Its starting to feel like spring again at our little farm at the moment. Although I have domestic ducks, I seem to gain extras at this time of year as the wild ducks seem to know that Im a fool for a mother with babies and feed them along with my own! This little mumma has been staying with us for a while, but was delighted to find 6 little babies hot on her trail the other day when I called for the ducks for breakfast.
Most of the ducks wander up to my sheds for meal times, making the journey from my dam down below.. and it is amazing to see the little tiny webbed feet going a million miles an hour to keep up to their protective mumma. They pass throught the orchard and wander up through my green lush grass.
This year I have left the grass a little longer for the mummas to hide in the grass. Last year we had 3 or 4 crows watch their journey and pluck off each baby one at a time. It was terrible, and i used to try with all my heart to shoo them away - they werent even scared of me screaming and shouting at them. Usually 2 or 3 pick on the mumma while the others grab the babies. I lost all my ducklings (about 30 actually!) like this last year, and my baby goslings as well, and although I know this is nature taking its own course I try to shoo the crows away in any way I can.
They also sit in the branches of the trees above the dam and try and swoop on the babies when mumma is unaware. I also lost a mother duck last year - I found her on the dam with all her babies gone and her eyes eaten out. It is horrific.
This year my goose had the sense to set her eggs in my shed in a old tea chest, so after the countdown of the 28 days I locked her in, gave her fresh greens every day and feed, and a big shell childrens pool to swim in. She has produced 3 lovely babies, and a protective man to watch over her little brood!
Hewey Dewey and Lewie!
I have been often found just sitting and gazing at their little antics. I will leave her in the shed until I feel the babies can stand up to a swooping crow. They are growing daily and I would love to let them out and wander the lush green orchard, but feel they will be gobbled in no time. Last year I had 3 mother geese and the protective boy have 3 little babaies, and woke one morning to the shrill shreiking of the mothers on the side of the dam.
So for now I am feeding them plenty of greens and keeping them safe (yes! i am as protective of the little blighters as their own parents!)
Heres a little glimpse of my oasis: