Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Ducky!

I thought you might enjoy a little update on the ducks down at Matt and Margaret's. If you are a new reader of my letters, and want to know more about our daughter and her boyfriend's house, you may scroll down until you reach 'letter topics.' Click on the one called The Making of a Home. The postings are in reverse order - new to old.

The last time I wrote about the ducks it was June with the whole summer ahead. Today the sun has gone into Virgo, the last astrological sign of summer. In a month's time it shall be autumn.

Matt and Margaret went to Bar Harbor, Maine on vacation the end of June and Tom and I babysat the ducks, draining out the water in their cellar pool and filling it up again once a day. They would get so excited when the fresh water was added.

These two photos taken with my cell phone.



As soon as Margaret and Matt came home, they went to work on putting up fence around the outdoor enclosure. With all the rain we'd had, that whole area was quite full of water. When the drier weather hit a few weeks ago, the water disappeared, but now is back again. The ducks have their 'in-house' baby pool for when there's no water to swim around in. The tarp is to keep out the heat of the sun. There are plans for winterizing.


It's a little glade in there. I just love it, and can't imagine a better place for duckies.


Looking back toward the enclosure - you can see they have quite a large space in which to roam and swim.


Lots of little places to explore.



The big news is that now they've grown up enough, we can tell there is a male and a female, a drake and a duck. The drake has a green head, a white ring around the neck, and that little curled up duck tail feather.


This means that when the duck lays eggs, if they aren't picked up, they will hatch into baby ducklings. That's the story with chickens too. All hens lay eggs. If there is a rooster, then the eggs are fertilized eggs. If those eggs aren't collected, they will hatch into baby chicks.

They followed me as I left, and went in to have a little lunch.



There's more on Rouen ducks here, and some photos here. They are the sweetest creatures; very friendly and cheery.

When I walked back to the house there were dear Piglet and Lexi waiting for me to let them in.

21 comments:

  1. These ducks look like Mallards to me. They certainly have a nice enclosure. What do the dogs think about them?

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  2. Lisa, they do look similar. More here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rouen_Duck

    The dogs have been fine, especially Piglet. In fact, the ducks will kind of follow her if she's walking by their pen. :<)

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  3. Duck's paradise out there! I wouldn't mind being a duck in such circumstances :-)
    And thank you for letting me learn a new word - drake for a male duck.

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  4. Nan,
    The ducks look well and their homestead looks wonderful.

    I do love the last photo of your dogs. Gorgeous.

    carol

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  5. Thanks, Carol. Those are Matt and Margaret's dogs and that is their house. I'm up the road about 1/10 mile. :<)

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  6. Wonderful post, Nan. Loved reading about your daughter's duckies. They look a fine pair. Will they winter in the basement?

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  7. Yvette, I think they plan to winterize the outdoor pen.

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  8. I wouldn't mind being a duck in your neck of the woods. So green and pretty. Lucky duckies.
    Susan

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  9. Susan, that's what I almost called this post!

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  10. Make way for ducklings...soon? :)

    Lexi looks like such a sweet dog!

    Love your new font/template, Nan. Very easy on the eyes. :)

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  11. Nan, I loved this update in photos. It's nice to see them grown and happy.

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  12. Those ducks are living the life of Riley! I love ducks, and I love the name Piglet for the little dog. So cute!

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  13. Les, very witty! Lexi is a dear girl, as is Piglet. Thanks for feedback on the font. You know, Bellezza and I are always rearranging our blog houses. :<)

    Diane, thanks. They are so adorable.

    Barbara, if you'd like to see Piglet when she was younger, here are a couple postings:

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2007/09/todays-picturespiglet.html

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2008/04/piglet.html

    She's also in several of the making of a home series. Dear dog!

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  14. Aren't they lovely. When he was little, my husband had a big white duck named Malcolm. Malcolm, who had started out quite small, as ducks usually do, eventually grew too big for the bathtub and was relocated to a farm with a lake, much to my husband's dismay.

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  15. Those ducks have got it made! This was such a nice little tour, I feel like I tromped down there myself. Thank you!

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  16. Pamela, I hope he was able to go visit. Love the name.

    J.G., wish you could have been there!

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  17. I raised ducks years ago and had some Rouens. My daughter who is 27, wants me to do it again but it is too hard in the winter. I love ducks very much though and know how much fun you must have had babysitting.

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  18. Cuidado, when we had ours they wintered in the barn with the rest of the animals and chickens and did fine. I'm not sure what the plan is for these ducks.

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  19. What a great photo essay! They looked so happy in their little indoor pool, and in absolute heaven in that outdoor space.

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  20. Dawn, I'm wondering how deep their pond will be after the storm.

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