Sunday, November 13, 2011

How I spend my Saturday nights!

Yep, bathing and blow-drying a duck! 
(Blow-drying because it's below freezing at night and I don't want to put wet ducks out in the cold.) I think the Ontario SPCA sweatshirt is very appropriate attire.

The ducklings (I hesitate to call them ducklings now as they are almost full-grown) are still frustrating me with their pinfeather-cannibalism. I seem to be bathing a few ducklings every weekend. I get them cleaned up and reasonably healed, reintegrate them, enjoy a few days of blissful bloodlessness, then go down to find two or three bleeders yet again! And the process is repeated. I seem to have three ducks who are being repeatedly snacked-upon, so now I have them in a separate run, which is working out better. When they've healed up properly, I will take another stab a reintegration.

It's not really deliberate nastiness going on. Apparently pinfeathers are a protein-filled snack, and some of the ducklings have been indulging themselves at their siblings' expense. They just grab the ends of their wings and nibble or bite, which results in a lot of bleeding, not to mention an unattractive look.

I'm heading down today to treat their wounds with Blu Kote yet again. I have read that boredom can result in feather-picking, but the ducks have a huge run, treats, good food, things to explore, plus I let them out to free range as well! So unless I can teach them to play Scrabble with me, I think their little ducky brains are sufficiently stimulated. I suspect they are really just vampire ducklings.

Surprisingly, they all seem to like it.

And please excuse our bathroom walls. I have stripped the wallpaper (you don't want to know when I started that project, but let's just say it was snowing at the time, and we haven't had a snowfall this season.) We are waiting for the plaster guy to show up and repair our old walls so we can finally paint. Eventually I want to do a whole bathroom reno but that'll have to wait until Gordon is a rich lawyer, ha ha.  Or until I sell a million copies of the book I am going to write about blow-drying ducks!

Here's a video Gordon took with his iPhone. I thought he was taking photos which is why I was smiling at the camera. Then I indulge in my typical "I'm talking to an animal so it is imperative I sound like an idiot" babble. As you can see, Naomi wanted to help. The ducks are too big for the cats to mess with!

Yep, Saturday night at the farm. I have no life!


  1. Anonymous9:44 am

    I'm sure all those city slickers, with their tasty restaurants, fancy shows, and hip bars, are just jealous of duckville. And, in fact, would each now get a house duck - if it weren't for city bylaws!


  2. I spent the evening exercising a cat. I'd say we are pretty even. Great photos for the 'memory' books. :) Deb

  3. That sounds like a perfect Saturday night to me. Naomi is such a good helper!

  4. At least you did something constructive Knat. I spent my time ranting on FB and starting a couple of posts which are basically lists of things!

  5. Hmmm... Scrabble with ducks!

    There once was a duck who could Scrabble.
    In his water he often would dabble
    With a shake of his tale
    That said he was male
    He always stood out from the rabble.

  6. Wanna trade? I went around the house cleaning up stealth whizz last night.

  7. Well if you don't have a life, Natalie, I'd sure like to know how you would define what it means to have one. Blow drying ducks on a Saturday night beats the fast lane. ; )

    Eagerly anticipating that new book!

    There once was a duck from Pierre
    Snacked on pin feathers 'til he was bare
    His siblings attacked
    An egregious act!
    Now he mends in the warmth of Conair.

  8. Awww, that is the cutest thing ever! Although I've never bathed a duck, I've bathed a chicken many times. They seem to enjoy it.

    Lets see, what did I do last night??? I made a huge dinner, dirtied every dish and pan in the house, ate like a pig, watched a movie with the hubby while we ate, went outside after dark and handfed a chicken and hugged a few others, and was asleep by 10pm. Now that is the high life, let me tell you... And I'm still cleaning up pots and pans and dishes from yesterday's dinner!

    Happy Sunday! Hope it's just as exciting as mine is going to be!! :)


  9. No life? You have a cool life with all the animals! Why else would we all read your blog?

    I'm sorry to hear about the duck cannibalism going on. Does this occur in nature, or just with domesticated ducks, to your knowledge?

  10. This is more exciting than anything I watched on TV last evening. Certainly a lot more kind and cheerful. Thanks for sharing! Hope the big ducklings give up their ritual bloodnacks on each other. Maybe it's a duck's conspiracy to get a special treatment from you, à tour de rôle!

  11. G, we live on a farm. WHAT bylaws?

    Deb, we're even! :)

    Wandering Cat, all the cats are FASCINATED when I bring a duck into the bathtub.

    Jams, I guess you could call it productive. LOL!

    Musical Gardener, both excellent AND topical!

    Katnip, ugh! Been there, done that, Odormute is my best friend. UGH!

  12. CogDis, I will call my book "Saturday Night at the Duck SPa", or "On Saturday, I blow-dry Ducks" ... or something. GREAT limerick! I laughed out loud and the Conair reference was inspired.

  13. Lynn, you're making me feel much much better! :)

  14. Ahab, that's a good question. I think in nature, half the babies succumb to predators and so there isn't much time for sibling-nibbling! :) And I do like my life here, even if it's not conventionally exciting. :)

    Claude, I think you've hit the nail on the head. DUCK CONSPIRACY!!!

  15. Bad Andrew6:27 pm

    Big enough for the pot now.

    Duck a l'orange, duck soup, duck hot pot, duck with green pepper in black bean sauce, duck pate...

    I'm on my way.

  16. Good Andrew (well except for the last bit perhaps)6:29 pm

    Aww... The wee cutey coo... Lovely sweet little fluffy thing...

    (the Duck, not you)

  17. I can't imagine how you find the time for all that farmyard caring and nursing. Makes me regret that I spend so long doing nothing but quietly stressing myself these days, when I could be blow-drying ducks. Find me a duck and a hair-dryer! (just so long as it doesn't offer the temptation of a "slow cook" setting).

  18. Don QuiScottie6:46 pm

    Am trying to work out what the doughty Musical Gardener squire means by "...a shake of his tale"

    Tale? Shaking while telling a story?

    Or... (Those who know of my missions will know what horror I suspect.)

    And while I am visiting you here in Canada I see there are an awful lot of dreadful 'unspeakables' scattered about this blog. If you don't know what I mean just ask squires Shaunso (Jams) or Seanso Jeating, and tidy the place up toot sweet.

  19. That is very nice of you to wash and clean the ducks before they are ready for my frying-pan.:-)

    I made cinnamon buns and Egg-bread
    on Saturday.

  20. Ok. Once more.
    NO LIFE???? You have a great life, with all the animals and a great hubby. What is life all about if not with the ones you love?

    PS. I live vicariously through your writing. So have a life. And a very entertaining one too!

  21. Did I also mention that the muscovies are adorable at this age? Squeee, I say, squeee.

    The one you were blow-drying was remarkably well-behaved. Do they all take the bath-and-blow-dry this calmly?

  22. I think the best thing you ever did was to buy that farm house and set up housekeeping with all of your animals, bees, ducks, cats, chickens etc. You are such a natural and totally at home with all of them and they with you.

  23. Bad Andrew, I am putting razor wire around the duck run as we speak...

    Good Andrew, that's much better.

    Neutral Andrew, bathing and blow-drying a duck is remarkably soothing for all involved!

  24. Don Biscotti or whatever you name is, I have asked Jams what the hell you are talking about. Stay tuned for my response!

  25. Willie, if you're going to threaten my ducks with the frying pan, you could at least send me some egg bread first!!

    Elisabeth, glad I keep you amused! :) No parties and sequins for me on Saturday night. Just a duck and a blowdryer.

    Ahab, the ducks LOVE the bathtub (which I have to clean after each use!) and they seem to enjoy the blowdryer too, standing quietly and sometimes preening. I guess the warm air feels nice! Ducks are pretty placid, especially compared to chickens.

  26. Paula, I love this place and there will be more livestock in our future. :)

  27. Don Scibottie: Oh ! :( So !! :(( Sorry!!! :(( For all the unspeakables. :@) [:( <3


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!