Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Duck. The Cat.

So in the middle of the flood crisis, which wasn't a crisis really because we ourselves were not flooded, neither were our animals, but our fields got a soaking and loads of trees have got knocked over by the rush of the water and we have lost another chunk of our land, so no real crisis really, although in our heads there was, something to do with the water inching its way towards us. Anyway, coming onto our drive came two friends, who had decided to donate their mad duck and his mate to us. 

Now this duck had been terrorizing their two Toulouse geese, so he had to go, and the pair were put in the rabbit run, just for now, until we could sort them out. It took two days to do so. ( NB.  'the pair' I mean the two ducks, not my two friends)

On the third day, they (the ducks) were let out, and mayhem erupted. Gussy chased the ducks, the ducks chased the geese, the ducks turned around and chased Gussy, the two Rotti puppies joined in and chased everyone, I yelled at whoever to stop doing what they were doing, no one took any notice, round and round everyone went, someone chasing someone else. 

So I went indoors and left them to it. 

It became the afternoon and all was calm. But where were the ducks? Why, down on the flooded pond, that's where they were, and over on the far edge of the pond, right away from everything, and most definitely non-catchable. 

What to do...... nothing. We had lambs with sore feet, and goats the same. If the ducks were not going to make the effort to come up to the Courtyard, then they could stay where they were, it was their choice, and if they were eaten, then it was their fault. 

Come the morning, and the first thing I did was visit the pond, which by now was shrinking in size, and there he was, the mad duck, paddling up and down without a care in the world, but his mate was gone. This we were sad about, but, heyho, there was nothing we could have done to catch them. 

So the day went on, and late afternoon I went down to the pond with some food and tried to entice Mad Duck out, but was only marginally successful in that yes, he did get out of the pond, and he did take a few steps towards me, then decided that no, he didn't want to do that, so he turned around and waddled on back to the water. Stuff him, I thought. 

.....and then, up in the Courtyard, just before dusk, an almighty noise erupted as Mad Duck decided that he was not going to spend the night by himself, but that he would join up with the geese. Oh no, said the geese, and shied this way and that way, trying to avoid Mad Duck's attempts to become one of their gang. Crikey but they kicked up a noise, darting this way and that way trying to shake themselves from the terrible creature which was closely shadowing them. But everyone was got into the Wood Shed, even though the geese were in a terrible diva state. 

Everyone survived the night, and in the morning, Mad Duck went off to the pond, the geese went off somewhere else. Just before dusk, and Mad Duck appeared again, attached himself to the geese, who again went through a hissy fit about this infringement of their privacy, but let Mad Duck be the first one into the Wood Shed for the night. 

It is late afternoon again. I have just seen the geese, who are asleep on Kitchen Field, and snucked up close to them is Mad Duck, who seems to have calmed down now that he does not have a girl to look after. His future remains uncertain, but he is damned cute, and I really hope he can find a niche here. 

And this afternoon, a little lady cat was brought here from people who are going back to the UK. It will be interesting to see what the dogs make of her, and I have no doubt that she will rule the roost once she finds her feet. Her name is Lucy. She is white, with ginger markings, and is cute as well. We can provide her with a mouse as soon as she is ready because Lester disturbed one in the cluttered dining room / storage room a few moments ago. I hope she is a mouser. It would not do for her to totally disregard her natural instincts to hunt. Neither would it do for her to use these instincts to go hunt any chicks we might have in the future!

The water is draining away, and it is hard to think that there was so much water here just a week ago. No doubt we shall regret not saving a bucket or two when the hot and dry weather hits us! But the lambs are out in the fields soaking up the sun, and I am hoping that this will help them with their feet problems. They have been in damp conditions since they were born and this must have seriously set them back, although they are still putting on weight and we have not lost any as yet. 

Hope you all have a good weekend. Should be sunny here again tomorrow, and I hope that you too are having a drop or two of sunshine.

PS. Re: The Bacon Project. On first taste, the bacon was found to be saltier that the ocean, which was a disappointment. But I soaked it in cold water for a couple of hours, when it became less salty, but still salty. There is much room for improvement with this project. I feel that the meat itself needed more seasoning, that more fat needed to be cut away from the meat, and that it definitely needs to be encouraged to be less salty. But then the salt is to help turn it into bacon in the first place, so I will need to do an Internet search to see how other people managed to make bacon.  I am favouring putting all the salt and sugar mix into a plastic bag with the bacon next time, so that the sugar has more chance to sweeten the salt. I think that I shall also upt the amount of sugar I put in. I will let you know how I get on. 


Tommo said...

Mad Duck sounds a proper chap. I like him.

Denise said...

Mad Duck! Love it! He clearly has goose pretensions. And he sounds an idea companion for Jessica's Crazy Pheasant over at Rusty Duck.

I hope Lucy settles in well and earns her keep. Glad you got a girl cat as, in my experience of cats across the years (3 boys and 4 girls), it is the girls who are the best hunters, presumably because they are following an instinct to feed their kittens. Isn't it the lionesses who hunt? And the males just stroll in after all the work is done? Hmmm...

Hope the lambs and goats get their feet sorted out and that they enjoy being back out on the grass.


rusty duck said...

Good luck with the mouser!

Rhodesia said...

Ha, glad that you have the mouse problem sorted out, now don't over feed her! I hope that your water subsides, it was wonderful to see the sun today. Long may it last :-) Stay well Diane

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, I think that the Mad Duck was raised with Geese and thinks he is a goose, and the geese think he is mad. ;-)

Jean said...

I'm glad the sun has arrived to warm you all up a bit.
It's been nice here today as well, but we are bracing ourselves for more snow midweek. I hope the forecasts are wrong.

Shame about the duck - what happened to him do you think? Would a fox take him?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

"hey all of you! stop what you're doing!" yep. i've said that before also. so it seems that you have a cat for those rats. excellent! i think you said you weren't much of a cat person but good on you for taking her for those folks.

John Gray said...

I have had more problems with drakes than ANY OF my male animals put together
I have an Aylesbury drake who is not long for this world
If I have anything to do with it

Vera said...

Tommo, we like Mad Duck as well!

Denise, we were advised that a female cat was best to get because of their better hunting skills. Don't think we could cope with a cat that sat around doing nothing except eating and watching the mice and rats play!

Jessica, thankyou, but it is the dogs who are going to need the luck, as I have a suspicion that she is going to rule the four dogs!

Diane, two days of sun we have had, wow! So water gradually evaporating away, thank goodness. Hope your grass is drying out as well.

Horst, that's a good thought, perhaps the duck was raised with geese! He is now part of the goose flock, and looks a very happy boy!

Jean, it was the female duck which was taken, either by a feral cat, (she was very small), or a fox, or, most likely, by Gussy, (our cocker spaniel) who was out all night on the night she disappeared, and was trained by previous owners to be a duck-hunting dog!

Ohiofarmgirl, you are right, I did say that I did not like cats, but I seemed to have turned a corner in regards to cats, and Lucy I adore already!

John, our drake has settled down for the moment, but Lester wants to get him a girl duck, so no doubt he will start his aggressive behaviour again when this happens!