Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A bevy of ducks weather the storm

There is some difference of opinion as to what a group of ducks is called—a raft, paddling, flush, team, or flock—but the one I like best is a bevy. A few days into their freedom, the bevy still won't travel further than a foot or 2 outside the fence. It is pretty amusing how they all stay so close together, and they do go back inside the crate altogether at night. I have to wait until it is almost dark before I lock them up in there, or else they run out in a frenzy trying to escape the big monster—me.

We had a storm blow through just before I took these photos. They were warning of tornadoes and hail, but all we got were some black clouds and a lot of rain. I went out with the camera because we usually also get a rainbow after these fast-moving storms, but I couldn't find one tonight.

The Husband bought a new rototiller today. Farmer that he is now, he's got to get that garden going soon...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Setting free the big ducks

We've had the ducks for about a month now, and we still have all 8. At first we kept them in the dog crate, then moved them to larger quarters in last year's fenced garden, and then yesterday we started leaving the fence open for them to wander freely. Of course they haven't really taken advantage of their freedom yet—they spend most of the day in the fence.

The last photo is from May 2. You can see they still had their downy baby feathers. The other 2 photos are from today. I think these are called their juvenile feathers, meaning that they aren't the right color yet. That would explain why they don't have the "beetle-green" heads and black bodies that are typical for Cayuga ducks. The only other explanation I can think of is that they are not actually Cayugas, the price you pay for buying on Craig's List.

Now that they seem to have their flight feathers, I am hoping that they will learn to fly, as that will be their best defense against predators. Eventually we will introduce them to the creek, but we are not quite sure how to do that. For now we still lock them up in the dog crate at night.

I have been reading the duck books that were a gift from Little Sister (Thanks, Little Sis!) I hope to learn as much as I can before we send the little cuties out into the real world that is Lester's Flat.