Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meet the Newest Denizens of Willow's Rest

Because it's not enough of a circus around here, I gathered up my intrepid partner in crime, while also dropping Pip off for a week-long stay at Camp Crazy, and headed to Stokesdale to pick up a few ducks. I'll spare you the details of trying to find our way there--for some reason road signs are nearly non-existent in that part of the state, so we just guessed what roads we needed to turn on, but I'll say that Laura is a most excellent navigator, and even though we saw a good part of the local countryside in the process, we made it to our destination just a few minutes later than planned.

We went on our duck-gathering trip to pick up four ducklings that had hatched out last week. When Jill e-mailed to say she had ducklings if I wanted them, she also said she'd go through her adolescents and give me some of those as well. Because you know, I need ducks. The noise, the mud, the general mess that is ducks. But you gotta love 'em! And I know that Lark will love them. Her own personal ducks. Is she a spoiled dog or what?

So without further ado, meet the latest additions to Willow's Rest Farm.

Did I neglect to mention that Jill (the dog, not the person) also loves ducks? There's no prying Jill away from Duck TV. She literally spent hours with the ducks this afternoon. I had to force her to come back in the house and give the poor ducks a break. Apparently Duck TV is even better than Puppy TV....

Jill watching her ducks, who themselves are wondering why they are surrounded by "coyotes."

Lark: "Back off, Jill, those are my ducks!"

The stars of Duck TV. These are Ancona, Welsh Harlequin, and Indian Runner crosses. The smallest chocolate-colored duck is a runner drake. We're hoping the rest are females.

And in case you're wondering, yes, the dog lot is now a duck lot. It's a nice size for them, so hopefully they won't turn it into a mud pit. Once they are dog broke, it will be Lark's job to take them to the creek in the morning and bring them back to their pen at night. I'm hoping that if they will dabble in the creek on the sheep pasture side, Maia will keep them protected from predators during the day. And if they like the creek, then perhaps they won't trash the pen formerly known as the dog lot.

Jill just can't get enough.

But Lark isn't going to be outdone in the duck-viewing department.

But wait, there's more! The ducklings. These aren't great pictures, because this little pen is under the garage where a heat lamp can be safely used. They're still little enough to need to be kept warm at night, so they'll stay in this pen until they no longer need an artificial heat source. Yes, that's Lark staring at her very own personal baby ducks.

Sorry for the poor focus, but light was low, and this is the best I could do for a close up. Ducklings are some of the cutest babies on the planet. Oh my!

And we're still not done. Jill (the human) happened to mention in her e-mail that she also had wheaten OEG bantams. She said she had considered selling some, but had rethought the idea and was planning to keep them. Well, I managed to talk her out of two hens. I've put them in a little chick tractor, where they will stay for a couple of days until they are better acclimated to their new residence. The real clincher for me begging these hens off Jill is that they are small like mine, and such small OEG bantams are next to impossible to find anymore.

Yes, Lark managed to insinuate herself in just about every picture. She was going crazy trying to figure out which new group of feathered "friends" was the best one!

And of course my own OEG hens are still hatching out chicks. Here's the latest group, hatched a little over a week ago.

The puppies are growing like weeds; I think they all weigh over three pounds now. They're walking much more like actual dogs and less like drunken sailors. They should start playing and acting like real puppies soon. ;-)

If I'm slow to post updates to my blog, at least you'll have an inkling of what might be keeping me busy!


Barbara said...

Little cuties! And those wheaten hens are lovely looking.

Laura Carson said...

It was definately Julie and Laura's excellent adventure. LOL! At least the getting there was. They are adorable - and Nick says he can't WAIT to join Lark and Jill at the duck pens. :) The ducklings really are the cutest things EVER!

RFP said...

Hey Julie, Jesse says that your baby ducks are the cutest. I told her that they were also the messiest!

Heat Lamps said...

It was really amazing............. Such a great post....