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I Miss the Ducks

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Lalagirl posted 10/2/2020 16:29 PM

I've been working from home since mid-March. Every year, we get a Mallard "duck couple" that would come to the house in the evening for a snack, then they would leave.

This year, from March to late August, we had a "duck triad" - two males and a female. We called the drakes Chad and Duckin, and the hen Penny. The drakes fought over Penny on the daily and usually Chad won, to the point that poor Duckin had no neck feathers. But he never gave up!

They came to our backyard every morning and stayed until dusk. They had cracked corn to munch on and a couple bowls of clean water daily. We had a tupperware container that was large and rectangular and Penny loved to bathe in it and preen herself. Our yard tends to puddle up when it rains, and they had a blast swimming in muddy puddles.

About a month in, they started coming up on the deck and Penny would "knock" at the door with her bill to let us know she wanted a snack. She and the boys would let us hand feed them as well. When I opened the door, the drakes would honk and Penny would make this clucking sound. So cute!

Penny laid her clutch of eggs in various places, the last of which was under a chair on our deck (she made a nest of leaves and sticks), she sat on them for a couple days but unfortunately, the foxes and raccoons always got them (and the fox tried to get Penny so she had no choice to leave her nest). We caught the fox and racoon munching on them via the Ring camera but it was in the middle of the night so I couldn't try to chase them off. I did not see any ducklings in our neighborhood this year - I think that the fox/raccoon population increased and no egg was safe.

They came every single day for 5 months. Until they didn't. Chad and Duckin went off to molt and Penny came around with another hen for about a week and then they were gone. Now I guess they've migrated to sunny Florida. We educated ourselves on duck behavior so we could understand some of their antics and actually kinda got attached to them.

Now they are long gone and I wonder if they will come back next year. I'm sure they became temporary non-rent paying residents because they were getting food, water and attention.

It was really special because my youngest daughter, her DH and two of my five grandchildren live with us - the kids (ages 4 and 8) really enjoyed them.

If it were not for the reason I work from home, I would love to do this forever! It really opened my eyes to nature and helped me appreciate the little things. And I spent so much time working outside this past summer - I actually got my Vitamin D levels back to normal!

[This message edited by Lalagirl at 4:38 PM, October 2nd (Friday)]

thebighurt posted 10/2/2020 19:29 PM

Maybe a lot more people are observing nature more this year than they ever did. Your little group sound like a lot of entertainment. Really funny knocking on the door for treats!

I have had flocks of turkeys in various numbers for quite a few years now. Flocks of over 30 some years. So far this year they are fewer in number and no Tom with the three hens and half-dozen or so chicks that sometimes lie in the sun or shade of my yard, depending on the temperature. Alternating sleeping there with eating around the yard for hours some days. Hopefully they eat the ticks that are likely there from the several does and fawns that also visit me.

I also have lots of smaller birds, especially hummingbirds, squirrels and chipmunks that come calling to entertain. And annoy.

DragnHeart posted 10/2/2020 22:52 PM

Nature is one of the few things in life that brings me peace.


The squirrel sitting on my windowsill with a look of "hey lady wheres my food?" Lol. The chipmunks chasing eachother under our chairs under the gazebo.

Ducks I have a few. That includes two adorable sweeties inside in a crate. Free range the floored part of the house during the day. The way they run and flap their wings up and down the hall. Finally grew in some feathers that the older ducks were yanking from them. At one point they had only fluff on their heads. Poor babies. So now they are inside ducks. Gotta order in another diaper/flight suit.

I dont know if they are more work than the pot bellied pig we had years ago. At least he was litter trained but he got into the fridge and cupboards daily...

I hope your ducks come back. Do you by any chance have an inground pool?

I have read about putting a floating duck house out into a pond. This way the predators cant get to them and they can make a best safely.

My aunt and uncles old place they had an inground pool and every year a pair of ducks came. Laid eggs in the flower garden alot thr fence and spent the days in the pool. My uncle made a ramp so they could get in amd out easily.

PricklePatch posted 10/3/2020 00:11 AM

I miss our pair of swans. They didnít come last year.

Lalagirl posted 10/3/2020 08:08 AM

I have had flocks of turkeys in various numbers for quite a few years now

Hopefully they eat the ticks that are likely there from the several does and fawns that also visit me.

Turkeys will definitely eat those ticks! There are wild turkeys that are quite numerous on a field about a mile from here. We also have quite a few deer - the babies seem to be almost grown and ready to move on. They like to eat my hostas!

Ducks I have a few. That includes two adorable sweeties inside in a crate. Free range the floored part of the house during the day. The way they run and flap their wings up and down the hall. Finally grew in some feathers that the older ducks were yanking from them. At one point they had only fluff on their heads. Poor babies. So now they are inside ducks. Gotta order in another diaper/flight suit.

Oh so you had bald ducks too! I did some research on raising indoor ducks and I have to hand it to you - I read how much work it is (and of course they must be diapered as evidently they are not able to be trained to "be let out" to potty. When Penny was laying her eggs and losing them, I thought of incubating them, but again, lots of work and expense and I didn't want the responsibility of raising them inside if Penny wasn't around or would reject them when they hatched.

I remember when your ducklings hatched - so cute!!

Do you by any chance have an inground pool?

No; however, we got a lot of rain this year and our yard basically becomes a lake - they were definitely drawn to that. Also, they're a 5 second flight away to the Chesapeake Bay.

My aunt and uncles old place they had an inground pool and every year a pair of ducks came. Laid eggs in the flower garden alot thr fence and spent the days in the pool. My uncle made a ramp so they could get in amd out easily.

That is so cool!

I miss our pair of swans. They didnít come last year.

I'm sorry, Prickle...swans are beautiful birds!

[This message edited by Lalagirl at 8:10 AM, October 3rd (Saturday)]

tushnurse posted 10/3/2020 08:39 AM

I've raised ducks once and will never do it again. They are extremely dirty birds.
I'll stick with chickens thanks.

Lala -ducks do tend to return to their summer homes especially if they know they are safe and have food.

DragnHeart posted 10/3/2020 08:47 AM

I've raised ducks once and will never do it again. They are extremely dirty birds.
I'll stick with chickens thanks.

For birds that constantly clean themselves (to put oil on their feathers) yes they make one hell of a mess everywhere they go.

somanyyears posted 10/3/2020 09:10 AM


.. ..

Gotta love the stories of 'wild things' adopting humans! Having to put diapers on one's ducks is a new one for me.

.. and they come knocking at your door??

We have a little red squirrel living in a big woodpile out back. I've been giving him/her stale crackers now and then. He/she lets me get close.
I think he/she likes me,..really likes me!
..or am I just NUTS??

I'd let him/her live inside with us, but our three cats might have some objections!

smy

DragnHeart posted 10/3/2020 09:20 AM

The ducks are running around the kitchen right now. They do not like diapers!

Dd's cat is sitting on a stool in front of thr counter watching the ducks run back and forth.

It's a root lol

The kitchen window that the table is in front of is like a big bay window. Ceiling to top of chair level. So the ledge outside is in line with the seat of my chair. From outside I need a ladder to reach the ledge. I have put food on the ledge and thus have conditioned the squirrels to come so I can get a pane of glass away from them lol. I also hoped that food on the ledge would keep them off the bird feeder but they can jump from ledge to feeder...

Anyone seen the you tube video of the engineer who designed the exploding fart box because packages were being stolen off his porch?

He also designed a squirrel obstacle course in his back yard. It's so funny.

Aaaannnnnnddddd one duck just nibbled at my slipper lol

BearlyBreathing posted 10/3/2020 10:37 AM

I had a couple that would come swim in my inground pool but I havenít seen them in a while. They were very cute in the pool but didnít follow the pool rules:
No diving (they did okay here)
No running. (Typically flew on in)
No pooping. (Failed here every time)

Lalagirl posted 10/3/2020 12:28 PM

I've raised ducks once and will never do it again. They are extremely dirty birds.
I'll stick with chickens thanks.

Tush, you're right about the dirty part - I had to "swab the deck" every day...yes, they pooped on it and I wasn't going to let it sit there.

But chicken poo is also dirty (but I assume that yours are cooped?) - my MIL had a farm when H and I were dating. He and I were horsing around (he was chasing me) and I slipped and skinned my knee on MIL's front concrete porch, which had quite a bit of chicken poo on it. Obviously I cleaned it very well, but my FIL took me to the ER for a Betadine cleansing and tetanus shot (this was before "urgent care" centers) and the doc said I definitely did the right thing by coming in.

I dont know if they are more work than the pot bellied pig we had years ago. At least he was litter trained but he got into the fridge and cupboards daily...

This reminded me of my SIL, who had one of these. His name was....wait for it...Bacon!

ducks do tend to return to their summer homes especially if they know they are safe and have food.

That would be nice.

Gotta love the stories of 'wild things' adopting humans!

I know, right? It does seem that they "adopt" us - they're smart creatures...they know where to get kibble knowing we are in need of cuteness.
But in all seriousness, I really think they had a therapeutic effect on all of us given these weird times, plus, we lost my DD's (the one whose fam lives with us) 10yo black GSD last October.

and they come knocking at your door??

Yes, sir! Often we would see them when they hopped/flew onto the deck and would have bowls of cracked corn waiting for them. But I took the food inside each night and hosed down the deck so other critters didn't come at night (especially those of the rodent variety as I have no interest in being adopted by a rat ) - if they happened to come up when no one was paying attention, they "knocked" at the back deck door (sliding glass) to let us know that they were anxiously awaiting breakfast...or lunch...or whatever

I think he/she likes me,..really likes me!
..or am I just NUTS??

Of course he/she likes you and TBH, he/she would probably prefer NUTS (they love peanuts in the shell - they like to work for their food) over crackers.

Reminds me of a story of my late father. He loved birds and made all kinds of feeders to attract them. But the squirrels liked them too and would often come and scare the birds so Dad got a couple domes to put over the feeders and it was a hoot to watch them try to get to the feeders. Don't worry, no squirrels were harmed in the building of the domes...Dad made a separate area and put bird food in there so the squirrels could enjoy.

Anyone seen the you tube video of the engineer who designed the exploding fart box because packages were being stolen off his porch?

He also designed a squirrel obstacle course in his back yard. It's so funny.

No, but guess who is going to look it up/watch it right after I write this missive?

No diving (they did okay here)
No running. (Typically flew on in)
No pooping. (Failed here every time)

tushnurse posted 10/5/2020 09:43 AM

Tush, you're right about the dirty part - I had to "swab the deck" every day...yes, they pooped on it and I wasn't going to let it sit there.

But chicken poo is also dirty (but I assume that yours are cooped?)

Ducks and Geese poop their own body weight every 15 minutes. LOL. We have always joked this as being true....
Chickens poop is nasty, but they don't poop as much as ducks/geese, currently they are in a fenced in yard. Earlier this year we attempted free range. It didn't end well for them, the wildlife feasted.... so we predator proofed their yard again. But they honestly don't make near the mess ducks do.

Jeaniegirl posted 10/5/2020 11:56 AM

I have a small lake behind my property and it's a REST STOP for the beautiful Canada Goose troops -- flying to wherever they are going. I love the sounds they make when the V-group is coming in for a landing.

Lalagirl posted 10/5/2020 13:53 PM

Ducks and Geese poop their own body weight every 15 minutes. LOL.

Holy shit (pun intended)! I did not know that little factoid!

Lalagirl posted 10/5/2020 13:55 PM

I have a small lake behind my property and it's a REST STOP for the beautiful Canada Goose troops

So cool! There's a mansion up the road with a lake in the front yard - the Canadian geese breed and live there - tons of them! And the FLUFFY babies...OMG I can't!

Lionne posted 10/5/2020 14:52 PM

Ugh. Goose poop. I am an avid birder. They are gorgeous and interesting of course. We belonged to a swim club that had a lake when the kids were young. Their very first job was cleaning up massive amounts of goose poop, oily and stinky. Occasionally, a momma duck would take her ducklings for a swim in the pool, enticing them to climb out was the job of the older swimmers who arrived at 6AM. Quite a scene, those little babies being coaxed to climb up a strategically place kickboard. Another time I watched a momma duck followed be 5-6 babies only to see one, then another go under, victims of the resident snapping turtle. By the end of the week she had only one left.
Geese are a huge problem on any body of water, lake, drainage dish, etc.
Finally, at a pet event this weekend a lady was walking a duck, a white domestic one. The duck was sitting in a sling that was attached to a wheeled dolly. The duck had food in a bin and chomped along while walking.

DragnHeart posted 10/5/2020 14:56 PM

Everyone who thinks Canadian geese are just so amazing doesnt live in Canada lol

They are loud, crap everywhere and are mean as shit.

Dont ya know that on the first friday evening of each month we do a ceremony to put all of our nastiness into them so we are just so sweet and lovely. Lmao.

I managed to get the back pen lined with cage wire, added more boards to raise the fence up so the goats cant jump and relined the inside with the electric rope a bit higher. Ya totally zapped myself a few times before deciding it would be best to turn the fencer off. Ouch!

Had the ducks and geese follow me in with food, then called the goats who came and locked the. All inside. Ducks and geese seem to be super happy. Goats not so much lol

Despite the pond I put in holding water all of the birds avoided it so I brought their kiddie pool over for them.

I saw a group of trumpeter swans the other day when I went grocery shopping. Amazing beautiful birds! Now those I wish would use my big pond at the front.

Lalagirl posted 10/5/2020 19:02 PM

They are loud, crap everywhere and are mean as shit.

That is so true! My MIL also had a few geese and they would honk like hell and go after you! I hated them!

pureheartkit posted 10/5/2020 19:18 PM

We have a large group that are in the regional park by day and go to the river that is now a water absorption path every evening. The river doesn't flow to the ocean now. They created a maze in the Sandy soil so the aquifer can refill. No one is allowed in so the geese get it all to themselves. They are safe in the park and safe in the river. I think because they are around people all day, they aren't mean. I can walk right through them and they just walk a few steps away. At dusk and dawn they fly over my neighborhood in groups of maybe 10 or 12.

We have had ducks in the neighborhood. They will return to safe areas where there is food. My neighbor had a pair come into her backyard. She would open the gate when the ducklings were old enough to follow their mom into the drainage path to the river. There's a holding area to recharge the aquifer part way down. Last year it was being scooped out with big equipment. Lisa went over there to make sure the men knew to let the ducks pass because they were coming down the path to the river. Sometimes she went down the street first which worried Lisa because of the cats. As far as I know, all of the ducks lived and got to the river where the geese sleep.

thatbpguy posted 10/5/2020 21:43 PM

I thought the OP was talking about the Oregon Ducks football team. I miss those Ducks too.

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