Now for the bad news…

Sad duck

As you can see, Biggles is looking forlorn in the rain and no wonder, as all her ducklings have died over the last couple of days. Most of our time since Sunday has been spent either standing guard over the ducklings while Biggles returned from her latest aerial escape from MacRae or Francis Drake, or scooping up the wee guys and delivering them back to mum. She has well and truly proved that motherhood is certainly not one of her strong points. Compared to Puff last season, Biggles had been taking her offspring much further afield for long periods of time and in pretty inclement weather conditions on a couple of occasions. We suspect that cold and exhaustion has been the main cause of death and we even put three of them under the infra-red lamp for one night to revive them. Even then, one died, one was very weak but the third was thankfully fit as a flea! I returned the two remaining ducklings to Biggles the following morning and she readily accepted them. Unfortunately, the weaker one couldn’t make it and finally Biggles managed to lose the last one in the space of me eating breakfast!  If she should go broody in the future, I think that we’ll have to restrict her movements until the young are strong enough to cope with wider excursions or that she demonstrates that she’s a more careful and protective mother. Meanwhile, after laying goodness knows where, Puff has returned to the duck-house and now has a nest containing about 10 eggs. We’re hoping that she starts to sit soon. Presumably, something has invaded and destroyed her first nest out with the garden.

New home

On a more cheerful note, our other ducklings are growing fast and were introduced to their new home in the garden at the beginning of the week. They’ve since met all the other ducks and chickens who generally ignore them! Yesterday was a beautiful day and the enjoyed basking in the sun. Today however, it’s been raining most of the time but they seem to have equally enjoyed dabbling in the mud…

In need of a bath!


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2 Responses to “Now for the bad news…”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    What a shame about the wee Biggles! Hopefully she might sit again before the year is out and produce some more. We lost one of our Aylesbury ducklings, not surprised as it was really small.

    Geese decided to venture in to the cattle grid tonight and was the first time we heard them doing a proper “honk”. Must go for just now, I have two tree roots that are being removed from the garden by tractor… this space!

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Yes, it’s awful loosing these new lives. For now, Biggles has resumed her more usual lifestyle – without dragging the kids around with her! Maybe she will try again, who knows. Hopefully she’ll watch Puff and follow her technique – assuming she’s successful with her ‘unusual alliance’!
      No doubt after the first honk, the geese will have got the hang of it by now! Hope the tree roots went OK.

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