Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quack! Quack! Quack!

Today the baby ducks went to live out in the pasture. We have been worried that the old-timers would harrass the little quackers.

As I milked Coco this morning, Patrick moved our 16 new pekin ducklings. They quacked and squeaked and squealed as he carried them lovingly in his arms. We have to brood ducklings and chicks in a warm room in the barn for the first 3 weeks or so of their life. They need a temperature of around 90 degrees and plenty of fresh water and food. And clean bedding. They are VERY messy. And very fragile. But by the time they are almost a month old they can handle the great outdoors, as long as there is a good fence.

Patrick laughed and laughed as the big 3 month old ducks ran away from the ducklings. And the new ducklings found their place in line behind their new reluctant mentors. Green grass, an acre of it, a nice big trough full of water to dabble in, and fresh air and sunshine make a terrific new home. No harrasment, unless you ask the big ducks out there. "Why the heck are those little quackers following us everywhere we go? Just when we got rid of those stinky chickens and have the field all to ourselves, they put those brats in here. What's a duck gotta do to get some peace and quiet?"

Little do they know that in another few days around 70 baby chicks will join them. Hope they work out a good community system. I have been discovering that people are an awful lot like chickens. Or is it that chickens are a lot like people? Sometimes everyone needs to squawk a little bit while they get settled in and find their place. Once that "wa" gets established everyone quiets right down, feathered or non...

BTW, we had the most yummy supper: roasted chickens, turnips simmered in milk, with goat cheese and sage, sauteed broccoli, GREEN BEANS with onions, stir-fried with homegrown bacon grease, and turnip greens and onions cooked with pork fat and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. We are so grateful for the abundance from the garden. And so mindful of the families across the world who are hungry right now. May God show us what we can do to do our part. If everyone thought about it and did their one small thing, maybe some family would not go hungry tonight. I think we will look up some of the organizations that help families by providing chickens, or goats, or gardening supplies and training.

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