Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Duck Integration

We had frost on the ground today for the first time this year. The red in the picture below is the red clay peeking through as the common bermuda grass starts to die back. I could talk for hours about the problems we've had covering the bare earth, but instead I'll talk today about ducks and their social life.

Of course, we bought three new young ducks a couple of weeks ago. It took about two days for them to integrate with the three older ducks, and now they're a group...a group comprised of the young whippersnappers and the more mature, wiser group. (Can you tell which group I fall into these days?)

This morning, the younger group ran for the cracked corn, which they reach by passing under the gate. You can see the older group in hot pursuit as the young dudes go under the gate. And see that little white blob in the upper part of the picture? That's Halley the cat, just watching. She helps my husband with the chores in the morning, so has to watch everything.

Here's the older group passing under the fence. I'm not as svelte as I was once myself, so I shouldn't laugh as Gilligan, the big white duck, tries to stuff himself through, but I have to admit to a snicker. See Halley in the upper right corner watching patiently?

All six met up at the food tray. I was taking pictures from the deck so the tray was blocked from me by the wall, but I could hear that it wasn't a pleasant encounter. Ever watched the scene at one of those 'all-you-can-eat' buffets?

I can't figure out why these two groups integrated so easily, and yet at our other pond, we had so much trouble integrating new ducks. I think it's probably because this new group had two males and a female, and so did the older group, while before we were always trying to introduce a female to a group of males. (The females kept getting eaten by hawks so we went through this several times.) Sometimes it was as if we had told four crusty old bachelors that they had to take care of a Goth teenage girl, and sometimes it was as if we had walked into the local prison and said, "Anyone want to take care of this pretty girl?" You can imagine that there were problems with both scenarios. (Let's just say that ducks are not romantic and leave it at that.) It seems to be working out much better this time, though.

Halley eventually moved on to observe Emma the goat eating. She sat on the fence post and calmly watched her. Emma didn't care -- they're all used to Halley now. (My husband found Halley sleeping under the horse's feet the other day, which terrifies me.) Finally, she'd finished her round of chores and took off for breakfast.

Breakfast is, of course, the most important meal of the day, along with lunch, second lunch, dinner, and assorted snacks.

Again, not that I have any room to talk. Literally.
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1 comment:

  1. I find my cats in odd places too...

    I am glad your duckies are all getting along now.


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