel out, the dogs have to be inside.  This week, the ducks decided to get in on the act.

Penelope/Pearl is watchful from the patio – this is all new to her. Meanwhile Mabel and Maddie have been here long enough they view me as the not very smart yard help. So they just do as they please. I even started throwing dirt ON them. They just gave me the side-eye.

Ducks. They are just cats with feathers.

Hey and believe it or not, I’m going to be cooking up a storm this weekend. Until then…


Duck Sagas: The Integration

I am heading out of town and won’t be around much to post until I return, so this Pearl update will have to hold you.

She has finally figured out she’s a duck and no longer follows me everywhere (yes, I am both relieved and sad).  And after a few hours behind the pet yard she easily integrated with the other ducks.

Mabel would chase her. Mabel is the brown one and until she started chasing her, I thought she was mild-mannered. Who knew she was the strong silent type. Pearl does not back down, just goes back to try and make friends. And for some reason, she follows Maddie (my grey one) all around, much to Maddie’s annoyance.

She still sleeps inside at night, but once I return I’ll see about moving her to the coop. I assume if there is trouble they will make such ruckus I’ll be able to go out and stop it.