How do I get my ducks in a row?

I am not my best self right now.  I have tried to write an up beat, happy and fun story about how much I love my ducks.  Every time I sat down to write it, anger and complaining came out of my typing fingers.  I was like, “Girl, what is the deal, you have nothing to complain about!  Your cleaning ladies started this week!”  After some contemplation I realized it was because I was hungry.  We started a diet this week.  We totally cut out refined sugar and I realized that lack of refined sugar makes it hard for me to be a nice human.  I also should warn you that if you see me in public and you come up to me to offer your advice on dieting I will probably throat punch you.  That would not be a good thing to do on this weekend that we get to celebrate the fact that our sins have been paid for and our Savior has RISEN!  So lets agree not to go there.  Jesse and I decided to try Nutri System (you know, Marie Osmond advertises it.)  They send you all this miniature food and snacks and tell you it is a “meal.”  Jesse will probably lose 40 lbs and I will gain 12, but whatever, I’m super excited about it.  Let me get over the diet and tell you about my ducks.

My ducks.  We had no plans of raising ducks.  When we went to buy our chicks, there was one duck in the duck brooder.  His friends had been sold.  They tried to put him in with the chicks but they did not get along.  I looked at the sweet little duckling all alone peeping and I swear I could hear him singing:

“But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for me
For I am glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me!”
Because The Greatest Showman in my new favorite movie of all time, I had to take him. We named him Downton after my favorite TV show and the pun…(Downton, He is a duck covered in down, get it?)   He couldn’t help that he was a duck surrounded by chicks.  My plan was to just raise him with the chicks, I figured they would eventually get along.
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Look at him.  Oh my heart.  And so for a few weeks everybody was happy and I don’t think Downton knew he was any different from the chicks.  But as he grew the differences became bigger.  Like for instance how he loved the waterer.  The chicks got so offended by the fact that Downton would go in for a sip and end up splashing around in the water.  You have heard the saying, “mad as a wet hen.”  Well it is true, wet hens are not happy hens.  He was also a lot bigger!  I started to realize that duck and chickens are actually quite different and we needed to so something different for him.  So that is when this happened….

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This is Downton and “company” because at the time we did not know what he or she was.  Do you see Company there hiding behind Downton.  They were fast friends.  Sydney and I took dog crates, a water trough and some wood and made a duck habitat in my garage.  We had to make a ramp into the water trough so they could waddle in and out.  This is what the garage looked like…

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Am I a crazy person? Yes.  I love these little chicks we are raising.  The chickens and the ducks!  Once the ducks moved out the chickens became happy again.  Before I knew it they were ready to move to their awesome coop in the goat barn.  To say the ducks loved their habitat would be an understatement.  I don’t think there were happier ducklings ever!  They love to swim.  Sooner than I was ready for however, they were getting too big for the garage.  Our house has a cute little pond area in the back yard.  We turned it off during the winter but it occurred to me that this would be a perfect place for the ducks to grow up a little more.  So we put our thinking caps on and engineered a new area for them using the dog crates, some metal gate panels we had and dog igloo.  Check it out…

Also, Chip Gaines the corgi has decided that he ducks are his.  He loves them and keeps the other dogs away from them.  He sleeps by them, it is really cute.  Will he eventually eat them? I am not sure….

I will say ducks are not clean animals.  Their poop literally comes shooting out of their tail ends.  They have no decorum at all.  They “go” everywhere.  In the water, in the food, on the rocks.  I thought maybe they could stay right up here by the house forever, but that’s a no.  They are going to have to move down to the pond at some point.

In the last week we have realized that we have a boy and a girl.  We are calling them Downton and Cora.  I realize Grantham and Cora would be more true to the show but Downton is Downton now and we can’t change it.  I live in constant terror of them growing up and leaving, getting eaten by the giant alligator snapping turtle that lurks in the bottom of our pond or one of dogs getting them when Chip is not looking.  Putting that fear aside it is my joy in the morning to go out and see them swimming.  They quack at me when they see me.  They are the only ones on this property who will eat kale besides me.  They also love grapes.  They love eating in general, which is how this happened…

They have grown so much in just a month!  It is so fun to watch them, and interact with them.  Now we are getting ready for them to move down to pond.  I realize they may leave.  I realize I am not a mommy duck able to “get her ducks in a row.”  I think I have pretty thoroughly documented how I don’t have any ducks in a row in my life.  I have so enjoyed them for the last month.  I had no idea how fun they would be.  I really hope they stay.

Now going forward Jesse and I have decided we will probably get ducks every year.  Don’t for one second think he is not a party to this chaos.  Have we hired Tropical John from our church to build us a new and improved duck pond complete with a sloped entrance? YES!  Have we researched how to get rid of alligator snapping turtles? YES!  Are we insane? YES!  I really hope in a few weeks I can report that our sweet Downton and Cora are safe and living the good life in our pond (and that I have lost weight and have not murdered anyone due to hunger).  If not, I will need more therapy.

I’ll leave you with this sweet picture of them sleeping…

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