Ducks Down On The Farm

Green Acres is the place to be.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

Both of us growing up in the country in farm-type settings (Carrie living more of a farm life than I did), it was inevitable we would wind up one day living a pseudo-farm life ourselves. And here we are with the garden and the ducks and the brother’s cows and chickens and the hay and the barn and tractors and… ALLERGIES. It all goes together, right?

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How about DUCKS? We have more now because they lay eggs and eggs actually hatch. Our neighbor had a slew of ducks (is that the proper term for a multitude of ducks). Either case, last year we went down and caught eight. Carrie wanted six. I think we miscounted among the flurry of catching them and throwing them in a mobile dog house for transportation.

Since then we have lost four of them; their disappearance being chalked up to coyotes, cows and unsolved mysteries. One just recently died but not before laying nine eggs. When I found her in the barn lot possibly stomped by a cow, I grabbed her eggs and put them under another duck who had thirteen of her own.

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They have since hatched with the exception of the nine. The momma didn’t set on those long enough. Ten of the thirteen hatched eggs have survived and while we were out of town in St. Louis, our family came over to put them in the milk barn so they may possibly live.

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The first batch of eggs that were hatched earlier this year all died. We think possibly because momma took them to the pond where they may have drowned due to them not having the down feathers needed to stay afloat when they tire of swimming. I initially thought it was a turtle in the pond since I saw one last winter but quite honestly, I don’t know. They are gone so we made more of a concerted effort to save these.

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We still have another duck with eggs to hatch so we are waiting on them. However, we have ten little baby ducklings wattling around the barn. Momma will not come in to be with them. She just sits outside hollering for them and they chirp back.

We built a little pen outside of the barn to give them some fresh air and since it is all new to them, they have a hard time taking advantage of the outside. I sat them out and they grouped together and laid down chirping for mom and nibbling on the green grass. I let them stay out for a little bit before putting them back. In the mean time, little did I know that a nest of wasps were waiting for their moment to dive down on me and attack. Four of them got their way with me before I ran away tearing my shirt off while my overalls fell around my knees. Thankfully, no one came driving by.

Farm living is the life for me. I still question that a little but I enjoy it nonetheless.

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About Kevin Riner

child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged
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