New foraging, new arrivals

Cutting silage

We’ve had some lovely weather recently and our crofting neighbour has made use of the fine-weather-window to cut the grass in the field behind Garybuie. He uses it for silage. The grass was very long and dense, very difficult for the ducks to negotiate. But not any more! It didn’t take long before three white bottoms could be seen, their accompanying front ends busy foraging enthusiastically in the stubble…

Bottoms up

Biggles also thought that it was a great place to take the kids…

family outing

At five weeks old, the 5 remaining Aylesbury ducklings also thought that it was a good idea to venture into this vast, new world. (Believe it or not, we have a second wobbly duck, although he appears only slightly inebriated, coping very well.) They headed straight for the furthest drainage ditch, as it’s the only near-by running water. We kept checking on them and they were having a great time. At one point, Kevin went to usher them a bit closer to home and he left them resting. Ten minutes later, I went over the back fence to bring them home for their tea-time treat. Four ducks ran towards me and one was on its side making feeble movements. Instantly I thought that it was Wobbly 2 but quickly realized that it was one of the more robust ducklings. We cuddled it and nursed it for a couple of hours or more but sadly it didn’t survive. And then there were four.

There’s been some happy news though, thank goodness, as Broody Brenda has appeared with three chicks. Not a great number but Big Fella was only just becoming ‘known’ to the hens when Brenda decided to sit. But at least we finally have some chicks about the place!

Brenda + 3

“Look dad, I’ve got legs just like yours!”

That's my boy

Still on the positive front, as I write two eggs have hatched in the incubator. No Silkies yet, but hopefully I’ll have news tomorrow!

The good weather came to an end and we seem to have been shrouded in mist since the weekend. The temperature dropped too and so I felt more inclined to have a quiet Sunday after guests had departed, continuing with my latest, as yet secret, pet portrait. Patches had the same idea and relaxed in the chair next to me while I worked!

Patches

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4 Responses to “New foraging, new arrivals”

  1. RecyclerSA Says:

    Hmm, Christine you wouldn’t be painting a little Piggy would you? 🙂
    Just asking … Laura

    • garybuie01 Says:

      A piggy! What makes you think that I wonder? No, it’s two cats but I have to be secretive about showing you as the portrait is for a lady in Australia and I think that she should get to see it first! Usually, I like to show how a painting is progressing but this time around, I can’t do that. (I’d like to do a piggy at some point though!!)
      Christine

  2. HLS81 Says:

    Two of our runner ducks took ill this week. Couldn’t walk very well and really lethargic. I looked up the symptoms and it turns out they had been affected by botulism. It seems it thrives in compost heaps and stagnant water especially when the weather’s hot. Maybe the drainage ditch yours ventured into caused the same thing? Fresh clean water an a good hosing down of everywhere seems to have made a world of difference to mine.

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Thanks for your suggestion. However, I don’t think that’s the case here as other than wobbling, the ducks’ health was fine; feeding well and all other behaviour OK. Our Muscovy drake has ‘been involved’ with the Aylesbury females and we suspect that that may be the problem. The ducks also grow at a slower rate, just like the Muscovies. Perhaps there’s an incompatible leg functioning gene in there!!!
      Christine

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