More ducklings day 47

Today: a mystery, shoving a duckling, showing off feathers, and another GIF summary of 75 pictures. Yep, I took a lot today. But first, here are 13 pictures of note.

A Rouen showing off her wings:

Wings

This duckling, who we nickname Gimpy after her dodgy leg, but one of my blog readers more charitably calls Sassa, I thought was a Blue Swedish when I got her. But as she grew her feathers I had my doubts about that — she doesn’t look like the other two Blue Swedish, Sven and Sonja:

Mystery duckling

For one thing, she has yellow feet, when theirs are black… and her feathers are mostly white, though rather grimy, since she has never gone for a swim as far as I’m aware:

Mystery duckling

So if she isn’t a Blue Swedish, what is she? Based her coloring, I think maybe Pekin? If you have more experience with ducks than me, please let me know! I have queried the hatchery I got them from to see if they can help.

A dusty Rouen having just chomped part of a leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Another leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Water droplets, and more feather growth:

Droplets

Green feathers:

Green feathers

The mystery duckling having a drink from the edge of the pool:

Mystery duckling

Since she hasn’t shown any inclination to swim, and I was sitting right there, I took advantage of that opportunity to introduce her to the concept in a less graceful way: I shoved her in. Not nice, perhaps, but she’s going to be in the pond in a few days, so I wanted her first swim to be somewhere she can easily get out:

Mystery duckling

She flailed around and complained, unsurprisingly, but did fine:

Mystery duckling

After about 30 seconds she hopped out, and spent ages preening, which will be great for spreading her waterproofing oils. Maybe she won’t be quite so grimy now, though probably needs more than one swim to get cleaned up:

Mystery duckling

The Rouens showed her how much they enjoy swimming:

Swimming

A Rouen showing off her wings again:

Wings

The GIF of all 75 pictures taken today, if you want more duckling pictures in your life:

GIF summary

(A question: do you watch these summary GIFs? If you do, would you prefer I include all photos, including the ones highlighted above, or just the ones I don’t include above? And is the speed of one picture per second good?)

Cat update for week ending September 26

It’s now fall, and the trees got a head start. The rainy weather over the past week was most welcome, to help tamp down the nearby wildfires (which are getting under control, but still not completely out; I’ll do an update about them some other day).

This rainy weather makes the feral cats want to stay home, snuggly and warm in their heated cat house and cabins. So brace for some snuggly cuteness. I am including a summary GIF of 45 pictures captured this week at the end, like I did for yesterday’s Flock Friday. But here are 17 I particularly liked.

Poppy looking happy in a sunbeam on the cat house deck, while another eats:

Cat in sunbeam

Porcini and Poppy snuggling inside the cat house:

Snuggles

Porcini watching me while I attend to the small pond:

Porcini

As mentioned in my flock post, I’ve been going out around dusk to close up the chicken coop; one day I went after dark, and saw some eyes on the driveway, which was a cat watching me (I often see the cats watching me from a distance):

Cat at night

Pansy in the back of the shop:

Pansy

Pansy

Poppy and Porcini in their house again:

Two cats in their house

Porcini, a twin, and Poppy:

Three cats

Cabin twins (Pommie on the left, Spud on the right):

Cabin twins

Poppy, Bella, and Porcini (I always list them left-to-right):

Three cats

Poppa:

Poppa

Porcini having a bath:

Porcini

More Porcini and Poppy snuggles:

Two cats in their house

Screenshot of cams with five cats; two in the cabins, three in the house:

Screenshot with five cats

Porcini looking out the window:

Porcini

Can you stand more snuggles of this level of cuteness?

Snuggles

Stretch:

Stretch

The aforementioned GIF of all 45 pictures captured this week:

GIF summary

More ducklings day 45

Last night the maintenance door of the duck house didn’t latch securely, and a duckling pushed it open when squeezing past the waterer.

Here’s a GIF:

GIF of duckling pushing open door

They quickly took advantage of the opportunity to head out for more swimming:

Duckling pushed open door

I saw them on the camera, and went out again to close them up properly when I closed up the chicken coop.

This morning (and all day) has been rainy, which is fine with them:

Damp morning

Damp morning

Swimming:

Swimming

A Rouen playing with the bungee that holds the door open (in addition to the brick, which stops it banging in the wind):

Ducklings

Splashes:

Splashes

Looking at me from the tray pool:

Looking at me

Flock Friday for September 25

A big Flock Friday today, with 33 photos of ducks and chickens, plus a GIF with those and 31 more at the end, as if 33 weren’t enough. But I took lots of nice shots of the ducks, so wanted to share them.

Firstly, via the pond cam from while we were evacuated, a wild duck visitor:

Wild duck visitor

Our ducks with the wild duck visitor (left); much smaller than ours:

Ducks with wild duck visitor

The ducks discovered the other upturned pot islands in the pond:

Ducks on islands

Ducks eating:

Ducks eating

When we got home from our evacuation, I collected eggs. Several under broody Martha:

Broody chicken with eggs

And a bunch in another box:

Eggs

That would be about one day’s worth in the peak of summer, but they are slowing down for fall, so are from several days. Currently they’re down to about 5 eggs per day.

Chickens waiting for treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Yay, rice treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

We let them into the veggie garden while evacuated (after our mid-evac visit), and they denuded the kale, except for the high leaves out of their reach, though left most of the pumpkins and tomatoes:

Veggie garden

I’ve continued to have issues with the ChickenGuard pop door opener on the new chicken coop:

ChickenGuard opener

So have had to go out to the coop each night to manually close the door. Here are the four chickens that prefer the new coop at night:

Chickens at night

From outside (on another night):

Chickens at night

Back to the ducks, with a bunch of pictures; the males are putting on their colorful feathers now, so they’ve changed a bit since you last saw them:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

GIF of ducks during a rainy night:

GIF of night ducks

Betty has been hanging out in the grasses, maybe thinking of nesting, though a bit young for that:

Betty in the grasses

Here’s a GIF summary of 64 photos from this week, including the above and a bunch more:

GIF summary

More ducklings day 41

Today for the ducklings, some stretching of wings, fun splashes, and a GIF.

A Rouen stretching her wings; still some feather growth to go, but getting there (with the older ducks visible in the pond):

Wings

Like water off a duck’s back:

Like water off a duck's back

Water again

A Rouen stepping on up to the pool, and Betty stepping up to the fence from the pond:

Stepping on up

Splashes:

Splashes

The Khaki Campbell flapping her wings too; a little behind in growth, but also getting there:

Wings

An animated GIF of three ducks swimming in circles:

GIF

More ducklings day 27

Some leafy treats in the morning, misting to cool off in the early afternoon, and escape from the run in the late afternoon!

Leafy treats:

Leafy treat

Leafy treat

Leafy treat

Pool time:

Pool time

Pool time

Misting:

Misting

Misting

Misting

Scratching in the mist:

Misting

Hey there:

Hey there

GIF of trying to drink the mist:

Trying to drink the mist

GIF of scratching:

GIF of duckling

In the late afternoon, a duckling squeezed under the gate while rooting in the mud:

GIF of escape

She was followed by a couple of others. When I reassembled the run I had bricks under the gate to prevent that, but I removed them as I didn’t think they could fit; apparently I was wrong!

I saw a duckling outside on the cam, and went out there to find three sitting outside the gate; it seems they hadn’t figured out how to get back in. I opened the gate, and they were eager to go back in.

Here’s a picture from the cam of a duckling going under the gate:

Going under gate

From another angle:

Going under gate

Another one going under the gate:

Going under gate

I added the bricks back, so they won’t be able to do that again!

More ducklings day 26

17 photos of ducklings today (I usually aim for 8-10), plus a GIF with those and 25 more taken today.

I started the day by mucking out the duck house, since the straw was getting rather thick and smelly (I normally just add a layer of fresh straw each day):

Mucking out duck house

They were very brave and curious:

Mucking out duck house

A tub of dirty straw, that I lugged to the compost:

Mucking out duck house

I put the base of the waterer back and added some water (the power cord is to slightly warm the water in winter, to prevent it freezing; not needed at present):

Waterer

Swim time:

Swim time

Rooting in the fresh straw:

Rooting in the fresh straw

Too close to focus!

Too close!

Resting Rouen:

Resting Rouen

Little brown duckling:

Little brown duckling

Blue Swedish duckling:

Blue Swedish duckling

Proto-feathers; you can see little feathers on the top and below her wing, and little pins starting at the tip of the wing:

Proto-feathers

You’re standing on my toes:

You're standing on my foot

Treats:

Treats

With them splashing around in the mud, I get rather muddy feet and ankles when sitting in the run with them; I hose myself off when departing (I have my showers in the afternoons, so don’t sit in there after that):

Muddy toes

Treats; they prefer lettuce over kale:

Treats

Pool time, splashing everywhere:

Pool time

Pool time

An animated GIF of all 40 photos taken today (excluding the two cam shots):

GIF

More ducklings day 25

Hey duckling fans! Some different angles today, plus a GIF of snuggly ducklings.

Looking down into the duckling run:

Looking down into the duckling run

Treats:

Treats

In the house:

Ducklings

The “little brown duckling” (Khaki Campbell); really should decide on names soon:

Duckling

The Blue Swedish duckling:

Duckling

Pool time:

Pool time

The Khaki Campbell again:

Ducklings

Both of the non-Rouens:

Ducklings

More pool time:

Pool time

A cute GIF of a Rouen joining her sister on the end of the concrete block:

GIF of ducklings snuggling

Cat update for week ending September 5

As any good calendar will tell you, the day after Flock Friday is inevitably Caturday. Weird how a day of the week is named after cats, but they were treated as gods in ancient times, so who am I to argue?! Makes as much sense as naming a day after a ball of gas.

Anyway… here’s Porcini:

Porcini

Paladout:

Paladout

Two cats inside:

Two cats inside

Comfy Poppy:

Poppy

Poppa:

Poppa

Spud jumping up to the breezeway cabin:

Jumping up

Porcini relaxing in the kitchen garden:

Porcini

A closer look:

Porcini

A few minutes later, I wanted to go out to close up the duck house, and Porcini was sitting outside the door:

Porcini

(I cracked the door, and she retreated.)

Spud emerging from the breezeway cabin:

Spud

An animated GIF of Spud stretching and heading off to work:

GIF of breezeway

I put a spare camera in the back of the shop to watch Pansy’s food and litter boxes; this is when she first saw it:

Pansy

Poppy:

Poppy

Bella chilling:

Bella

Pommie, Poppa, Poppy, and Bella (left-to-right) by the cat house:

Pommie, Poppa, Poppy, Bella

Pommie, Poppa, Bella, Poppy; Poppa was feeling a bit ganged up upon, but the girls were just saying hi; I continue to be amazed how well they get on with him:

Pommie, Poppa, Bella, Poppy

Queue for food:

Feeder

A GIF of that time, with Bella, joined by Poppa, then Poppy, and Pommie:

GIF of cat house

Pansy waiting for her dinner on the white bed in the center of the picture:

Pansy

Food dispensing, she pops up:

Pansy

And comes to eat it:

Pansy

Finally, Bella and Spud hanging out in the kitchen garden (with some reflections from the window):

Bella and Spud

More ducklings day 23

It’s a hot day today, so I went out to the duck house a few times to refresh their pool water… so I ended up with 40 photos. And just for fun, I’m going to share all of them! But don’t worry, I picked out the better ones as usual, and put a GIF of all of them at the end. So you can look through the better ones and skip the GIF, or jump to the GIF and skip the rest, or enjoy both. Or skip the whole post if you like. You do you.

Leafy treats:

Leafy treats

Leafy treats

As I showed in a video this morning, today I held the kale and let them pull off bits, which worked out well:

David feeding treats

Crouching like that for quite a while wasn’t super comfortable, so on my next visit I added a concrete block with a kneeling pad to sit on, while I refilled their pool and spent time with them (the kneeling pad is mainly to protect my clothing from duckling poop; I don’t leave that in the run):

David filling pool

Ducklings in the pool:

Ducklings in pool

Duckling in pool

Ducklings

A moth on the duck house:

Moth

Lots of splashing:

Ducklings in pool

Later, when the temperature was over 90° F, I used the misting setting on the hose nozzle to help cool off the ducklings, especially the Blue Swedish, who doesn’t go in the pool:

Misting ducklings

Here’s that GIF of all of today’s duckling pics:

GIF of duckling pics