Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Duck Whisperer

It seems as though we are going to town every month right now, which is WAY too often to suit me. But, the upside is, we get to listen to a book tape, eat in a fancy restaurant and...bring home DUCKS! My online friends keep telling me how duck eggs are superior to chicken eggs, as far as being larger, richer and making amazingly fluffy baked goods, so I broke down and decided to try some, Our egg laying flock is getting geriatric and this might be their last year so we had to replace them with SOMEthing. The good news is, ducks don’t crow, they don’t eat much commercial feed as they love to forage on grasses and bugs and can be very friendly. The downside is, they are pretty dirty. I picked up 4 Khaki Campbells as they are supposed to be good egg layers, 2 Indian Runner ducks just for fun, because it cracks me up to look at them with their upright stance and long necks, and 2 Roeuns which are supposed to be superior meat birds and great mosquitoe eaters. We shall see. 

The first night home, a moth got in while we were dragging a water trough in to use as a brooder. It was flitting around their heat light and 2 of them JUMPED UP IN THE AIR. One successfully snatched it and the 8 of them went to feasting. It was nearly as big as they were. I found it impressive.

One of the ranch mechanics who works with TheMan came by last night. He likes EmmaLouMoo’s milk so we have worked out a deal whereby he will milk her a couple of times a week for me and we will split the milk. I guess he drinks a gallon a day all by himself. I throw a loaf of fresh bread at him now and then also, and in return he occasionally prods TheMan to help with some chores around here, by pitching in himself. I really do appreciate it.

 Last night he came in to see the ducklings. He picked up every single one and held it until they were mesmerized. Who knew there was such a thing as a “Duck Whisperer”? 

Today, they were all much calmer. Now I will admit I have been handling them every day to help them get used to us, but I haven’t had half the response he had. I guess some folks just have a gift. My Grampa was like that. People would lose pets and they would all wind up at our house, in his room out back. Parakeets and pigeons would fly in his open glass door and perch on his chair or shoulder. It was just weird, but I, of course, loved it. He was quite a guy.

I had a couple of red letter days last week and went riding. Mister is losing weight out with the cavvy, so he gets to come in for supplements. He’s the only horse I know that can lose weight on 200 acres of grass. During one of our treks we saw no less than 6 coyotes cross our path, one of which was enormous. I think it is the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I got  3 heads of iceburg and 6 heads of romaine lettuce torn up and jarred for salads for the next couple of months. I have mentioned in past blogs that using an attachment for the vacuum sealer will keep the lettuce fresh for 6-8 weeks this way, as long as you reseal the jar if you don’t use it all up. We eat pretty good when we first get back from town as we get to feast on all the stuff that won’t last so long. Today was fresh avocado and bacon sandwiches on homemade sourdough bread with salad on the side. It was delish.

The next order of business will be to get the rest of the radio fence up so the Maremmas can be back out with their sheep. It won't be soon enough for me. Meanwhile, they've taken over the house.

Never a dull moment.