Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Electricity Went Out on Our Chicks and Ducks!!

We had one of those howling wind, heavy wet snow, spring storms that took the power out for hours. It was just getting started when we went off to church. When we got home the garage door opener refused to work, our first clue the power was out.The first thing we checked was the baby chicks and ducks. They require 95 degree temperatures and light the first week of their lives. 90 the next and 85 the next. We found them huddled in a tight group yelling at the top of their lungs. We gripped the old metal horse trough they were in and headed into the house by the dying fire.
Not exactly a heat lamp but the closest thing to it. We stoked it up and the house was soon warm again. As for us, we were in luck. The chicken breasts and potatoes I'd put in crock pots before church were done cooking. A real blessing when there are four hungry kids with empty bellies. Hours later the power came on just long enough for our oldest granddaughter to get a shower and then it went off again. The kids did not mind as they were having a blast with the ducks and how often do you have baby ducks in the HOUSE.
 It was a great time for the kids and the ducks to bond and now we know each ducks individual personality.This is Eva and she is loud and busy. Is it a girl, who knows, we will find out when she or he quacks. A male does a hoarse whisper and a female quacks loud and distinctly. With the wonders of technology we were able to hear the difference on the Internet. When the power came back on that is. She will be a Blue Swedish duck. 
This is the four year old's, no five year old's duck. Our granddaughter just had a birthday this week. Sasha is not fond of her owner but then small children are not usually great with animals. Even our oldest who is twelve was having a hard time with her. The only one Sasha really likes and will hold still for is me. Sasha will be a black Swedish duck.
This is Rascal. The sweetest one of the bunch. This is a crested Swedish Duck. Rascal has complete confidence in his owner or her owner.

 The two of them hit it off big but then of course this child has a natural way with animals. She was the one who got by with Chicory, a goat we had years ago. Chicory pinned the grandchild in the blue shirt up against the fence. Did not hurt her just was establishing social hierarchy. It is what herd animals do and the granddaughers were all small back then, about the goats size. Chicory tried it with this granddaughter who was really small and she popped her in the face with out every looking at her and walked on by. Perfect! "None of that and you aren't worth my time or attention." is what this child's slap and body language basically said. She never had a problem with Chicory again. 

We had a yak that disliked kids and this stood her ground just outside the fence when the yak lowered its head and made light charging motions. The yak was puzzled at not getting a reaction. The yak then quit.This is the child very like me in personality. My dad always said he could not believe the things I could get away with doing with animals that no one else could do. With animals the trick is to simply just speak their language. I use to be able to do a impressive moma pig talk. I once called a tiny piglet that had gotten loose in a field back into my arms.

This is our oldest grandaughter's duck though the little child asked to hold her. She calls her Mystery since we at first wondered if it might be a white Swedish duck but it is looking more gray as time goes on. 

Blue Swedish ducks are the only recognized color in many countries as they are the original color developed in Sweden. The light gray or rather blue made them harder to see and predators killed fewer of them. They are very hardy and their meat is suppose to be very flavorful. Some call it sweet. We have no plans on eating these cuties but if they populate --- I can't say the same for their offspring. Large numbers will attract fox and coyotes to the yard. We already frequently see tracks of a single coyote and a fox that checks out the place in the middle of the night or early morning. 

For now we will just enjoy the adventures of having ducks, a brace of them.


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