Friday, July 19, 2013

The Mother Duck and Her Baby Ducklings?

Sitting Duck

One of our young female ducks had made a nest in the window well on the north side of our house.  Every once in a while she would leave her nest to go and get something to eat and drink, but she would never be away for too long.  Once she was happy, she would head back to her nest and just sit.

So as time went on we seemed to forget about her.............. until ............. the day that Cooper went out to see how she was doing.  Was she still sitting?  Had she abandoned her nest?  Did some night creature get to her and eat her?  Well, after going to check on her, he came back into the house and he said in a sort of low and quiet voice, "I think I saw a dead baby duckling in the window well."

"Oh, no" I said, and all I could think of was why?  How is it that it seems that ducks can't make it happen?  Why do people have to interfere by taking the eggs and putting them in an incubator and let them hatch in a way that is so unnatural?  How is it that ducks have been doing this since the beginning of time and now we have to take the eggs away from the mother because she "can't do it herself"?  It's amazing how fast these thoughts were going through my mind.  It was a sad time for us.

As soon as Cooper told us the news, we all jumped up and went outside to see the poor baby duckling.   And as we were walking slowly toward the nest so as not to upset the mom, we watched to see how she would react.  As we walked up and stood around the window well, she was letting us know that we were getting to close by hissing at us.  Emma was the first one to try and pick her up, but then her dad told her to get back and he would do it.

The first few times they reached in to try and pick her up, she was not happy and was trying to bite.  And we all know that she was just trying to protect her babies and keep them safe because she’s the mother duck, and she doesn’t want any harm to come to her little ones.  But we had to see if there were dead ducklings and if so, how many.

So my husband quickly put his hand in the window well and snatched her up before she even knew what was happening.  And what a surprise we had!  We didn't see any dead ducklings!  We saw 13 little peeps scatter as if the world was about to end!  It was so exciting!!

So see, God's amazing creatures can "do it themselves!"  Thirteen baby Muscovy ducks add to our world.

If you would like further reading, below are 2 articles that I have found interesting.  And I have to say, that what these articles are saying is true because we can go and work and play in our yard without having to swat mosquitoes.  Sure, we'll find one here or there, but it's not like our neighbor's yards!!  So, are mosquitoes territorial?  I think so.  Just another topic for research. 

Quote taken from:  Muskovy Ducks

  "The Muscovies original name was "Musco Duck", because it is known as the "Mosquito Duck",for eating Mosquitoes.The Russain Muscovites was one of the first to import them.
One of the main reasons they were brought here several hundred years ago, is to help keep down the mosquito and bug population, and that they do, and do it well. There are billions of insects on a acre of land, and the muscovy ducks are worth their weight in gold at eating mosquitos and insects. They eat the mosquito larva right in the water, and they nip in the air and eat the ones flying around. They love roaches and eat them like they are candy, they eat flies, and maggots and do a lot to keep down the fly population."

Quote taken from:  Backyard Poultry

"During the more than 40 years that we have been in business, I must confess that we have bred and hatched some pretty interesting fowls. However, absolutely none can compare with the uniqueness, the adaptability, the pure pleasure, and the usefulness of the Muscovy duck. Because many people think that this is a “strange” poultry specimen, I would like to set the record straight."