Little Sista still counts the days to her birthday with great enthusiasm. So a big birthday shout-out to ya, Sista!
We had 8 ducks to start, 5 males, 3 females. We bought 2 additional females to even out the numbers...boys beating up on the girls too much. Then one of the original females went off and had 8 babies. Then we sold all of the remaining originals because the boys were beating up on momma and babies. So we are down to 1 momma, 8 babies, 2 newbies.
Babies are now all grown up. Then we forget to close them up 1 night and all go missing but 2! Ouch! But at least the 2 remaining are a male and female. We have hopes of seeing more babies, and we have them even more securely locked up than before. This goes well for a few months.
The problem now is that Lady Duck is hiding eggs by burying them in the hay inside the dog crate they call home. Not a very good Momma, she thinks she is hatching some babies, but only sits on her eggs at night and it is still plenty cold outside. Man Duck is a very good protector, and does not want us to come anywhere near the crate when she is in there.
We manage to lock them up every night for awhile, and then The Husband (mine not hers) removes the 13 eggs, knowing they are not going to hatch because she is not sitting on them. Next night, ducks don't come home to the crate. We search everywhere, thinking we can hear them close by, but no ducks. Next morning they are back out there playing with the chickens.
After several days of this, I go out before it gets dark and see them running away from me going over toward the house and barn out front (to the left in the second photo). I searched as best I could, considering it is nighttime and not our property, can't find them anywhere. Next morning, back with chicken friends...
And that is how this story ends. The ducks have ditched us and moved on. They still come back to eat our food and hang out with their chicken friends, but they don't need us anymore. I don't expect they will live too long like this, given all the critters we have around here, but we have no choice but to let them move on. I don't expect Lady Duck will figure out anytime soon how to hatch her babies either, so there will be a ____load of eggs deposited somewhere on the neighbor's property.
It's a darn shame they don't like duck eggs!