I don’t know if it’s the warm weather, the approach of Spring, or what, but our animals have been acting a little out-of-character lately.
|Solomon in the doe building.|
First, there’s Solomon. Y’all may not remember him, but he’s the little buckling that was born a few days before Christmas. I know that people usually say that goats are amazing escape artists, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You can’t keep a goat in”. We’ve never had that problem. The whole time that we’ve had our goats they’ve been little angels, even the bucks. That is, until our precious Solomon came along.
This one little buckling has managed to escape from the doe pen almost every single day for the past few weeks. We even found him over in the buck pen one day (I still haven’t figured out how he got over there, but there he was bouncing around with the boys) and a few times down at the little garden bridge by the pond. It’s been several days since he last got out, so I think we’ve finally stopped his adventures. As exasperating as Solomon has been, I have to admit, he’s become my favorite goat. All of our goats are friendly and sweet, but he’s the sweetest one (when he’s not escaping and running amok). He loves to be picked up and held, and begs for attention whenever we go into the doe pen.
Next is Benni (or Ben, as we call her). Ben was one of the African goslings we ordered from Metzer’s last year. She’s only a little over seven months old, has laid five eggs so far, and has decided to go broody. She’s got to be the Silkie of geese. She and the Pilgrim goose, Aubrieanne, have always believed they’re ducks instead of geese. They avoid the other geese like the plague, so I’m fairly certain the eggs Ben is setting on aren’t even fertile. I’m thinking about giving her a couple of the Toulouse eggs (which are fertile), so she’ll at least have something to show for her efforts.
|Ben on a foggy morning in November.|
Ben isn’t our only bird to go broody this week. We also have two Indian Runners that have decided to indulge their maternal instincts. Runners are known for being prolific egg layers, but rarely go broody. I guess our two girls didn’t get that memo. Come to think of it, one of our Pekins, Susan, went broody last year at about this time, too. Pekins are another duck breed that isn’t known for their parenting abilities. Susan kept to her nest, and managed to hatch out two very adorable ducklings. If these girls manage to stay on their nests, we should have ducklings in about 28 days.
Speaking of ducks. . . They have finally found the pond at the bottom of the hill. Yay! You see, we have the older ducks (two Rouens, named Bee and Bop, and Susan) that we’ve had for a while. Then, we have the ducks that we added last year: a few Indian Runners, a couple of Indian Runner x Pekins, a couple of Pekins, Khaki Campbells, and a pair of Jumbo Pekins (appropriately nicknamed Grandma and Grandpa). Most of those ducks came from a nice lady a couple of towns over that needed a new home for them, and since we were wanting to add to our flock, they came to live with us.
Bee, Bop, and Susan knew where the pond was, and would occasionally visit it during the day when they were free ranging. Somehow, they forgot to share that information with the others. . .or maybe they wanted to keep their secret swimming hole to themselves. I’ve even tried to lead the newer ducks to it a couple of times with no luck (they made it halfway down the hill, and decided that was far enough). Instead, they have happily made do with their kiddie pools.
That is, until this week. I guess the Rouens and Susan finally let it slip (or maybe one of the new ducks surreptitiously followed them down to the pond). There they were one afternoon when we looked out, splashing around and having the time of their lives. It’s got to be a big improvement over the kiddie pools for them, and the best thing of all, no one has to wait for their turn in the water.
|Three of the ducks enjoying the pond today.|