Friday, February 17, 2012

Duck Sitting Take 2

Look hard.  See that pile of scrub that looks like toppled trees that have sat decomposing for 4 years???  Ok, right at the top edge of the shadow caused by the rare tree that wasn't toppled, there's a tiny speck of white.  Ya see it?  That's a duck.  And under her is a nest.  She's been sitting on that nest for 20 days.  Muscovies take 35 days to hatch.

This has been an interesting progression.  Last fall, the 2 remaining hens laid a nest in the bachelor pad and sat on it for about 2 weeks before abandoning it.  Slowly the abandoned eggs disappeared.  We tried in vain to keep the ducks contained within the bachelor pad where the guardian Angel has patrol of 3 of its sides.  No luck.  We finally gave up and moved them all into the south paddock, where the females insisted on going, so the eggs that were being laid in this nest stood a decent chance of being fertilized.  And I must say its nice to not have to physically inface with the drake twice daily feeding and watering Copper.  He's the meanest thing we have here.  Some people are scared of the dog.  Little do they know the duck would just as soon rip the skin off your ankles.

So, here this nest sits.  And a 2nd nest is being laid and intermittenly sat upon.  Its a bit nerve-racking as if something, like the family of racoons that live in the woods immediately beside our house and pasture, were to get into that paddock, there's absolutely nothing there to protect them.  Angel can't go there.  And the ducks don't make noise so Angel may not even notice a prowler way back there in the dark of night.  Even if she did, by the time we'd wake up, get the flashlight and go through the 2 sets of gates to even get into that paddock, the damage would long be done. 

But we've tried everything else.  Complete lack of invovlement is ironically a last ditch effort.  If we don't get babies from them this spring, we're rehoming them to the retention pond where wild muscovies thrive.  If they do manage to breed something of note, we'll just continue to hope the racoons never realize the limited range of the big, barking dog.

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