Moving On

Thank you, dear friends for your kind words of condolence.
You reaffirm that there is so much good in the world.
As I have said before... today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better still.
I catch glimpses of Oakley in my periphery... just out of reach.
I have to believe that that is where he remains... right there, but out of physical reach.

Today, we march on to happier subjects...
crazy, teenage Indian Runner Ducks!

When considering housing a flock of ducks in one's barn,

it is important to first ask that age old question:
"How much duck poop can I live with?  Or, how much poop is too much?"

This, my friends is too much poop.
When one walks through one's barn and one's feet go out from under 
after slipping in gooey poo... it's too much.

In the back of my mind, I knew we would have to find a better long term solution
to our duck housing issue...
especially in light of the fact that our duck population has increased exponentially.

Here is the solution we came up with:

The runner ducks and Ancona ducks are now living comfortably on a
beach-front property.

This is the pen that formerly housed the young guineas.
The guineas are happiest roosting in the tree above this pen,
so we will stop trying to (somewhat unsuccessfully) herd them in each night.

After several weeks of getting used to their new home,
we will allow the ducks to free-range during the daytime.

While the baby mallards (who have quadrupled in size in less than 2 weeks)...

have moved into a lakeside condo.

Everyone has ample room.
Everyone is happy with their accommodations.
And, I am happy to have a clean barn once again.

Saturday morning was moving day.

After making some changes to each of the properties,
we felt confident that each flock of birds would be better off than in the barn.

The duck hut is rather dark, so we installed a lightbulb that works on a timer...
coming on after sun-up and going off after sun-down.
This provides light without interrupting the natural cycle of the sun.
(That radio you see hanging inside the door plays at night to keep the foxes
away from the pond ducks.)

When the mallards are full grown, we will begin to open the door to the duck hut
to allow them access to the pond.
We are hoping that this gradual introduction will help to assure that the ducks
view this as home.

When rescuing wild animals, I feel that it is important to keep them as wild as possible.
This is why we don't handle these ducks.
We want to assure that they retain a healthy fear of everything...
hopefully helping their survival in this dangerous predator-filled world.

We do keep food available at the pond at all times...
just in case they don't learn to find food naturally.

Meanwhile, after several days of showers...
the perennial garden is looking so beautiful.


Kathy said…
Yes, onward we must go. I hope those lucky ducks settle into that prime real estate easily! Of all the animals at BHA, I always have my fingers crossed for the safety and survival of your pond ducks. I know you do everything possible to ensure that, but still....! The rains have definitely made everything lush and gorgeous!
Lynne said…
Slipping in duck poop might have done me in . . .
Liking their new homes . . . and plan . . .
Bright colored perennials does help with some cheer . . .
Very pretty!
daisy g said…
He will always be with you. Some bonds can't be broken.

There is so much to caring for animals. I admire your thoughtfulness with each new acquisition.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
i had 2 ducks as pets growing up and i know how much they pooped so i can just imagine! i hope my perennials look as good as yours! we are in a for an awful heatwave but after all the rain we've had, things should really start to grow!
farm buddy said…
Just saw your post about Oakley. I am very sorry. I know how difficult it is, as I just recently had to put my best boy, Scout, to sleep on June 7th. Had him since a pup and he was almost sixteen years old. Your Oakley was blessed to have such a wonderful life with you, as were you with him. My thoughts are with you.
GeorgiaHoneyBee said…
Your ducks are so cute! Would they eat up your garden if you let them in for insect control? I'm so afraid to let my chickens range in my garden - even though I need them to gobble the bugs... Also, love that you put the cage over the foxglove. I need to do that. I have seeds - but have not planted them because we have lots of small animals and one small child that loves to pick flowers.
Bee Haven Bev said…
I don't think the ducks would be as destructive as the chickens.... chicken scratching can really decimate a garden. However, I did catch my ducks nibbling on the flowers in my stumps. Where they are now is mostly surrounded by lawn, instead of gardens. So...we shall see......
I'm sorry to hear about's never easy. When we invite these sweet animals into our lives, they are truly part of the family.

I was intrigued by the radio to keep predators away...because we sometimes hear coyotes at night, and the neighbors have seen a bobcat, a radio sounds like such a good idea. Silly or the human voices of talk radio, is one more effective than the other?!
This N That said…
OMG..that is a lot of poop...I don't blame you for wanting it gone!! Super housing for everyone...They really have a wonderful life..Hope they appreciate it..Your perennial garden is gorgeous..What a nice collection of such pretty flowers..We didn't get most of that rain..maybe 1/2 inch..better than nothing..enjoy this pretty day..
diane in northern wis said…
So sorry to hear about dear Oakley, Bev. What a swell fellow who will be so greatly missed and always loved, I know. I haven't been able to get on your blog using my regular shortcut, but tried it thru facebook today and here I am! Hooray. I may have to access you this way from now on. But that's ok cause it works. Hope your new duckie arrangement works well too!
Country Gal said…
I am sure all your feathered and furry friends will always be happy on your lovely farm and yes that's a lot of poop lol I have done the slipped on poop things before not a pleasant thing lol ! I am so sorry to hear of Oakley's passing he will always be with you in your heart . It never gets easy with loosing pets does it ?! Thanks for sharing , have a good week.