But first, I opened up the duck house and topped up water (the paint tray pool goes in the duck house while it is closed up overnight):
Ducklings and ducks watching each other:
This morning I gave them some leafy treats as usual:
Then after lunch I gave them some partially-frozen peas; ducks love all sorts of green treats:
I also refilled their food jug. They are fed a mix of brewer’s yeast (for niacin), raw rolled oats (to reduce the protein ratio), and non-medicated start & grow feed (until they start laying eggs, then will be switched to layer feed like the chickens):
Adding some oats and yeast to the jug; I add a couple of large scoops of feed, then oats and yeast, then more feed, and so on, to mix them together. This jug normally goes into the top of the feeder tube, though I’m also using it to dispense food into a dish for the older ducks until they can all eat from the duck house again:
Finally, some ducks coming around the side of the duck house to say hi to the ducklings:
We did a quick half-hour visit to our beehives today, to swap out the mite treatment strips and add “bee juice”, a syrup of sugar water to help the bees build up their winter stores, since there aren’t many flowers blooming at this time of year.
We were a little concerned that the bees may have evacuated from all the wildfire smoke, but they’re all still there. They may have eaten a bunch of their honey stores, though — fun fact, that’s why beekeeping smokers work; the smoke makes the bees go down into the hive and eat honey, in preparation for flying away from approaching wildfires. I guess they decided the wildfire smoke wasn’t intense enough to justify leaving, for which we are glad. Or maybe their scouts told them it was just as bad everywhere.
Here are a couple of pots with 1:1 sugar water and health additive (we should switch to 2:1 next time; that’s a lot of sugar):
The old treatment strip, about to be removed:
The new treatment strip (it’s pretty smelly stuff):
The top feeder, with the fresh bee juice (and some floaters; sorry about that):
That’s it for this time; we just swapped out the strips and added juice for all six of the hives.
We shouldn’t need to open up the hives again till next spring, other than adding more sugar syrup as needed.
We are home again now. Currently getting unpacked, and throwing out thousands of dollars of food from our fridges and freezers that spoiled while the power was out (for several days). That hurts. At least we have eggs for dinner! Three dozen waiting for us in the coop.
But it’s good to be home (and have a home to come back to), though we’re still at evacuation level 1 (“be ready”), so this isn’t over yet. Things seem to be improving, though.
Here’s one last picture of the ducklings in the trailer pen:
Mucking out the trailer pen, after putting the ducklings back in the vented containers:
Here are the ducklings in the containers after getting home; I only stacked them to carry them to the duck house:
Back in their run; they were keen to have a bath after that three hour trip:
I’ll set up the bigger pool tomorrow.
Heading back into the duck house, with some fresh straw:
Ducklings and ducks:
The ducks were very happy to see me; they’d eaten all of the food I’d dumped out for them, as expected.
We plan to go home today. We’re still at evacuation level 1 (“be ready”), but things are looking sufficiently contained near us, and improving, so hopefully we won’t need to evacuate again. The air quality has significantly improved, too.
Like yesterday’s Flock Friday, I was able to capture some pictures of the feral cats via the remote connection to my cameras.
Here’s a cat in the feeder:
And another, with a bunch of leaves for company:
A cat coming out of the feeder:
And again (I think this is Poppy and Porcini):
Cozy cabin time:
Porcini waiting for food; I remotely dispensed some moments later:
Poppy, Pommie, Poppa:
Fall doesn’t officially start till Tuesday, but the trees are getting a head start on that.
It’s raining a bit today, which is helping to clear out some of the smoke. Depending on how things look in the morning, we’re thinking we’ll probably head home tomorrow. So this might be the last duckling update from the excellent trailer pen that Mom and her partner provided for the ducklings.
The ducklings won’t enjoy the three hour drive home (and neither will my ears, now that some of them are quacking loudly), and they probably won’t like being back in the duck house and run, being a bit smaller than the trailer. But they need a couple more weeks before they’ll be old enough to go in the pond. It’ll be good for the older ducks and the ducklings to get used to each other again through the fence, too, before they merge.
Today, as I have each day, starting the day by adding more water to the kiddie pool, and refilling their food and paint tray pool:
I also added some fresh straw, including some further back, added by sprinkling on top of the wire, which left a few bits as fun things for them to snag:
Treats in the pool:
Only a couple of them wanted to swim while I was there; the others reached for the treats from outside: