first posted 02/2014 on Eve Culley’s Blog
Let me introduce you to my family. Don and I have been married for 43 years and have known each other since dirt was new. I was a precious eight year old joy to know and be around while he was an obnoxious twelve year old. Of course I may be remembering things through my rose colored glasses… We have two adult sons and twelve grandchildren. Our cup runneth over and over and over. (I have told the boys that they do not need to populate the earth by themselves.) We have my almost 91 year old mother who lives with us and a thirteen year old grandson. Also in the house are two dogs (Shot-zee, the rat terrier and Beanie a chi-terrier mix) and two cats (Missy – my mother’s cat and Mariska – who belongs to Don).
But being fairly new retirees, my husband and I are beginning a new way of living. My brother Bill remembered our up-coming anniversary in an unusual way this year. He gave us three Road Island Red hens and two Peking ducks (one male and one female). We (mainly me) are very excited.
We brought them home last night. The ducks came home in the white cage and the chickens in the cage next to it. Considering that it was a two hour ride, they were very good. The chickens were silent and the ducks just had a few low “quake, quake, quakes”.
Of course it was dark when we got home so we covered them with a tarp until this morning. But no one slept easy last night. As the ducks were right out the carport door, (our bedroom door going outside), every time they moved or quaked, Shot-zee went ballistic. This in turn got Beanie excited and then the cats got curious and there was not much sleep for the household last night .
This morning we released the ducks and the chickens into the “duck yard’” that had been prepared for the fowl we were going to get in four weeks or so. Our first feed and water was very enlightening. I did not know that these chickens would not want to share; so more food and water was put out for the ducks.
A few hours later it started to sleet and rain. (Should have checked the weather forecast before we let them loose.) We had to remove the food and provide some shelter for them. Don put an old bathtub on it’s edge and leaned it on a pole. Plus we laid a big rubber trash can on it’s side for the chickens. We then waited for all to appreciate the efforts made on their behalf. However, the ducks stayed out in the sleet and the chickens went under the tub (oh well – can’t guess right every time).
The chickens and the ducks love the green grass and bugs in the yard. Hens are busy scratching and the ducks found a one duck water hole. They are taking turns. Of course when the dogs go out they stand at the fence and bark like the dogs they are… Hopefully, everyone will adjust in time. For now, you can call me the Cluck and Clack lady. Has a good ring to it, don’t you think?