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Adventures in duck ownership...

The past couple of months have flown by with little time for writing as I transitioned from working from home (as best as one is able with small children accompanying them) to being back on campus at the hospital. I've been meaning to post an update and a photo of the finished coop project...well, almost finished. Here's it is! We love it.

The left side is the ducks' house. They are locked in there at night with some ventilation up top. It is fully secured, like a bunker and predator-proof as far as we can tell thus far. They seem to like it too as the girls will put themselves to bed at night by walking in and all we have to do is close the door. The right side is their run. They are in there when we're away or not able to check in on them when they are free-ranging. This has also worked well. Their duck feed is in PVC pipes which allow for minimal mess, easy refilling, and is easy to close at night (ie. pest-proof). Their water is in a 5-gallon bucket with holes drilled on the side, supposedly large enough to get their heads in for water, but not large enough to make a mess...this hasn't exactly worked quite as well as we'd hoped, but is nice for cleaning and refilling only once per day. The last little bit to finish is adding hardware cloth to the top making the run also as predator and pest-proof as possible.

And now for our adventure of the week...

The other day, after work and picking the kids up from daycare, I was solo-parenting for the evening and had just accomplished dinner. I started to get a migraine and had just put on a show for my son and was settling down to nurse my daughter hoping it would be an easy bedtime. The ducks were in the backyard and had started quacking loudly, which happens occasionally, but more often when there is something to actually quack about, ie. someone making a delivery, a bird flying overhead, or a neighbor making noise. I turned my head while on the couch and saw Monaco standing outside of our fence and in the street. What?!? I could hardly believe my eyes. What had just happened and how did that happen? We've seen the ducks flap their wings and run, but none have actually made it off the ground. Where were the others? Oh boy! I strapped my daughter in the carrier and asked my son to stay on the porch (since he tends to chase the ducks and they run away). Somehow I needed to catch a duck in the street with a little one strapped to my back and a toddler watching from the doorway. A car turned the corner on our street and thankfully slowed as they watched the craziness unfold. I was in my pjs. Ollie was yelling something from the porch as I came scurrying down the walk and slowed as I crouched down near Monaco. Thankfully, Monaco froze and I was able to easily scoop her up. As I came back on our side of the fence, the other two ducks were huddled by the picnic table. In the corner of our fence was a cat. Ahh! If I had the hose turned on, it would've had a cold surprise, but instead, I just stomped and it scurried off down the fence. I was able to get the girls back in their run and Monaco seemed ok. Ducks - 1. Cat - 0. We thanked our lucky stars.

Needless to say, we are more selective about the times we let the ducks out to free range and make sure that it is a time we are capable of occasionally checking on them and running out if need be. Aside from that, they continue to be a joy and so fun for our family.

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