farm life

Life From the Farm - (Or what the farm taught us today)

We have a new Lavender Muscovy Duck at the farm and boy is he good looking!  We traded some special breed chicks that we have too many of for him and a few other ducks from his farm.  He's got a cool mohawk so we call him Spunky Monkey. 
Spunky has never been in a pond before. He was raised by a specialty animal breeder who takes great care of his animals, but doesn't have room for a pond.  Whenever I can work to bring ducks in for their first swim, I get really excited!  So Spunky came to ARK Farms and upon setting his feet down, he went right for the barn.  It's funny, we had to teach this duck to be a duck!  So I carefully herded him toward the pond for his first swim and GOSH you should have seen the boy go! He was so excited, bathing his full body for the first time ever, and he's a full sized duck.  But he didn't stay in the water for very long, and then I realized it -- Spunky wasn't waterproof.

Ducks make an oil coat on demand for the purpose of swimming, but Spunky had lived out of water for long enough that he had given up using his.  On top of that, he had never preened out his fluffy old down feathers and when they got wet they weighed him down (pardon the pun).  So as much as Spunky loved his bath, he had some work to do.

Over the next two days we kept encouraging him back into the pond for a little at a time.  He would get soaked, then come up to the edge to dry off and start rubbing his oil onto his feathers that his body was producing.  On the third day I came to the pond and found piles of down feathers all pulled out and left on the pond bank.  In the middle of the pond was Spunky and his new friends swimming and having a lovely time. 

The Lesson:

Sometimes life moves us from one season to another, and we have to learn to adapt.  It might not be helpful to carry yesterdays customs and habits into today's new life.  Sometimes that means digging out a skill that has gone dormant, or it could be that it's time to pluck out parts that once made you safe, but now they weigh you down.  Take a note from Spunky Monkey, change means -- well - change.  It's worth the effort to take off the old and make room for what is new.  There is life out there!

Baby Duck Rescues

Baby Duck Rescues

This was today's early morning project.  A lady had found this duck and rescued it from being stranded after a dog attacked it's mother nearby.  She had the duckling in a box in her garage, but was aware that ducks are flock animals and need one another.  We adopted the duckling and brought her to the farm where she quickly bonded with the rest of the flock and was able to warm up. She is doing really well, eating and getting swimming tips from the bigger birds.  Will keep you posted!