...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


there go the ducks...

 We just said good-bye to the ducks...
watched them go down the driveway
in their new family's truck. 

It was a tough decision, but after some soul-searching, 
we knew the ducks had to go. 

The chicken-raising-ducks 
adventure / experiment 
was definitely an interesting one 
and we learned a lot along the way. 

I don't regret it at all, 
but the next time we get fertile eggs for a broody chicken to sit on,
they'll be chicken eggs, for sure. 

I only wish that adult ducks could co-exist better with the chickens,
or that we had a bigger property 
where we could fence and shelter the ducks separately.

For months it was great fun...!  
quirky and entertaining...
The ducks added some lively excitement 
to our backyard flock.

But this winter with the ducks has been tough.
They reached sexual maturity in late November, and then winter came,
and they've been all cooped up with the hens
except for a few warmer days here and there.

They haven't been good coop-mates for the chickens.
They've been pestering the hens,
and it was the last straw 
when we saw them being mean to Commie, 
their chicken mamma.

 On multiple occasions, 
we saw her trying to get up on the perch
to get away from them.
She's gotten really thin
from not getting enough food
because the ducks bother her so often...!

That just isn't okay.
The ducks are a lot bigger than the chickens.
And they're noisy.
And messy.  
 Super messy.  

So messy
 that the whole inside of the coop 
is basically a frozen mountain of water-infused-bedding
from their continuous splashing and spilling and dribbling.  

All of that bedding gets damp and cold and the hens don't like it
and there's hardly anywhere for them to walk in their coop.

And they don't like the way the boys nibble at their necks 
and you, know...  the other things they try to do. 

For us, it had gotten to be high-maintenance.  
Multiple water changings and bedding additions per day 
(thank you, Boo, who did this far longer than I would have)...

But the real stress was worrying
about the safety of the hens
and their health/happiness 
because of the ducks pushing them around
and making the coop so damp.  


It was going to be a very sad good-bye to the ducks
 and we were feeling so heavy-hearted about it.
(our friend Wendy was going to give them a fast death,
Henry VIIIth style, and then a place in her freezer...)

it was feeling like too much to bear.

 So I said, UNIVERSE, do your thing.
If there is a way, make it work.


Thanks to the Universe, and Craigslist (!)
and a friendly elderly grape farmer on Seneca Lake --
the ducks have found a new home to live out their days.


The ducks have been spared the hatchet,
and we the pain of knowing their fate,
and the mental images of that.

(even though we wouldn't have watched)
Oh no.
Not these girls.


I can't look at any pictures of the ducks right now
 or it just turns me into a big cry baby...

It feels even sadder than I thought it would
for them to be gone.
And so quiet.
Lizzie, the girl, was the noisiest quacker, 
from before dawn 'til after dusk.
Dash and Virgil, her amorous suitors, 
following her everywhere.

We're hoping that the guy who took them
was really honest with us, and that he'll take good care of them.
He promised that they wouldn't be for eating,
that they will be loved pets.

If it's anything like he says it is, they'll love their new life!

  On the farm they went to, 
I guess there are about 100 free range birds...
many types of ducks and geese. 
(they'll get to be with their own kind... not just crazy chickens!)

And a pond.

Come grape harvesting time, 
they get to eat loads and loads of grapes, which they ADORE. 
Not to mention that they'll get to roam a bunch of fenced in acres. 

But even if that's not the real story
just about any life would have been better than 
the big freeze in our friend Wendy's Frigidaire.
As long as the ducks have each other,
and food, and water, and shelter
they should be 
happy as ducks.


I'll really miss them
even though they've been a real pain
the last few months.

I'll miss watching them do their splash dancing in the pond,
and the way they nibbled with their bills at the earth for bugs and things.

I'll miss their synchronized curiosity...
the way they all turned their heads in the same direction at once
with the cutest look.


Good luck, dear duckies!  

Many blessings to you,
our little quacky friends.

May you live long and prosper.
May you be safe and loved.

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