Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dabble and Dip

The ducks we have, Aflac the Pekin, and Cinnamon, Spice and Fawni the Khaki Campbells, are all
"dabbling" ducks.  
They love to stick their heads in the ground and lap up mites and pieces of earth, then dip their heads into their pool.  Within minutes of my filling the pool, it is already dirty.  
I have been bucketing this nutrition filled water out in the mornings and pouring it on the tomatoes, which are growing like crazy. 

Twice a day, I cut greens for them, once, very early in the morning, so that the ducks can eat without the ravenous chickens taking all their greens. 

When they first came here, the Khaki eggs were dark green, because they had been out on pasture. 
Now, they are almost white. 

Here's a look at the pool, which gets emptied twice a day: 

Swamplandia, I tell you. 
It smells. 

So, this week, Chris and Hayleigh and I will move the pool and ducks over to the old henhouse. The ducks will have "The Duck House", which is a large shelter we built for our original ducks, to live in. 
In the winter, we'll re-build "Fort Apache" out of straw bales under the little henhouse (which is on stilts) and they will be safe and warm in there. 
The ducks will then be able to go out in the pasture daily, and eat all the grass and weeds that they desire, along with Rambo and his flock. 

Yes, I'll still be emptying the pool, and yes, one corner of the old henyard will become Swamplandia, but they will be a lot happier and so will I.  I just hope I can find their eggs because they are wonderful eggs. 

It would be beyond wonderful if they lay in the Duck House. 

This little guy was on the entrance ramp to Kansas 7 the other morning when I was on my way to Leavenworth.  He went to get my oil change with me.  Now he's living in our pasture. 
Did you know turtle poop smells badly???

Mabel was gone this morning when I opened the henspa up.  She had been on the absolutely lowest perch last night when I closed up. 
There was something very unusual about it, though... a very small bantam, one of my silky crosses, who has been broody for about 3 weeks, was perched almost on top of her.  She actually attacked me when I went to pick Mabel up. I've never had a chicken do that before. 

Keith took her down to the bottom of the pasture, out of sight, where the wildings can take care of her. 

We're pretty philosophical about this, because she had clearly reached the end of her days, not from sickness, but from old age.  She had a good last 15 months here at Calamity Acres, with good food and lots of clean water (well, except for the Plastic Pond). 

Keith and I are off to a baseball game tonight, but we are also expecting the possibility of a severe storm. The goats, whom I will try to take pictures of tomorrow, are able to go longer in between feedings now, and it's easier for us to go out.  I have caught them nibbling on grass, the hay, and the grain we have for them. I took them down in the pasture this afternoon to pick some mulberries, and they had a good time running and jumping around.  


  1. My husband can't bear to pass a turtle in the road. But he just gets out and sets them in a field on the side of the road. I always wonder if they're furious because it's not the side of the road they wanted to go to!

    I'm glad you can get out a while now away from baby minding chores but they are so cute I bet you miss them. I hope the storms won't be bad, Mary Ann.

    When we were first married I wanted 2 ducks for Easter and my husband got them at the hardware store for me. Honk and Donk. They took their naps in my lap, even when they were full grown. Eventually we had to take them to a neighborhood park where we were allowed to let them join the other ducks. I was pregnant then and stood on the bank crying as my babies happily went into the pond to join their relatives.

  2. You have quite a lot going on out there! I'm sorry to hear about Mabel, but glad that she spent the last 15 months with you happily caring for her.

  3. Hope you made it through the baseball game storm free and had a good evening. Sounds like you'll be having a busy Sunday!

  4. Hope you enjoyed the game and didn't have weather troubles. I really enjoyed these pictures - and I know the muddy pools are hard to keep up with! I'm sorry about Mabel...

  5. Well I know she had a good life while with you.

    Mulberries, ours are always tiny scrawny things. Not big enough to fool with.


I love comments!