Wednesday, May 25, 2022

They’re outside and in breast-deep water, my three-week-old ducklings.

Getting them outside to the water was an episode, because they are very timid. Regardless of frequently seeing me, the trio screams, tries to hide, and huddles, when my hand reaches into their brooder. My attempts to grab one initiates a rush of scattering, and each duck seeking a squeeze-through escape space. This behavior, they have repeated since the moment of their arrival.

I’ve learned to do what needs doing, grabbing each, putting it into a pet carrier. Now, the huddled mass screams bloody-murder while en route to outside. I released them in an exercise pen with a waiting small water-filled trough.

Guess what. They couldn’t figure out how to get into the trough. They ran circling it while grabbing sips, and escaping my helping hands. I set a brick beside the trough to provide height; the birds ignored it. Finally, I grabbed each duck, put it into the trough. In the water all seemed happy.

Soon it became clear that none could get out of the trough. I left them to work it out. On returning, I found one duck out and unable to get inside again. The others still were in the water; I added the escapee. That floating trio seemed happy.

Later I helped each (yes, again, screaming bloody-murder) from the water. They shook feathers, preened, and ate duck pellets. After they completely were dry, I repeated the noisy process of capturing and crating, to return them to the brooder.

Today, we will do all that again. I am hoping to notice that they did manage to learn something.

Dear Friends: The saving grace is that these littles are gentle, cute, and fun. Diana

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