We started with 4 beautiful Khaki Cambells, Donald and Daisy, Daffy and Dora. We grew very fond of those ducks. We put them in a hoop house coop with an attached run. We had enclosed on the sides most of the way up. It was not closed in on the top. They were out there since about 5 weeks old and although they can fly some they never tried to fly out. We made the mistake of thinking they couldn’t fly up and out. Last week I came home and found Daisy and Daffy in the yard dead. No sign of physical harm, just dead. I found Dora’s feathers but never found anymore of her. Thankfully later that night I did find my precious Donald alive hiding in the azalea bush. He was scared but ok other than that. Our thoughts are that something must have scared them all to make them fly out like that. Our GSD (German Shepherd dog) Hemi thinks it is her job to herd the birds so we believe she did just that. Unfortunately they couldn’t get back in the locked pen. We think they just had heart failure. As for Dora, once dead I’m sure she was fair game for any dog or other predators. Needless to say we were and still are heartbroken and Donald is lonely.
On to the search for friends for Donald. I found someone who had Muscovy babies about 2 1/2 months old and adults about 6 months old for sale through a farm swap and shop. After going to see them I came home with 7 babies and 2 adult hens. One of the babies is a drake. Now normally after bringing home a new bird of any kind they would be quarantined for about 6 weeks but since I was only left with Donald I just didn’t see the point. So I put them in with Donald and opened the carrier they were in and watched and waited to see what would happen. Slowly they came out and began to explore. The hens which I have named Delilah and Della picked at Donald a little that afternoon but for the most part they seem to be getting along just fine.
Now that we know domestic ducks can fly better than we thought we don’t want to lose anymore so it’s on to putting a roof on the run before dark! Why do anything early when you can procrastinate right? I don’t know what y’all call it but in our neck of the woods we call it rednecking it you throw something together like that. So that’s what we did. We used the nylon type chicken wire because it is easy to handle and slapped it up there in such a way that we can it can take it down easily and replace it with a more sturdy permanent wire. But for now this should last a pretty decent amount of time. The best part is they are fully enclosed and can only get out when I am there to supervise. And that is a huge relief.
We learn something new with these animals everyday. The farming/country life has its disappointments but the advantages far outweigh them. So we live and learn and carry on!