I thought the ducks were fun before, now it’s spring and they are even more entertaining. They are always keeping us guessing. To us they have a pen, they are to share with the goats. It worked well all winter long. Last fall I put chicken wire around the whole pen to keep them in. That worked well until Mike moved a panel so Hank could have access to the barn for winter. The chicken wire had to be removed from that panel and was never replaced. The ducks found their way out. It worked out fine actually. They had been in the goat pen long enough to know that that was home. They would go for a walk and be back again.
My concern with letting them wander about is that they would meet the same demise as any loose chicken, guinea keet, or turkey… Death by dog.
Well, that infuriating dog could care less that there are ducks waddling all over the yard!
My only guess is that if he runs by them they just shuffle aside, they don’t make a fuss. I’m glad he leaves them alone because he’s eaten more than his fair share of fowl around the farm. But for heaven’s sake! I just don’t understand.
There are so many puddles in the yard, they run from one to the next, fluttering and splashing about. The slough is so backed up with water this spring that it’s made a pond in the pasture and a river by a big oak tree. They are having a great time in all this water. We even caught them across the drive coming back from the standing water at the neighbors shop. The ducks make their way to their pen at night to sleep in safety and lay their eggs, that’s about it for now.
Late this winter we began to find eggs here and there, frozen outside in the goat pen. As the winter has faded into spring we’ve been finding more and more eggs. It had turned into a real egg hunt! The first pile was froze and hidden under the little goat “bridge”. There were some randomly laid around the goats hay feeder outside and such. They finally started making a nest in the barn. Some days it looked empty but if I carefully picked through the hay the eggs were tucked in for safe keeping.
I have been collecting the eggs as I find them. Those that were froze but not cracked I still brought to the house to use. The weather has perked up enough so that the eggs are no longer freezing and most days the girls are all laying. That says spring is here as far as I’m concerned!
For a week now I’ve been collecting eggs, dating them and setting them aside for hatching. From what I understand, Runner ducks aren’t exceptionally broody birds, so I will collect some to incubate in the house. I may also leave some in hopes they will lay their clutch and decide to sit. Chances are I will leave some because I can’t find them too.
Yesterday I asked Mike to grab any duck eggs in the nest. There were only two the day before. I was guessing there would be a few more because of that. There were none to be found. It seemed odd, but they don’t have to lay every day either.
This morning Mike went out in hopes the ground had firmed up enough that he could bring the skid steer back up the hill and to the barn where it belongs. Oh, and do chores while he was out there. He did make it up the hill and got everybody taken care of.
“Hey, come look at this” he said.