Thursday, April 16, 2009

Train Up A Duck In The Way He Should Go And When He's Grown, He'll Not Depart From It

Greetings and Holykisses Yall!
Oh what a DAY!

Thought I'd share with everyone a little mis-adventure I'm having.
A few weeks ago, I came home from the farm store with two cardboard boxes. In box number one, were 5 baby chicks: pullets- (*thats girls in Chickenese), and also two baby guineas to go along with the cute lil pullet family. Box number two, contained 5 baby ducks. The whole drive home I fretted whether they were all warm enough; talking to them the whole way,...you know; telling them how much I loved them!!!!! We already had 2 pens, possum-proofed in the barn waiting for them, with brand new bulbs in the heat lamps. Fresh hay lined the floor, along with new waterers, and new feed! Everyone settled in just fine and they seemed happy being "neighbors."

Shortly after their adoption, the ducks started acting "funny." One started gettin gimpy and staggered when she walked.* Debra of Sparrowgrass told me the chick starter the farm store suggested was a no no. It has medicine in it, that's not good for ducks!* -- Once we changed over to a corn mash, the gimpy one improved and they all thrived. Once again, all was well with the world.

Finally everyone feathered out, and I started opening the doors to their pens so they could forage into the grassy goat pasture during the day. At dusk, they return to their pens, and I close the doors behind them.

We now have grown ducks. Grown ducks who I carry water to everyday, while we have a pond just waiting to be their new residence. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: these ducks are absolute fradycats. They're even afraid of me; which kinda hurts my feelings! -- Any noise puts them in a panic. If a plane goes over they RUN for the barn. If the tractor starts, they run for the barn.

I'd "dreamed" of cute little ducks following me around; instead they avoid me. I've never given them reason to be afraid of me, but they are. I've never even complained to them about carrying splashy, 5 gallon bucketfulls of water, or ever scolded em for poopin all over in their pen. Who feeds them I ask? Me! Who talks to them? Me. Who sings to them? Me. (They probably even know all the lyrics to the Revelation song.) Because of this very one sided relationship, my patience has started wearing thin, and I realized it's just "time." Time to go ~To THE POND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~

I found a long stick and herded the ducks to the pond. If they didn't hate me before, this wasn't a way to earn their love. Once we got there, they were afraid to even "get in." They actually seemed afraid of the big body of water. They're total puddleducks! They love their puddle in the low-spot by the barn. They love their buckets and tubs of water. "Get in the water duck!" They finally did because I backed them into it like a corner. But watching them swim for the first time was sorta like watching a baby take his first step. (heart) ;)

I left them down there and hoped they'd be okay. (what a mother) Soon afterwards, we went to town, and I wondered how they were fairing. When we got home, I started off to the pond to check on them and happened to glance toward the barn. They were already back in it! How they found their way, all the way back, I'll never know!!!?????

It's probably been a week, since that day to the pond. And today, was another new adventurous day. I caught them and put them in the dog carrier and gave them their very first four wheeler ride... back to the pond! As we got closer, I noticed wild ducks were visiting. Perfect! They'd make new friends and be fine! But the wild ducks flew away leaving me alone with the fearful five.
Once I got them out of the carrier, and MADE them get IN, they swam around a little bit. To see them swim is soooo beautiful! But they're out of their comfort zone. Every time I backed away, they circled back to the shore to get out. I stayed on shore duty for as long as I could, making them stay in the water. But as soon as I walked up and sat down on the fourwheeler,
one of them quacked something like: "LAND HO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
To the barn they waddled as fast as their little webbed feet could trot!
See that white dot up by the wild cherry tree? Yep that was them! They beat me back to the barn! Back to their friends: the pullets and 2 little guineas. Back to their safe little mudpuddle, and tubs of dirty water. *sigh*

I'm not sure what to do next?
But, God willing tomorrow will be another new day.

12 comments:

Denise said...

Bless their ducky little hearts.

Yolanda said...

I'm thinking I must come to visit!

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Nothing better than a good hearty laugh on a Friday morning!!!!! Wish I could have been there!
Cora

From the Heart said...

I agree with Cora. I would love to see you in action. I guess you'll just have to keep after those ducks until they learn. Isn't that what the birds do? Kick the babies out of their nest and teach them to fly. Kinda like our children when they leave home. Some have to be pushed out. Neither of mine did.

You are precious, hilarious, and a very sweet lady.
AliceE.

Jane said...

Oh but who imprinted them.
Ducks are easily imprinted and will follow that which they first see and follow.
They are cute.
Scardy ducks are OK!
Not all ducks have to be brave.
They might have heard of what the Chinese Butchers do to ducks.

ATTIC CLUTTER said...

Oh Lea
You just live such a blessed life all those darling animals in such a beautiful setting (:) I'm so happy for ya~
glad you came over for a visit and it was fun you found me on facebook (:)I wish you would add that cute straw hat picture of ya on there(:)
I hear ya on:

--I am ITCHIN to plant more--

such a wonderful time of year.. will chat soon..

hugs, Patty

MidniteScrapper said...

Oh, my goodness. How funny. This city girl has never heard of such duck stories and I'm getting a huge kick out of it. =] Is the saying "You can lead a duck to water, but you can't make it drink, er um swim."??? LOL

Chatty Kelly said...

Contrary to your opinion, they must love you - or at least the lovely home you've created for them. Either that or they all have brain damage from the meds in the chicken mash. LOL! Now they think they're chickens...and chickens don't swim!

irene said...

You and your ducks just cracked me up Lovely Lea!! God bless you today

Laurie Ann said...

Poor things! Hopefully someone will have some good advice for you. Ducks are funny, huh?

sherry said...

I think that sounds so precious.... surely they will like the water - someday! I have missed being online... Hope you are doing well. I am okay...

Bliss said...

OH HOW FUNNY!!!!
Your commentary is hilarious with pics to boot!
Awww man! I want them to follow you too...like in that movie Fly Away Home with Anna Pacquin :)
Well they are so pretty...just little rebels like we are, huh?