Pavlov’s Baby Birdies

I’m pretty sure everyone knows all about Pavlov and his salivating dogs. Baby birds though, doubt you would have heard of that! Same principal, different animal. More



I should have known when my mother said “This is probably going to hurt you…” but my mind didn’t think it was going to be that bad. I was wrong. It hurt. I was pissed. Now, I’m just sad. She wants to kill our ducks! Well, she used the word cull, like that makes it any better.

She doesn’t want to have them over the winter because they are so messy. We’d have to change their water more, feed them more, blah, blah, blah. I don’t like any of that either. Especially when there’s three feet of snow on the ground and four to five foot snow drifts. Not fun.

I’m very attached to the ducks. There are a few that I don’t mind if we don’t have them any longer. Like Rubber and his Pekin girls. Those four I have no problem getting rid of because they’ve attacked, terrorized, and killed a couple of the ducklings.

I really don’t get the point of having and letting the ducks breed if all you’re going to do is kill them when they’re only a few months old. And my dad even said, “We’ll get some babies next year.” Oh yeah, then kill them in the fall? Thanks but I’d rather not.

If they think that I’m going to eat duck, they don’t know me very well. I won’t even eat the chickens that they killed a few years ago that have been in the freezer. And yes, I know the difference. Mainly because I see my mother drag the carcass out of the freezer.

There’s also the factor of freezer space. It’s full!! There’s no space for a thing of ice cream let alone 11 ducks. And there is no way I am helping with the killing. Never have and never will. I don’t like killing. I don’t like watching people, animals, or even insects die. Granted I will kill a few flies but then I end up feeling bad about that.

My mother has relented some to allow me keep two now. Now, I just have to figure out which ones. Hoppie is out, so is another one of the ducklings because he’s got a funky neck. Seems like it would be better for them. I like DD and dooky, the one that would follow me around, but I like the other ducklings too. So now, I just have decide if I want to keep two ducks and what two ducks to keep. I’m really not so sure what I feel now.

He’s Alive!

Yeah, little ‘ole lonely duck is still alive. He’ll probably become a house duck. Diapers and all. Haha, or maybe not. That’s just too weird of a visual. He apparently slept next to the body of his sibling. I wasn’t the one to find him so I didn’t see it. Poor little guy.

Newness Attempt #2

I had started writing out a really long winded account of all the birds we’ve had but then I read over it and about fell asleep!

Basically all you really need to know, rather than my first attempt, is this: we bought a bunch of birds is 2006. Chickens, ducks, and geese. No longer have the geese, they were more annoying than you could imagine. The chickens and ducks we lost a few and added and few, then lost more and added more. Right now I’m focusing on the ducks.

Out of our original five, we have one left, Rubber. He’s a black runner duck. We’ve loved having him around. Not so much anymore.

Two of our current females have hatched out a total of nine ducklings. DD, Daffy’s Daughter, was the first and hatched out five. One with only one leg, Hop-Along. Now out of all of them I figured he would be the one to not last. Couldn’t have been more wrong. Pekin Momma doesn’t protect her babies against the other ducks. She flew and attacked me when I tried to pick one up but when Rubber picked one up by his wing and flung him around, there was no response from her. Rubber then picked him up by his neck. So sad to say he was the first to die.

DD, every time we come outside, takes her babies and runs away from us then hides under the coop. She won’t stay around the other ducks. She keeps her babies safe. She also adopted one of the Pekin’s babies.

So when my mother saw what the other ducks were doing to the Pekin’s last two babies, we caught them and brought them inside. In hindsight, that probably did more harm than good. They were taken out the next day so they could enjoy a little pool time and Momma came running back over. We gave her a second chance and the last two were attacked again. We took them back in and today they were put into a pen where they could run around outside and not get attacked.  Several hours later, they were freaking out. Wanting out with a vengeance.

Pekin Momma, Rubber, and the other girls had run off away from us but DD was sticking around. Very odd seeing as she hates us being outside with her babies but she wasn’t leaving. So we figured, what the heck? We let the two ducklings out and they ran straight to her! We couldn’t have been happier! Maybe she would take care of them since their own mother didn’t.

Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. When we went to shut all the birds in for the night, so other critters couldn’t make a meal out of them, we noticed DD only had six instead of eight. We went looking for the other two, thinking it’s like the other nights when one or two will get lost and hide until mom comes to get them. Only with her being inside she doesn’t get them. Or they fall off the ramp and can’t figure out how to get back up there.  Unfortunately, we found one dead not too far from the food. His neck was broken. Probably was picked up and flung once again. The other was under the coop cheeping for momma or someone to find him.

I wish we didn’t but we left him out there unprotected, under the coop. If we brought him back inside with us, what kind of life would that have been. All alone in a rubbermaid container until he was large enough to protect himself. Or we leave him out there and let nature take it’s course. Who knows, maybe we’ll see him in the morning. Maybe he’ll find his way back to DD when she’s let back out in the morning. But still it hurts.

I don’t understand. I thought it was all about reproducing and protecting the offspring. Does it have to do with pecking order? They got in the way of the alpha duck so he punished them? It hurts knowing that a few hours before you held this little baby in your hands and now they’re dead.

My head and my heart just don’t understand it.

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