Everything going swimmingly!

The weather has continued to be glorious this past few days so a couple of changes have been made with some of our feathered youngsters. Our first batch of chicks, now five weeks old, are pretty much fully feathered so we moved them out from the brooder into their new home on the edge of the duck compound. They’re having a great time discovering the wider world. Their relocation meant that the wee grassy enclosure which they’ve been enjoying this past week became vacant. Perfect for five yellow cuties of our acquaintance! It didn’t take long before the four-day-old ducklings were thoroughly investigating the new surroundings and because it was such a warm day, I thought I’d introduce them to the joys of water!

Just a wee pool, but hours of entertainment none the less! The last two days have been a haze of splashing, running, preening, eating and snoozing for the little guys and don’t they look content?…

Four days old

Of course it’s not all fun and games at Garybuie as at one week old, one of Brenda’s chicks died. A mystery really as the previous day saw the bird in fine fettle but it died beneath Brenda overnight. There were no signs of injury or anything else to indicate what the cause of death was. The remaining four chicks are doing well however.

Anyway, there’s some good news to counteract the bad this Easter as Puff the Muscovy has finally decided to settle on her nest! Poor old Huff, all alone once more with no female company. Thankfully, MacRae and his ladies seem quite happy – most of the time – to let him join their social circle!

Company for Huff

There is one duck within that social circle who hasn’t forgotten her roots! Lucky, one of last year’s orphans, regularly visits her foster parents – us – taking advantage of an open back door while the weather’s hot. A girl just can’t say “no” to a dish of abandoned cat food!

Visiting old haunts!

And finally, the derogatory term “bird brain” certainly can’t be applied to all feathery life forms. Sometimes their clever tactics – usually concerned with obtaining food – makes it necessary for us humans to pull rank in a cerebral kind of way! To prevent the hens from stealing the ducks’ grain, we immerse it in water where a chicken beak can’t reach! Until Dehlila became inventive that is! She discovered that by standing in the ducky dish, vigorous scratching – something which hens are expert at – not only flicks all the water and half of the grain out of the dish, but reveals the remaining grain for easy access by beak! Obviously this is a new skill which makes her very popular with the other hens, but NOT with the ducks! Hence ‘The Dehlila Deterrent’ which consists of a small section of hinged  sheep fencing placed over the dish. Perfect access for a dabbling duck but not for Dehlila’s fancy footwork!

Anti Dehlila device!

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