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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Homeplace Begins - Two Free Ducks

Two ducks trudged across the garden. A battered-looking mother and child needing sanctuary, we thought. They looked to have ended up on the wrong side of a whuppin'; many feathers were missing, and some wounds were evident.We had no concrete plans for acquiring animals yet, but here were two free ducks! I just knew these ducks were a sign of future farm prosperity. “Look!” I caroled “We’ve been here only a week and we have ducks! We need to go to town and buy them a wading pool! “

My husband refers to me as “Mother-of-all-animals”, frequently between gritted teeth. I have ideas about animals and their care; ideas which seem so simple initially.  Oddly, our son and his friends have a similar response.

Off to Bryan to buy a wading pool – round trip just under 100 miles. We chose a medium sized, blue one, decorated with tasteful seahorses and bubbles. The local discount department store doesn’t carry feed, so off to the feed store for duck food. The feed store didn’t have a suitable container for a mere 50 pounds of feed. Next stop -- the Farm and Building supply for a large trash can to hold the “scratch”, besides, we needed some t-poles and fencing to protect the ducks. Son and friend grumbled about starvation after all this shopping; hamburgers, drinks, and fries for four completed the day’s financial damages. Twenty–year-old boys don’t eat cheap! “How do you figure those are free ducks?” Art groused, as he drove back home.

“You can’t expect the ducks to wait until tomorrow for their pool!” I gasped in horror at Art’s suggestion. “Look at them! They’re all dusty and dirty!!!” This shows how much I didn’t know about ducks then. “Mama’ was gleefully throwing water around from a large kitchen pot. “Baby” was close by, but unable to get near the water.

An hour later the pool was installed in a newly leveled spot under a pear tree. Baby duck couldn't get in out out of the pool; she needed a ramp. The fence across the open end of the garden was strung, and I drank in the sight our new ducks, safe in their new home.

The county Ag agent arrived two days later at our invitation. After his tour of the property, we asked about our new residents. I thought he said "Muskogee", but that's a city in Oklahoma. I got on the internet and found we had Muscovy ducks. Fascinating birds!


The following week we got six brown Muscovies donated by a friend. We've taken in two goats, rabbits, chickens, and a number of cats. All came without accessories. Each time we set up for a new species, Art and Matthew grumble , "Free animals?"



  1. I actually am happy they showed up and have enjoyed the animals for the most part.
    Quote me on this at your peril.

  2. Are you gonna read a couple of posts from your blog this Wednesday night? I think you should! I didn't realize you live so far away from Bryan.

  3. Wow! I didn't even consider reading blogs for open reading, but I like it! Thanks very much for the idea!

    We do live out in the boonies, but we love it despite the occasional inconvenience. Like ling drives.

    I also want to thank you for your encouragement during the blogging workshop at BW. I felt overwhelmed at first, but you were right - it's not that hard!


  4. Dear Art,
    You have spoiled my good time by offering peril if I used your comment. Even if I paraphrase it?