Wednesday, October 27, 2010
My house stinks of duck poo
My house stinks of duck poo...but it's just temporary.
Late this summer, very late in fact, two of my ducks each hatched out a clutch of cute little ducklings. It was their first time being mummy duck and one of them took to it right away. She has nine little ones that play under her wings.
The other mummy duck just wasn't into it. Sure, she made an effort but her heart just wasn't in it. She would rather be wondering around the yard munching on grass and hunting for slugs. She didn't shelter her little ones from the cold and whereas their cousins ran around playing, these five little ducklings just huddled in the corner frightened of everything, especially their mummy.
So we took her little ones away from her yesterday. She appeared very relieved about the situation.
I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but they are very malnourished. I should have noticed their condition earlier but I just assumed that since they had a mummy that they would be fine. They are small for their age and are nothing more than a light dusting of down covering bones. They startle at every little thing and haven't made a peep since their 'rescue'. They do however, seem to appreciate physical contact and move towards you if you start to pet them.
As they are chilled through and through, I brought them inside our house for the night. Just one night to warm them up enough to get back on track. I didn't want to put them under the heat lamp as that would have been too warm and they are actually a lot older than they look. But boy, just one night inside and the house stinks of duck poo. I'll open some windows and air out the place.
Later today I'll put the little orphans in a nice, secure duck house where they will be safe from raccoons and hopefully feel sheltered enough to start acting like ducklings.