Monday, April 25, 2016

And then there were none

A Duck Story

We were down to 3 remaining ducks, all drakes. I was thinking about finding them some girls this spring, but Cyrus was just so crazy over the ducks, and making me crazy, that I put them on Craig's List for sale. There was someone interested, but he could not pick them up until May.

Right about this time, the 3 boys decided they wanted to be free. They stopped coming back to the duck house at night. The first or second night they were out, something got the grey boy. A few weeks later, this past Friday night, something got the black one (the Cayuga). Only the Mallard-looking one was left. He allowed me to capture him yesterday morning. In the same crate that all of our ducks and chickens and even pigs have been transported in, we carted him off to a "farm in the country". I know someone who has a 300-acre farm, with ducks, right on the Susquehanna River.

We were both sorry to see him go, our last duck, but it was only a matter of time before he met the same fate as all of the others.

A Duck History in Photos
April 2013: Purchased the first 8 mystery brown ducks that were supposed to be Cayugas.
October 2013: Not Cayugas, the first 8 were 5 males and 3 females, and the poor girls were getting beat up by the boys.
July 2014: Purchased 2 female mystery grey ducks to even out the numbers.
August 2014: One of the original brown girls disappears and comes back with 8 adorable babies. You can see the back of her neck is all scarred from being one of too few females.

April 2015: Somewhere in between the last photo and this one, we sold the original 7, keeping the 2 greys and the female with her babies. Everybody was happy until something killed all but 2 of them. The remaining 2 were a drake from the babies, and one of the grey girls. They were a good pair, but decided about this time that they didn't want to live with us anymore. They came back for food during the day, for awhile, and eventually stopped coming back altogether.
May 2015: I took some of the eggs from the pair as soon as I realized they were not coming back. A neighbor hatched 3 of them in his incubator. One died right after hatching, and the 2 remaining were both drakes. These pics are from hatch day and 10 days after.
July 2015: We purchased a pair of (filthy, smelly) pretty Cayugas—the kind of ducks I always wanted. They are native to NY State, mostly black with an iridescent beetle green/blue hue to their feathers. Somewhere a few months after we got them, Cyrus killed the female (and 4 chickens) and that brings us back to the beginning of the story with the 3 boy ducks.
So goodbye for now my ducks. We hope to get more some day, but not until the big black dog gets over himself, and I can finally catch up on my sleep...

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