A sad Flock Friday this week: we lost a duck, the female Cayuga (the dark one). More info below.
But first, happier times earlier in the week. Our pond mostly froze on several days, so the ducks got to experience walking on the ice:
And eating treats on the frozen pond:
Another day, waddling from a non-frozen portion to greet me:
Swimming in a non-frozen portion by the pump:
Bert & Gert:
Ducks on the bank:
Gert and Gill:
Birds in the duck house:
Treats on the bank:
On Tuesday, I noticed the two female ducks in a somewhat unusual place, in the northeast corner bank of the pond:
Gill was nestled down on the bank, with the two buff ducks hanging around nearby, possibly confused or concerned:
I kept an eye on them, and later saw them all swimming, though Gill looked a bit withdrawn, her neck kind of hunched down:
She was barely interested in treats, acting rather listless:
Later, she was resting on the bank again, and didn’t retreat as I approached to check on her:
I examined her, but couldn’t see any obvious injuries, so I put her in the duck house overnight, to protect her from predators. She had food and water, but mostly just settled down:
In the morning, I checked on her again, and encouraged her to have some water, but she was still very withdrawn. I kept an eye on her on the camera, and noticed she hadn’t moved for a while, so went out to check her again, and (as suspected) she was dead.
I don’t know what killed her. She could have eaten something she shouldn’t, or got blocked up, or injured herself on something, or been attacked by something. Since I didn’t see any injuries, it was probably one of the former.
Anyway, it’s always sad to lose one of the animals. Having lost the male Cayuga when they were ducklings, I wonder if that breed just isn’t as hardy as others.
Now we only have two ducks, the two Buffs, Bert and Gert:
I hope they both survive! When Gert starts laying, probably in spring, we’ll likely let them keep the eggs, and hatch ducklings. Which has its own risks.
Sorry to bring you down with this sad tale.
Let’s end with a couple of pictures of the chickens. Them rushing over to greet me in the veggie garden:
And waiting for treats in their run: