Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pacific Northwest Ducks

The Pacific Northwest is a great place for ducks! When it rains they spend the day happily patrolling the yard in search of worms and slugs, while the chickens huddle miserably under the eaves of the house.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Learning about Treats

I saw Drizzle eat a pea! 
She still spit out the corn and after a few peas she moved on.
The other ducks will eat every pea in sight, 
or find everyone one at the bottom of the "pond."
But at least Drizzle is learning what treats are.
Perhaps I need to experiment more to see if there are other treats she likes better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Lonely One

I try not to put my feelings onto Drizzle. After over a week she's still trying to win over the flock. Then again, it's only been just over a week. Most of the time relations are peaceful, but Herman still let's Drizzle know who is queen of the yard. And Drizzle rarely gets into the "pond" unless everyone else is otherwise occupied. I'm not sure she's lonely, but it seems like she wants to be integrated into the flock. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

While Mom's Away...

This weekend I'm in Seattle with two of my girls to attend Geek Girl Con. My husband and third daughter are home taking care of the ducks. Hopefully while mom's away the ducks will play nicely with each other and the chickens.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wanted: A Bigger Pond

Today I captured the need for a bigger pond in a picture. 
Each duck is by a container of water.
This is as far apart from each other as they ever get.
They like to stay together.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Drizzle Love

Drizzle is still adjusting to her new life. 
She is getting better at noticing when she can slip into the "pond" for a bath.

But she's still learning about treats. 
Today I saw her test a pea with her bill and then spit it out.
 She did the same with a kernel of corn. 
She did eat a few pieces of cat food I scattered on the ground near her.
Dobby is the most accepting towards her, 
but he can still be standoffish. 
She's a lovely addition to the yard.
Another set of wings to admire.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Life as a Backyard Duck

Today Fiona Zecora figured out how to get around the fencing, so it came down early in the day.

The chickens, ducks, and yard cat are all figuring out how to get along. I didn't see any chickens picking on Drizzle. However, she's scared of them. If the other ducks go past a chicken she'll start with her distress call, trying to get them to come back because she won't go past the chicken. 

I managed to get a picture of Drizzle and Dobby together. It's not the best photograph, but hopefully there will be many more opportunities to share what a pair of Silver Appleyard ducks look like as they become more comfortable together. 
Drizzle is still learning what a treat is. Here the others are fishing for greens, while she watches. She came within inches of taking cat food from my hand, but between being leery of people and worried about Herman, who was watching from close by, she shied away. We'll keep working on teaching her about the good things in life, and earning her trust. 

She survived her first night in the duck house. Hopefully each night will be a little more peaceful and eventually she'll feel safe in her new home. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Taking it Slowly

Today the chickens were fenced in so that Drizzle could get to know the other ducks, without having to worry about getting to know the chickens at the same time. 
Fiona Zecora 

and Merida
 didn't appreciate being confined to just half the yard. 

Buff, Broody, and Rapunze, were less bothered.

Drizzle spent quite a bit of time alone or trying to convince the others,
particularly Herman, that she was friendly.

To ease things a bit, I distracted the other three with the hose,

And Drizzle took the opportunity to take a bath.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Getting to know you....

Dobby stops by to say "Hi!" 

Drizzle would really like to be out of her pen and in with the flock. Ducks tend to do everything together. Unlike the chickens, who are often found in different areas of the yard, the ducks are almost always within a few feet of each other. Drizzle gets quite distressed when the other ducks leave her immediate area. Tonight she really wanted to be in the duck house with everyone else. I've made it so that she is right next the other other ducks, and they shifted their sleeping location in the duck house to be next to her, with a wall and screen between them. I'm taking that as a good sign. Hopefully they will accept her fully into the family quickly. I know she'll be much more content when she's wandering with a flock again. 

Drizzle is the embodiment of adorable.

From her freckles

To her tail feathers. 

And she sure will be happy when she can get take a bath in something bigger than a dishpan! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Feather Love

While we were getting Drizzle settled into her temporary run,
Tasha noticed one of her feathers on the ground. 
How sweet is that?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Introducing Drizzle The Duck

She's here!  
Drizzle The Duck

Diana was kind enough to provide transportation
 *and* share her chamomile  tea.

Her first drink of water, ahhhh. 

And then it's time for a bath.

Another sweet face added to the flock. 
Photo credit for all photographs goes to Tasha Kiri
who did an awesome job of documenting Drizzle's arrival. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Silver Appleyard Breed Standard

There is a Breed Standard for each breed of domestic duck.

"The Silver Appleyard is a large, sturdily built duck that weighs between 8-9 pounds. This breed's carriage varies from 15 to 25 degrees above horizontal and its body has a "blocky" conformation. The drake's bill is greenish or yellow with a black tip, his eyes are brown and his head and neck are greenish-black, sometimes exhibiting striping with age. The breast, sides, shoulders, and flank on a drake are reddish-chestnut with white frosting and lacing, his underbody is creamy or silvery white and his wings are gray and white with bright blue cross-stripe. The tail is blackish bronze, and legs and feet are orange."  
Holderread, Dave. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. Pownal, VT: Storey Publishing, 2001. 
This is a four year old drake, from Holderread Waterfowl Farm. 
Their website states that the drakes develop more silver in their green head plumage as they age.

Dobby's head initially turned all green,
 buy lately he's been developing hints of silver.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Great Big Box of Gratitude

With one week to go on Dobby's Indiegogo, I've added two new perks: the "Box of Gratitude" and the "Giant Box of Gratitude!" Imagine a box overflowing with appreciation, handcrafted items, and whimsical surprises, showing up on your doorstep some grey November day. Or request that it be shipped to someone else to brighten their day with duck happiness.

Stop by the Indiegogo to see all the perks, including fertile eggs for hatching in the spring, as well as items like these: 

 Child size washcloth and finger puppet

 Felted Duck Friend

 Duckbill for selfies, stuffed animals, or dolls. 

Feather Bouquet

Thank you!!! to everyone who has supported Dobby and his friends, 
and my love of ducks,
 by donating to the Indiegogo! 

Big News!

Drum Roll Please..... 
If everything goes as planned, 
Dobby will be meeting the Duck of His Dreams on Friday! 

Holderread Waterfowl Farm and Preservation Center
has a Show Breeder Quality
Silver Appleyard Duck
available to come live with Dobby and his friends!

Today I started preparing a place for our new duck to stay 
while she gets to know the rest of the flock. 

 Of course the ducks needed to supervise the cleaning of their old home.

 And Fiona Zecora kept a close eye on my progress, 

while Merida and Buff checked the spot where the crate will go for bugs.

I'm a little nervous about introducing a new member
to the feathered family members.
But I'm also super excited!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dobby The Duck Yoga Poses

When Dobby isn't Cosplaying as Olaf
he spends time perfecting his yoga poses.

Contemplation Pose

Owl Pose

Headless Duck Pose

 Drinking Game Pose
a.k.a. Can you touch your ear with your foot?