Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Big Day

I know it's wordless Wednesday, but I have not been able to follow that edict...almost ever.

So here is what happens.

I took the precious ducks to the school last week, and I will admit to my epic failure in getting pictures. I assumed this task would be easily handled. I was wrong. I failed to take into account that I, as the duck owner, would be the ring leader of this circus. It was my main duty to hold while 80+ kids took turns alternating between complete fear of Conner nipping them, or petting his head.

The great thing about this all was the excitement they all had with the ducks. Many of the kindergartners this year were from my class last year and they loved it! A great many others enjoyed meeting Conner and Sally for the first time. The teachers there marveled in the sheer size of the ducks compared to the tiny little balls of fluff they were when they last visited those many months ago.

I am currently trying to get pictures of the ducks on their first day in the public eye, and I will get them, Ms. Aslinger took several, Josh took a few from my camera, and Ms. Shannon took some as well, all I need to do is compile them.

Now, a note on behavior. Ever since I took Conner and Sally to school I have noticed some things.

- Sally is more irritated by my presence than ever. She simply can't stand my picking Conner up, or trying to pick her up.

- Conner has grown more accustomed to my holding and petting him, and runs away far less than before.

- Conner bites a lot more now, maybe in play, maybe in aggression, of yet I am unsure.

- Conner loves to chase more now as well.

To this end I must bid you all farewell, I have games every night and must ready myself for such events.

Until we meet again, consider this pictureless Wednesday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

T-minus two days until the surprise.

Ok, so in two days, give or take (Wednesday) I am going to do something special with the ducks. This is secret, tip top-utmost-only a few people know-I shall say no more-secret.

Until this momentous event I will supply the world with the latest round of pictures. I do hope you enjoy.




I love this picture. They are deceptively similar in size. However this is an illusion, Conner is actually 64 feet tall.



This one is a bit blurry, and I am not sure why. I blame the ducks and the fact that they are as fast as lightning...







These two are of Conner and me. I am petting him, and trying to get a pine needle out of his bill. If you take note Sally is in the background giving a less than pleasing eye. It turns out little miss prissy does not, and I repeat DOES NOT like being held. In fact she sent me a legal document saying as much.

Also, one other note, if you will notice, attached to my face. Those are chops, glorious, beautiful chops. Gentleman, do not be jealous. They are just chops. You too can have them.




Right, so this one...well, you be the judge. (I am aware that I will[inserting corny joke beware...] that I will be the butt of many jokes after this.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conner the Defiant, Conner the arrogant.

Just as the title says, though defiance isn't exactly the word to describe him. It isn't like I expect lots from them, other than simply to live as ducks do, with quacking, feathers, and worms. So to call him defiant might be a bit far fetched on my part. Still, he does defy. To explain I must backtrack and recap.

For some weeks I have been trying to get Conner, and to a lesser extent Sally, to let me hold them without flailing, and pecking. I say Sally to a lesser extent because she is completely oblivious to my attempts and her aloof behavior makes this even more evident. Conner however is a bundle of character and down feathers. He loves to play, and her loves to pretend he is the ruler of some imagined kingdom. When you approach him he just stays out of hands reach, and when you retreat he pursues. It is quite humorous. However recently the humor has become lesser with his new tactic of biting, which I will allow none of. The last straw was when he decided I was the one who needed to be bit. So I scolded him the way any good human father with duck children would: I gave him a gentle tap on the bill.

He was livid, refusing to speak to me for the remainder of the day.

All the while Sally strutted and kept to herself.

The next day Conner let me pet him, but only momentarily. Over the ensuing days Conner allowed more and more contact, which, by last night, all added up to me holding him gently under my arm for about 15 minutes. This is the most he has been held since he was first born. Of course now he is about 15 times the size he was then.

I was pleased.

I've also been debating something, but will need clearance I am sure, and I expect it as well, otherwise I would be worried about the system we are running around her. What am I talking about? I am thinking about bringing Conner and Sally to school. See, in Pre-K we do a letter a week, and we are currently on week B, so in two weeks we will be on week D, discussing, like you can imagine, all things that begin with the letter D. Good idea, right? I thought so too.

Still, I will need to ask the rules on this from our principal. I think she will say yes, as I don't plan on having them here all day, and I won't be bringing them in the building.

My one concern is this, Kindergartners. Aka the Pre-K students from last year who helped hatch our ever loving ducks. I don't want to cause some sort of disturbance, but I would love for them to be able to see how much they have grown, they are, after all, their ducks too, I suppose.

I will talk to the appropriate personnel, and let you know what happens.

Until then, know this Conner has the exact same personality of his father, and Sally, she has someone else's personality. Whose I do not know.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Etc.

I was recalling the weeks I have had the ducks, and I can't remember the exact number, but it is in the lowest double digits you can count. Maybe 12, but like I said, I can't remember.

Like I said, I have been recalling. The ducks are big, so big in fact. If you look back at the first of the pictures I posted you can see the big stuffed platypus we had for them. Yes? Ok, good. Conner and Sally make that thing look little.

When I say we have full grown ducks I mean it. Fun stuff is though, what they do as these full grown balls of feather. You know how in Batman the Joker is the Clown Prince of Crime? Well Conner is the Clown Prince of Fouls. Everything, and I mean everything is an outlet for him to ham it up. He will waddle out of the bushes and come up to you and then waddle off. If you walk away he will follow you like he is playing a game of shadow. When you stop so does he. When you move he moves. If you turn and look at him he will turn and look like he is Leslie Neilsen in Naked Gun, and is pursuing someone in the most comedic way he can.

This is unending. Conner is a clown.

Sally...she is not. She acts as if the world is hers and that all others should be thankful we are allowed to share her air. She will step up high, flap those wings, and pretend we owe it to her to watch in awe.

Of course neither pays the other's antics any mind, but neither will move more than 10 feet from the other. They are very close companions, and as when they were ducklings, Conner protects her, and Sally follows cautiously.

I think the magic of evolution is how animated they have become. The world is their stage, and these two are certainly co-staring as Elizabeth Taylor(young and pretty not old and crazy) and Jerry Lewis.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My little boy is growing up.

Well, last we spoke of sexes I doubted myself and said I didn't know what Conner was. It turns out my streak of being correct is still intact. I shouldn't have second guessed myself.

Conner is now into adolescence, and he is beautiful in the most awkward, and ugly way. I hope these pictures do him justice.

And for comparisons, both together. Aren't they so cute!



This one shows more color, and the collar forming at the base of his neck.




So she doesn't feel left out, here is Sally, greening none.

And now for the close ups of the star of the show!





Friday, July 17, 2009

A poem and a duck...and a guy



I once met a duck
he had no arms or hands, of all the dumb luck
but that never got him down
take a look, not an inch of frown.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thoughts on Ducks.


Ducks plotting a feathered regime.

It has, not recently mind you, occurred to me that ducks are very smart creatures. I just recently spent 5 days away from home, dog sitting for some close, and wonderful friends of mine. I worried daily about my feathered companions; were they getting enough food, were they lonely, had one of the dogs gotten out of his pen and eaten them, were they plotting world domination and not letting me in on the plot? You know the normal stuff.

Then I came home, and went out to see them. With great pride I watched them waddle up to me -at a safe duck distance of five feet- and quack their precious (and peculiar) adolescent quacks. I was overjoyed!

I have tried to spend as much time with them as possible since, because let's face it, with ducks who plot to overthrow the world, you want to be in their best graces.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Food sources.

Ok, so the whole egg thing, a complete failure, but worry not my friends, there turns out to be another food they just adore. Dog food. That's right folks, the ducks like dog food. The dry stuff of course.

When eating dog food it is the only time I have seen them remotely aggressive to each other. So I don't give it regularly for a few reasons; 1. Dog food is for dogs, not ducks, and as such the protein levels may be different. Too different. 2. They don't need a food source that causes aggression toward one another on a regular basis. That would be bad parenting on my part. 3. They need to be bribed somehow!

On a completely unrelated note, in the pictures I have posted you can notice a small badge like coloring on the wings. This badge, it changes color when you move around! It looks blue, green and purple, it's great! It is like they have their own mood ring...no wait...mood wings! Hahaha, many was that corny!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Eggs...eggs my foot.

So I have read in several places that ducks like eggs that have been hard boiled, and served with the shells. I tried this, and I have found that to not be the case. Who am I to say the experts are wrong, though.

Fact is my ducks, the fine feathered hooligans they are, do not even care one bit about eggs, the shells, or anything else to do with them. I will, for posterity sake, keep trying to feed them eggs and see if maybe, one day, they will warm up to the idea.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week 8+ The taming of the Duck.

Boy how time does get away from you! But I am back and I sure have missed you guys.

First off, a brief of what we will be discussing; I have a few anecdotes, news, and relieving instances to discuss, plus pictures! Not just the normal run of ducks running pictures, but I am also holding them as a frame of reference.

The stories, anecdotes, etc.

The other night, our latest in large storms, and loads of rain, I forgot to put the ducks up in their little home. I look out the next morning and they are in one of our other small ponds butts up diving for muck on the bottom. It was hilarious!

Next, these two have taken to eating sand. Why I don't know, it is never expressed in anything that it is part of their normal diet, or used for a digestive aid, but those two decided it was quite useful or tasty. There is a picture below.

They can't stand going up at night anymore. In fact we argue about it regularly, with them hiding in bushes and quacking, and me brandishing a long wooden staff used as a shepherd's rod. They quack, I of course unable to let sass slide, back talk back, and there we are, three loud, and raucous conversation 10:30 at night.

Conner is still bigger than Sally, and she may never catch up. But what do I know.

I am afraid my last report was in error, Conner's head that was turning green hasn't turned very green, and he/she still looks like Sally, head, feathers, wings, everything. We might have two girls. Who knows, I am obviously terrible at this duck sex calling thing.

Wings. I held Conner the other day, and today and his wings are so big! They say the wings are smaller on domestic ducks...it makes me wonder, are they right, or how large do their wings get in the wild!?

And now for pictures.

In these first two the ducks are eating sand from one of those high and mighty turtle sand boxes.





These first two are of me holding Sally. (That's Josh in the back ground) And yes for all those who know me, and haven't seen me in a while that is a haircut. Where it was once a mass of follicle fury it is now a nice trimmed summer cut. Still this is Sally and this is how big she has gotten.





These final two are of Conner and he/she is being very gentle(after trying desperately to run away) He was content when I was petting his neck and head.



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts of the Miscellany (Oh yeah it's a word) variety and Movies!

Finally, now for your viewing pleasure, videos! Please enjoy, then I will ramble on endlessly about such things as Hobo hideouts, covert presidential espionage, and if we have time, chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce, and of course chocolate sprinkles. Ok, this video, it's old, it's basically day 1 stuff here folks. These ducks are seasoned veterans compared to this rookie behavior.


video

This next video, it's more recent. It's a real juxtaposition of thier sizes then and now. Oh yeah, the little dandy girl you will see in this video is Olivia, she is my niece, and pal. We love the ducks, and aside from myself and Josh (but come on he is my twin for crying out loud, of course he can!) she is the only one who can successfully tell them apart.

video

I returned all of the things that belong to Ms. Aslinger today, and what did I do right after school? I'll tell you, I went out, bought a bag of food (50 lbs), a heat lamp, bulb, and feeder for them. Now I am officially all set for life with ducks!

Aside from that, there isn't much to talk about, oh, except for the other day, Sunday I think. Conner was swimming about the pond, and paddled his little self over to the side, laid his head on the rock, and stared at me. We had a staring contest; I won. I don't think he knows who he is messing with.

Their feathers are coming in much more now, and if the weekly status reports, and timelines are correct one of them should start laying eggs in a couple of weeks, and they should both start flying in about a month. When I say flying I mean trying, because all indication are that their little domestic wings will not support flight.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a quick post.

Ok, so two or three things.

First, remember when I said the ducks cussed me up one side and down the other for herding them into their house that first couple of nights? Well I went out two nights ago, and they were already in the house, and waiting for me to shut the door. Last night was the same! Wonderfully smart ducks!

Next, the small barrier fence I was keeping them in is now moved, and they can roam the full backyard at their discretion. Yes I will get photos this weekend for you all.

Finally. We all recall how distraught I was about Conner's sex. Well world I just came in and my heart is lifted. I spotted a dark streak on Conner's head, I assumed water. Sally has the same thing, but smaller. This caused me to probe more. Conner's color is darker in every aspect. Darker browns on his wings, and tail. Darker coloring on his face and neck. And the spot. That wonderful, beautiful spot! I picked him up, and gang, that spot, or streak rather is green! It is not wet feathers. It is, rather, green coming in on his head! Conner seems to be a boy!

Ms. Aslinger, there will be no more need to buy ducks! (I hope)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No news can only be good news, no?

The title isn't entirely true. There is news, and it is good.

Do you all recall in one of my latest posts that I had the ducks on a trial run outside at night? Do you also recall that they were very mad at me the next day? Well here is the news, they are no longer angry with me for leaving them in a luxurious studio duck house. In fact the last two evening when I went outside at promptly 8:30 (right after dark) to herd them into their home, I was delighted to find they were already there; happily waiting for their night time meal.

This delighted me immensely. It seems that their stubborn duck streak can be attributed more to adolesence, and not stuck up duck behavior. Which as you all know, is a great relief. So both nights I fed, and bid them a fond goodnight.

It will not be too long before I am able to remove the small pen they are located in, and expand it to include the whole of the backyard, save for the garden, which will get me, and a pair of ducks on a menu if I don't block that off. However I will let them roam almost completely free soon. It couldn't be totally free, they are domesticated after all. You wouldn't want me putting you in the middle of forest to survive alone would you?

No, I didn't think so. Plus I wouldn't do that. That is something a big fat jerk would do, and I try hard not to be a big fat jerk.

Next, they love the large pond! Just love it! I have some pictures of them galavanting around in it, and a video, which isn't very good, so I am going to take another. It's fun to watch them dive deep and pop up somewhere several feet away. I also noticed they like to arch their bodies high out of the water and shake their little wings like they are going to take off. They of course never do, and are only drying off their backs for them water they gathered upon diving.

Now to head off into the wild blue and gather cameras, and pictures, and other such things for you all to enjoy.

Until later, Talley Ho!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weeks 3-4, and possible gender confusion.

Ok, I have taken some more pictures, but only a few. A few because I am doing yard work all day and it's impossible to mow, and blog at the same time. Not that I wouldn't try, assuming I had a laptop.

But I prattle. I only have a few, I still need to paint it, and clean it up somewhat since I was so pressed for time last week, because of rain. However I hope to do some of that cleaning, and spit shining today.

Also in these pictures I took some duck close ups so you can see the feathers. They are brown, and plentiful under and on the wings. This concerns me for Conner. Does anyone remember the song, A Boy Named Sue? Well this is looking to shape up like the exact opposite. I know, I know, just change his name cries the audience. But is it so easy I ask. These are ducks, not puppies. Puppies can bend, and remain flexible in their names, but ducks (admittedly this is my first set) seem far more aloof, and more set in their ways, so springing a name change on them could be a major problem, especially when they recognize the names they have.

For example, last night we did a trial run on living outside, and they seemed irritated at me this morning. Cute duck eyes had a glimmer of disdain in them. I think Sally spit at me. Not that I don't deserve it, but they have to get used to it eventually, because I am not putting them in diapers so they can live indoors. That's all there is to that.

Now, for pictures.



In this one I am showing the little window they have to look out into their world at night. The next few pictures are either close up shots, or complete shots of the little area we have made for them from different angles. For everyone waiting on the edge of seats, here you go, injoy them wholly, and without worry.









As you will see in this one, the ducks are getting quite feathered on the sides, and the head feathers are now starting to develop right along making me concerned about our Girl named Conner issue.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of ducks and houses.

This post will probably be further amended, or maybe retooled soon. I have things to say, to add, but no pictures to show with my words. So if it's true and pictures are worth a thousand words...then this post will be forever long. But that is why I will further add to it.

Now, to start, this weekend Camille and I decided enough was enough and the ducks needed a place to live, outside of the cozy plastic container I have them in at night. So we did something about it. We built the ducks a house, one that you will see soon enough. It is still rough looking for I have been unable to paint the poor thing due to all of our wonderful Tennessee weather. Everyone on the count of three; 1...2...3...Go weather! (That's sarcasm folks). Still we barely beat the torrential rain of the evening by mere minutes, and luckily too, as the ducks were very up in arms over this whole rain debacle, so we put them in their new home. I know what you are all wondering, and yes, we had to miss the christening of the cozy abode for more pressing matters.

Still if any of you wish to send house warming gifts have them delivered to Homestead Elementary c/o Jeremy Conner...second thought we better not. I wouldn't want the ducks getting a big head over being ducks. Lord knows they are arrogant and aloof enough as it is.

Ok, so on to the main point of the post: the house. I took plans from a great site I have linked to the right of your screen, called The New Agrarian. He built a style of home I found to my liking, and function. With it's design I was able to place a small housing for the heat lamp that I will install for they long winter nights. It is on the back side, near the peak of the roof, in a corner. So they have room to move away from said heat lamp were it to get to hot for their liking. There is plenty of space for them to stretch their wings out on the inside. I also added shingles so they wouldn't be jealous of the other ducks we don't have living around us.

Spoiled rotten, I'll just confirm that now.

You will also notice a small window on the lower portion. This is so they can sit and watch the weather from the comfort of dry lodging. It's also to tease whatever vermin might be lurking about.

I also have ventilation on the top corners and one corner actually opens via a hinge I installed.

The house is not set directly on the ground, it is lifted above it by two 4x4's running the length of the house for support, and to keep it from absorbing copious amounts of water.

Now, to get the pictures taken tomorrow so it won't all be an enormous tease.

Until we speak again, the ducks and I bid you adieu.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chops.

Scared you with that title didn't I?

Well no worries, I have not done a thing with knives, sheers, blades, or anything else.

The reason fort his post, Conner has side burns, just like his dad! What a chip off the old block.

That is all, now to go and groom them appropriately!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week: 2, Many days with no update, swimming pools, and growth.

I think it will soon become much easier to post the daily habits weekly. The major part of their journey seems to be coming to a bit of a plateau. Though I could be wrong, so forgive me if I am.

I have taken several pictures of the ducks, and a few were too dark, but these I am posting are light enough, I think.

A few things first. Do you all remember the smell I was commenting on not being terrible? Well, folks, it is horrendous. I am changing their brooder twice daily, and I am constantly feeding them, looking for new methods to keep the water from soaking everything from here to Northern Canada, and letting them spend a lot of time outside.

Their time outside is what I want to talk about today, as it seems they are almost ready for the outdoors on a permanent basis. The two caveats to this are; I need to build a house for them, and they need to grow a little larger so they don't go and escape backyard like the Birdmen of Alcatraz.

A small point on their growing before I continue. Last night Conner displayed a puberty change in voice. The descriptions were right, it sounds a lot like a combination of passing gas, and coughing. Needless to say I laughed, pointed my finger at him, and made snarky remarks. He looked at me like I was dumb.

I've noticed as well, that the ducks protest to being picked up, but once held they do not put up such a fuss, especially when you pet them under the bills, and on top of the head.


Conner is still a bit larger than Sally, and yet I never have difficulty telling the two apart. Maybe it's the paternal side, I'm not sure, but I don't see them as looking at all alike.

Now for photos;



Now, this first one is a frame of reference. This is my niece Olivia, she is about 3 and a half feet tall.




This one is of them in their pool, enjoying the water with those cute little perpetual smiles.




More pool time for the kids, all of them.




Learning the use of steps.




A little walking around time before we call it a night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day: What day are we on, again?

OK, so it has been a few days since an update. Tut tut on me, for shame. Starting a blog to keep people up to date, and I can't even update!

Now, all blaming aside, the ducks.

These two are growing so fast! Conner is still bigger, but only marginally, at best. Sally, where I once assumed would be the eater, has proven that she, is more akin to a grab and dash type consumer. She will eat everything she can get her fill of, that Conner is not going to eat. However I would not say she suffers from malnourishment by any stretch. She is very lively and very healthy.

They are growing more accustomed to being held though, as I do try to hold the every night for at least 10 minutes a piece. Sally still shows great trepidation, but she will eventually allow it to happen (much like a little kid will allow his hair to be cut for the first time.) Conner, though, he is very used to being handled and were it not for his protection of Sally I think he would enjoy it much more than he lets on. But he protects her, and that is fine with me.

Oh, before I forget, there is a pecking order, and like many would assume it is, or was decided by age. I caught Conner chasing Sally about the other night literally pecking at her tail feathers. (I see now where the term originated).

Next order of business, size, and smell.

Ducks stink, and this grows as they grow. I don't think it is them, or their waste so much as it is the food I feed them, and the brooder(house) they are in. We are using large wood chips for warmth and traction so as not to cause splay foot. This is a grand idea for one problem...they are spilling water from end to end of their little abode and soaking the chips, stuffed platypus, teddy bear, and food. All of this in combination is causing a very dank and musty odor. Nothing deadly, or vomit-inducing, but it does greet you at the door with a smack in the nose. Still, we happily move forward.

They are getting so much larger as well! I can no longer hold them both in one hand, which says something for their size considering I have very longer fingers. Nope, they no longer fit, in fact they are now to the point that it is one duck per hand. It makes things more tedious when transporting them, but I don't mind. I like the challenge.

Um, let's see, what else. Oh! Conner nips fingers, a lot. I am trying various nipping punishments, or discouragements so this ill not become a hazard when he becomes an adult.

I think that is all for now, if not I will post it next time I log in.

So until then, from me and the ducks, good night nation, and dare we quack...world...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day: 4, The New Idea

Ok, so these guys are filthy. Not in the putrid, smelly I don't want to own you sense. Rather they are like all babies. Mess making, helpless, yet lovable web footed feather balls.

First off this morning rolled in like a shrill horn with Conner alerting the heavens that Jeremy needed to be up at 4:30. He needed water. Why water, you ask? Because he and his sister decided that covering their floor in it was a much more important matter of business than actually drinking it. Good morning Jeremy!

This afternoon though an idea happened upon my mind, though. The plastic tub we are using as a brooder has many options, and many friends similar in size and shape, each waiting to help me. So I took charge of this water loving situation and made a pool for the kids to play in while inside. They love it, as shown here,



and here,



It is a smashing hit!

The two of them can now be transported a matter of inches to a constantly reheated pool. A veritable lap of luxury! Spoiled rotten...

Now the whole need for this little transfer of power was that they were, like mentioned previously, filling the wood chip filled home with water, making it a sty. I am raising ducks, not pigs, so there is no room for a sty here. In fact I just spent 20 happy minutes cleaning and dumping, washing, and refilling the dry house. In it's prior condition I dare say with an oxygen tablet we could have invited the class fish for a sleep over. So needless to say the ducklings had to be uncomfortable. So I accommodated.

I hope to report tomorrow that the ducklings are living dry, and wet, but at two different times entirely.

On a side bar, these guys are drinking as much water as they are spilling. I am seriously contemplating the use of the large water bottle in place of the smaller one.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day: 3, and The Pond.

Today I introduced my niece to waterfowl in their semi-real habitat(aka the paint tray). I noticed a few things while I watched her. She has several trains of thought when it comes the the mind of a two year old, and ducklings. They are as follows;

- Since ducks enjoy delicacies such as clover and slugs they will most certainly enjoy sticks twice their length, giant rubber balls, and the stalks to dandelions.

- Baby ducks should be able to catch aforementioned giant rubber balls.

- Baby ducks should never be outside of their water tray.

- When outside of their water tray they should immediately be escorted back into said tray.

Of course I corrected the things she thought was right, but were in reality quite preposterous, aka the giant rubber ball.

Other than that the day was far from eventful, and I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot of those sort. That's fine, uneventful means growth is according to schedule, and the ducks are growing well.

Now on to another item of mention. Many have asked if I have a pond for the ducks, and that answer is yes. I have two ponds. Nothing huge, but for domestic ducks who needs a huge pond right? Right.

So here are some pictures, though now that I take closer look they are not shown in reference to size. The dimensions are 10 ft in diameter, and 4 feet deep. It will be stocked with an algae eating fish or two, and is close to completion with a circulation pump[ running through a water fall. Shown here.



The main body of water is shown in a semi overhead shot here.



The idea is to find a place for the ducks to safely enter and exit without becoming too tired and endangering themselves. There are a few possibilities, and these will be modified as the remaining work progresses to completion.

So for the masses, I hope this eases the many thoughts. These bits of feathered fun will have a place to swim happily. (Plus a garden to mingle for afternoon lunches of slugs, bugs, and other such creeping multi-legged nuisances.

Now for sleep, the kids have crashed, and so shall I. Goodnight world.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day: 2

A few things while the pictures are getting in order. Today I went outside in the backyard with the ducks for some alone time, to establish the parental bond. In doing this I hoped to confirm of a few things, and try a few others.

1st. I wanted to see how quickly these ducks would take to water.

2nd. I wanted to see if they would follow me, and I wanted to see if a hierarchy was in order since there are only two of them.

3rd. I wanted to see what exactly they would snack on. The tests were with a snail, worm, clover, grass, and dandelion.

4th. I wanted to test their response to water according to whether they are preening yet.

The answers?

1st. I wanted to see how quickly these ducks would take to water.

The ducks, like the saying, were tried and true. They saw, and recognized our flat black painter's tray. They ran/waddled to it immediately and dove straight in. The answer, a resounding yes. The test, a certified success.

2nd. I wanted to see if they would follow me, and I wanted to see if a hierarchy was in order since there are only two of them.

They do follow, after their attention is gathered from the big world around them. Was, or is there and established hierarchy? I don't believe so, not yet. Conner (the eldest) seems protective of Sally. When we walked he lead all the paths first, but once it was confirmed that they were safe she had free range. Which I thought was a bit adorable. So as of now, no "pecking order".

3rd. I wanted to see what exactly they would snack on. The tests were with a snail, worm, clover, grass, and dandelion.

They love all of these foods. Snails, clover, and worms were a confirmation mostly. The dandelions were my own test. I have read that you don't give the "junk food" (Breads, choc., and other candies.) because it will seriously hurt, or kill them. But a sweet, natural weed? I wanted to see. So far the test is proving triumphant. They loved the petals, and have shown no adverse reactions. Further examination will continue of course.

4th. I wanted to test their response to water according to whether they are preening yet.

They made preening motions, which is a good thing I assume, but the feathers were still showing signs of soaking the water up, therefore clinging together. No oils yet.

As I watched them I noticed a few things quickly, Sally is catching up with Conner in size, and when separate, they are hard to tell apart, and it isn't until they are together that you see which is which. I will need to invest in colored velcro soon.

Aside from all the scientific stuff, these two are hilarious! Sally is quickly becoming the food attacker. She loved the idea of me throwing a worm in the "pool" with them, and actually managed to engorge herself on the whole thing after a tussle that Conner gave up on when presented with a slug. Why fight with food elsewhere, eh? But no fear, Sally is still growing a lot. She is the proverbial weed.

Below is a list of pictures, I took today of them.





Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day: 1

Yes folks, the actual day, the first day of the rest of our lives, as the old adage goes. Today we came home, the ducks and I. They were stared at heavily by my niece who absolutely refused to pet one, but demanded I hold one.

Before we left we took the ducks out at school, sadly no pictures of that event, but we do have this beauty of the post swim lazy ones.



I have a few other pictures of today, but I have had no time to put them up because the new caretaker had to coach a soccer game tonight(Shameless plug, we tied the 1st place team 1-1!) So I have not had time to properly sit down and post the pictures, yet.

But to other issues at large, the ride home, new behavior in that home, and fun!

The three of us are still working on bonding, and they are still quite timid of me, and shy of everything. Conner has come to me once, while Sally is playing things defensively and that's fine. They will come around. I think all the excitement of the day got to them. Which is to be expected.

They are causing a lot of heat in my room though, but that's fine, it's a heat lamp, and I expected as much.

Tomorrow I plan on taking them out for a bit to romp in the grass, and to have quiet time together, so they become accustomed to me. For now though, I will sit with them, and let them see me, and rest.

Good night all, and cheep cheep from the ducklings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day: -1

Tomorrow I get the ducks, Conner, and Sally.

To begin I would like to say that this is or was a class project for Ms. Aslinger, and my, Pre-K class. This blog is possible for their parents to keep tabs on the ducks for the kids in a semi real time manner, to post pictures and milestones of their development. I will never us the names of our children in this blog.

Now, disclaimer aside, tomorrow I am bringing the ducklings home. I am doing this because I volunteered to. I said I would love two of them for myself, and sadly we only have two, out of the dozen we were given. (No we aren't unable to hatch eggs, someone messed with our humidity, and temperature settings on the incubator. Ms. Aslinger has hatched them for the past several years.) So with the hatching of our first, and sadly his subsequent death that night, we worried about the others.

Happily Conner came on Friday the 24th, and Sally on Saturday the 26th. The other eggs were duds, never hatching. Ms. Aslinger took the home over the weekend to watch them closely. Today we all gave thanks for two healthy, and rather mischievous Ducks. Tomorrow I will bring them home and rear them as mine.

More to come soon.