Monday, May 9, 2016

The Menagerie Grows

Before we got Zoe's pony, I read up on the subject of horsery. 
I learned about the frog in the foot, growing a good pasture, and wood chewing. 
Before we got goats, I borrowed books from the library to tell me everything from how to trim their hooves to what diseases they could get. 
Chickens are coming?
I bought books telling me how to tell what color eggs my chickens would lay and how they would roost when dusk came.
So, when we decided to get some ducks I did my research once again. 
Why would we get ducks, you may be asking?
Why in the hell not, I'll respond.

I think getting farm animals is kind of like having children. 
Once you have a few, what's a few more!
You're already used to the smell and the shoveling involved. 
Kids and farm animals are similar like that. 
Adding to the menagerie has been fun. 
So, we ordered some ducks from the feed store and decided that we would get Indian Runner Ducks. 
Runners are supposed to be good insect eaters. 
I like that. 
Runner ducks are ducks that stand upright when they walk. 
They are sometimes called penguin ducks or wine bottle ducks. 
I just call them cute. 
And soon, I would be calling them dumb.

We brought them home from the feed store and, as we did with the chickens when they were newly born, put them in the kitchen in a plastic tub with a heat lamp and food and water. 
These things seemed to grow 3 inches a night!
We had to put a dab of nail polish on their heads to tell them apart. 
Charlie had blue. 
Monty had orange. 
Mandy was pink and Daffy didn't get any polish because she was shorter than the others. 
They quickly outgrew the plastic tub and since they didn't yet have feathers, we couldn't put them in the cold barn yet. 
So, we moved them to our bathtub. 
Our ONLY bathtub. 
Where they continued to grow 3 inches a night. 
And shit enormous amounts of duck poo. 
In the tub. 
On the dining room floor. 
On each other. 
In their water bowl. 
Chad was in the process of making them a duck house. 
A wooden duck house would be placed in the barn right next to the chicken coop. 
With a flip top lid and a window and cute door that looks like it came from a castle. 
And he was instructed to "GET THAT HOUSE DONE STAT!"
I was about to go bonky with the poo everywhere. 
And the bathtub needed to be returned to the people. 
He got it done in lickety-split time and we moved the crazy quacking foursome out to the barn. 
With their heat lamp and mess moved to the building behind the house, I felt my sanity returning. 

But then the runner ducks, who have lived with us since they were two days old, began to run from us as if we were duck killers. 
We would go out to the barn to feed them and they would run, in a straight line and as a group, away from us. 
Falling over each other. 
Running into fences and doors to get away from us. 
As if we were Jason from the Friday the 13th movies. 
Had they seen that movie?
How could they have seen that movie?!
If we took a step to the left, they would run in fear to the right. 
If we stepped to the right, fear running to the left. 
Our feelings were hurt. 
And then I remembered from my duck books that runner ducks are an excitable breed. 
Is this fear running what the text was referring to as easily excitable?
I guess so. 
Duck killer running mode = normal Indian runner duck mentality. 
Good grief. 
What had we gotten ourselves into?
I tried reassuring the husband that instead of being annoyed with the ducks and their fear running, that we should instead look at them in a comical manner.  They are a unit of four and will follow one another off of a cliff. 
Let's keep them away from cliffs. 

A few weeks ago we were at the farm store picking up some vegetable and herb plants for the garden. 
Of course we had to venture to the rear of the store where the chicks and ducklings are kept during the spring buying season. 
The girls and I found the sale bin.
And everyone knows I'm a sucker for a sale. 
I said "oh look, the ducklings in this big tub are only $2 each."
Which was a deal to me, as I had paid a whole $5 each for those dumbo runner ducks. 
"Step away from the tub!" my husband declared. 
So we did. 
Until we had gotten to the lawn seed that was six aisles over. 
And he saw me stopping my cart. 
And he knew I didn't want any lawn seed. 
"No, no, no" he sputtered. 
But the kids and I were peering back into the duck sale bin before he had expelled his third no. 
"But they're on sale!"
I had the girls pick out two Khaki Campbell ducklings. 
They are brown birds with a blueish bill. 
And not as excitable as runner ducks. 
My husband had conceded his fight against more ducklings the minute he saw the girls picking their choices from the bin. 
"What's two more?" I asked. 
"What's two more" he sighed...


  1. Your ducks make me so happy. keep posting because I am trying to convince my family that we need ducks. First I have to change a rule in our HOA and then I will get my ducks....

  2. No understanding ducksI guess.