Monday, September 9, 2013

Duck Update

After we took Wilma i,n 4 more ducks were abandoned near our house, including one that had been rammed by one of the adult ducks until its legs were broken.  

(Wilma, Beatrix and Quill) 

I realized later that there was a change in dominate males and the new male was getting rid of the old male's offspring.  

Our new ducks were, two males, Jasper and Quill and, two females, Myrtle and Beatrix. I noticed right away that they were much bigger than Wilma which wasn't a shock considering she only ate if I syringe fed her and even then probably burned more calories fighting me than she took in.  

After 3 days Wilma died.  It was sad for the boys but I had warned them ahead of time that she was sick and despite our efforts might not make it.  

(Bea and Quill)

Fortunately we still had four more ducklings! 

 Beatrix, the duckling with broken legs, ate well and was still able to move around.  For the next couple weeks we had four lively ducklings.  Again we noticed that Quill, Myrtle and Jasper were getting bigger while Baby Bea was not.  

Last week despite syringe feedings and creating her, her own warming area, we lost Bea.  This was a bit harder on the boys.  We had had the ducks longer and each one of the boys had claimed one of the ducks as their own.  Bea belonged to Evan.  

(Jasper, Myrtle and Quill) 
He handled it well though and still wants to help out with the ducklings.  

The big boys feed the ducks, let them out either to run around and forage or put them in the kiddie pool for a swim, they clean the ducks bin out once a day and are always on the look out for storms, so they can bring the bin and ducks in the house!  

It was hard at first balancing both duck care in the mornings and homeschooling but we have a great rhythm now and they're getting used to caring for something besides just themselves which is probably one of the most important and useful lessons a child can learn.   

Last week one of the female ducks had a whole new brood of 11 ducklings in tow!  This week she's down to 9 but they're doing well, and none of the other ducks are bothering her!  

Who knew ducks could be so dramatic?! 


Josie said...

I've been waiting for a duck update!! Sorry for the losses your family suffered with them. Although its very sad, it's such a great learning experience. I hope the three you have make it to adulthood. Having pets is a great responsibility and an awesome opportunity for learning compassion and empathy. Can't wait for the next adventures of your Duck Drama!

Laine said...

Thanks for the comment Josie! Ducks have been a very interesting adventure for us!