Friday 3 May 2013

Ducky runs amok

I am not sure whether I have mentioned this or not, but we have a duck. There used to be two, but one got took by something or other, leaving the drake to wander about for a while on his own before attaching himself to the geese. Well that was alright. For weeks he would waddle around pretending he was a goose, and even took up a relationship with the  female goose who didn't have a partner. He was a sweet boy, no trouble. 

And then it was as if a hidden fiend sprang up within him yesterday. Crikey but overnight he changed from being a biddable friendly chappy of a duck to being the most horrendous of duckies, his sole intent being to mate with the young goslings which Lester hatched in the egg incubator earlier on this year. 

Round and round he chased them, his little feet paddling the ground so hard it was if they were driven by an engine. So he was put in the naughty box for the day in the hopes that he would cool off. He didn't. So his days are numbered, especially after today when he managed to mount one of the goslings and did his male activity on her for ages until I shooed him away. Crikey but his hormones must be in a rage. 

No eggs for the last two days due to the patrolling activities of the dogs and magpies, broody hens, and egg heating hen. Don't know who that would be, but heaven help her when we catch her. But we do have four broodies. We did have five, but she kept getting bored with sitting on her eggs. Being a half hearted broody does not bode well for healthy chicks, so off her nest she was taken. And just remembered the sixth broody who ended up down the throat of a fox because we forgot to shut her in for the night. So far this season: Fox: 1. 

And then there is the cat. Lucy has practised, and become skilled at, hunting, the evidence being seen by the pile of dead wood pigeon with two bites out of it. She obviously has honed her killing abilities but not yet mastered the ability to eat what she kills. This does not bode well for the chicks which will be hatched during the next three weeks, who would have inevitably suffered attack by magpies and crows, and now death by cat is also a possibility. 

So we are going to get her a collar with a bell. 

I am learning new skills all the time, and apart from becoming more experienced with making cheese from our goat's milk, I am also becoming adept at fishing out the cat doings from her litter tray. The puppies are also adept at doing this task. They are also increasingly able to pee the most amazingly sized puddles. 

We think the Tamworth sow might be expecting. We keep watching her udders and fanny. They seem to be doing things which could signify the imminent arrival of piglets. Or not. She just might be getting fat because we have been feeding her extra rations of food! Ah well, time will tell. 

Off to bed now. Another day tomorrow. Hope Ducky calms down tomorrow. Hope we get to the eggs first before everyone else does. Hope the puppies get through the night without flooding the floor. 


John Going Gently said...

Sex starved drakes... The bane of any smallholders life.
I had a new drake turn up today!

rusty duck said...

Spring has sprung at Labartere!

Denise said...

Send the renegade drake to us...we can put him to work on the allotment to get rid of some of this blooming' couch grass!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Just a thought.... I think the drake might make a tasty "canard au... whatever"

Vera said...

John, oh but I bet you was pleased, not!

Jessica, it's definitely 'sprung' in that duck!

Denise, good idea, but he would not eat the grass, he would be too busy trying to mate with anything which vaguely resembles a female duck, which is virtually anything!

Niall and Antoinette, Ducky has a reprieve at the moment, but I have already started looking at duck recipes!