Thursday, March 5, 2009
Living and Dying on the Farm
Here's what's living. Our latest bunny babies are doing well. They're all nice and fat and healthy, and I think we're past any threat of cold weather. I'm not going to get too comfortable, though, until they're walking around and eating solid food.
As for the sad news, we've lost one of our Muscovy drakes. I have to assume he fell prey to a coyote. He simply disappeared - I've walked the area all around the house, pond and barns, and there's no trace of him. It's highly unusual for the ducks to separate - they all move as a single unit - so there's virtually no chance that he just wandered off. They tend to stay very close to the house, anyway. I'm really sad about losing him, and so is Mr. Farm. We're rather attached to the ducks. This also puts us in a rather awkward position. We only had four ducks to begin with (hardly a predator "buffer") and two of them don't even technically belong to us. We had two breeding pairs, one of which was ours and one pair we were keeping for some friends. Those friends are moving and are just about ready to retrieve their pair of ducks. We now have one breeding pair and one single female with a clutch of eggs. I'm not sure how this will all shake out in the end.
The really disappointing thing is that we can no longer allow our ducks pond access, at least not without major modifications. We know that coyotes are casing the pond area, and unlike chickens, ducks DO NOT like to go into a little house at night (I had to put them in last night under extreme diress). It's quite saddening to have a pond and to have ducks and not be able to bring the two together, as they ought to be. I expect some greater level of confinement and a kiddie pool will be in their future.