Finally got some seeds in the garden: butternut squash, cucumbers, red cabbage, carrots, bush beans, dill (purely for attracting caterpillars/butterflies), and more lettuce/spinach. There is nothing to see-just flat brown dirt/manure beds, but the peas are looking very attractive:
The chickens got very antsy seeing me in there, but I wouldn’t let them in. Two of them jumped onto the wheelbarrow handles (parked next to the fence) and their combined weight made the whole thing tip over-which was hilarious.
I’m pleased to report that the ducks are now sticking with the chickens and traveling beyond the maple tree by the back door. In fact, this afternoon I got home and everyone was in the driveway. Came outside 15 minutes later and it was as if there’d been a Poultry Rapture. One lone hen was walking around and there was not another chicken or duck in sight. Since the ducks have literally not gone beyond a very small area I was actually kind of alarmed. I walked around and began calling for them (“Chick! Chick!”–the chickens respond very well, but the dog responds even faster-he knows it means food!) Suddenly a red hen came racing all the way across the lawn from the direction of our shed. I rewarded her and headed over there. When I got to the treehouse I saw that all the chickens were in our next door neighbor’s backyard. This was not terribly surprising, but it was surprising that the ducks were with them! And not only that, but were returning with the chickens. Of course, chickens will run pell mell places and apparently ducks, not so much. One tried to run and fell over. Which was funny and sad. There was some quacking, too.
One of the ducks also flew for the first time today. She was standing there doing the great flapping when she suddenly lifted off the ground about 8 inches or so. Hard to tell if she was surprised or proud or what have you.
I’m sad to report that twice I witnessed one of the ducks peck dear little Nancy. They seem to get a little nervous if a chicken stands too close to them (though the chickens apparently could not care less about them). Who would peck this sweet little creature?
They still are not swimming, which really puzzles me given how much they had enjoyed it previously. I had a dishpan with water out, right next to a kiddie pool of water, and two of them squeezed into the dishpan instead of swimming in the pool. We will have to figure out something better for them that they can get into. (Puzzling why they won’t go in the pond, either.)
In other chicken news we are eagerly anticipating the possible hatch this weekend from our broody hen. I have high hopes for her and think we can expect some peeps anywhere between Friday and next Thursday.
And that’s the photo-light news from here. I’ll finish with a picture of Clark, who lost his front tooth today. Very exciting stuff. I’m hoping that the other one comes out tomorrow since it looks like a chicklet is stuck in his mouth sideways.