Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Arrives......

Spring is here. The weather has warmed. And no one is happier than the ducks (except for maybe the horses, and the people, and the chickens.....)

It was a tough winter for all of the farm animals. The first unfortunate occurence came early in the winter when one of the horses stepped on the foot of one of the Campbell females. It was obvious that she had sustained a broken leg. Mike desperately tried to help her...splinting her leg with (you guessed it) Duck tape and a stick; until Becky got home from the Vet clinic and could examine her leg. It was apparent that this was a very bad injury that would limit the poor duck, so Becky took her to work with her and under anesthesia amputated her leg. A few days of recuperation in the barn allowed for suficient healing and Eileen (she was given that name at the clinic..."I lean"....for those of you not following) was up and hopping around on one leg. Amazingly, she was the first of the Campbells to learn to fly. It must have occurred to her that flying was much more efficient. Well, Eileen seemed to do pretty well until months later when the winter weather turned bitter cold. It was on one of those particularly chilly days that she did not return to the barn (as is customary every evening). Mike found her body curled up under a pine tree...no suffering, just too much effort for her little body to fight the winter winds. During those cold days another female Campbell disappeared completely. We surmise she was prey for one of the red tailed hawks that we had seen circling overhead with increasing frequency.

The chickens suffered losses over the winter. Their henhouse was kept warm enough with warmer lights and heated water, but there was no keeping the hawks away. Luckily, one of our girls survived an attack. She got away with her life, but lost her scalp in the process. "Scalpy" found her way back to the henhouse that day only to be subsequently attacked by the rest of her flock. This ruthless ostrasizing necessitated the entrance of Scalpy into the chicken relocation program. She spent the rest of her winter with the ducks and soon became queen of the barn. No one messes with Scalpy.....just ask the Barn kitties.

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