My Blog List

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Duck, Duck - GOOSE

So, people wanna know why we have a duck (and now a goose) for a pet. What a strange family. Why couldn't they just be happy with a dog? Well, we have a lot of animals and that is the way we are. We embrace God's creatures (more than some people, even farmers without the farm). Well, we started with a cat (I don't like cats, and terrified of them now) then got a standard Poodle "Ashley" who suddenly passed away this passed April. We then wanted a small lap dog, and bought "Chloe" a toy Poodle. The pet snowball escalated from there and it all started from a small stuffed animal and into a science fair project.

Let me explain first that, we never said we were going to have a lot of kids, animals, quiet time, or a lot of anything. It just happened and we love each one. Like so many of our funny stories, it starts with Jaden when he was about 4 (he was 4 for 4 years - inside joke, yet another blogging event, LOL) and we were passing a store who had bean bag animals. I picked up this cute little duck, and he named it "Chase Carpet Lifrak". This stuffed duck went to the ends of the earth and back. It has survived Jaden's world (and that is BIG). It still is kicking somewhere in the house. When Jaden started kindergarten we thought it was so cute that he was obesessed with ducks and never thought anything wrong with it, he was still young. The teacher was awesome and embraced Jaden's love of ducks. So when the science fair was brewing she thought Jaden should do something with ducks.

Ok, but it had to be simple enough that a 5 year old would do on their own. We thought a little hanger mobile of a duck's life cycle would be cute and educational for all the kids. Then the teacher mentioned hatching eggs and it was all down hill from there. There would be NO way to hatch a cute little duck and say good bye have a nice life. Jaden would fall hook, line, and sinker. If my husband didn't say "it would be neat to have a pet duck," I wouldn't be blogging about pet ducks. I had no idea that ducks made such great pets, and then I found a lady who makes diapers to keep them in the house - that had me hooked and Shawn sunk.

Well, I did all the research - even bought the hatching eggs on E-bay and set up a mini hatchery at the kids school. Hatch day couldn't come soon enough. Most of the school got to see a developing embryo in the egg (too funny all the kids in a small utility closet peering through eggs on top of an empty toilet roll with a flashlight underneath) and near the end, some even saw the beak, pecking to get out. Oh, yeah and there we a few mommies that did a day shift in the classroom thinking that day was "THE DAY". You know who you are, LOL. We had several ducklings and they were so adorable.

Jaden got his wish - a pet duck. She (Chase Carpet Lifrak) was the best - she would jump on the furniture to sit with you (or sleep on our chest), steal food off of your plate, follow me (when Jaden wasn't home) everywhere, talk to me, etc. I put her out on the back deck, to give her a break from her diaper and we think a fox came for duck dinner. We never saw a trace of her anywhere. We had to, of course, hatch another duck, Max. He was a jumbo Pekin duck and someone harbored ill will toward him and shot him on our back deck.

I won't go into much detail other than we thought he was healing. We went on vacation several weeks later and when we got back I noticed that clearly he wasn't well. We thought it would best for Jaden to get to say good bye this time and Max died in his arms. We all cried, Jaden kept going to the box for one last goodbye (so, it wasn't such a good idea). So, we hatch another batch of ducks and got Snickers.

Snickers is a Jaden ONLY animal and he was ready to say goodbye to a live, happy duck this spring - Snickers is a lovely duck (maybe on a dinner plate, LOL - I am sure I have a few people who would agree to how nasty he is to other people), that bites. He will hunt you down, chase you and grab hold of your skin and give you a good pinch, but believe me when I say he is gentler than what you would find in a park!!! People always seem fasinated with him and lean down to talk to him, well he enjoys jumping up at your face to get a good grip on your nose - stay away.

Hence, our newest addition Lucy; the goose. She is a white sebastopol goose. She is a white goose with a spiral perm and her deposition is awesome. We held on to her hatch mate longer than we should have, due to angel wing that needed special care before going to her home. The original plan was to allow Snickers the duck, go to place where he would be free and keep Lucy  to show (like a 4H or something). So, for now we have a duck and a goose as house pets.

Diapering, the flock; is very easy (not that they are cooperative), it is not at all painful and most don't even mind. Snickers minds and he isn't too often diapered. Lucy loves the freedom of the house and will often sit on the back deck, where she can crane her neck to see me (as if to say, I am out here if you care at all). So, I guess it really depends on the disposition of the waterfowl. I have read that if I were to keep the diapering as part of Snickers schedule he would be fine.

Ducks eat duck food, and keep in mind that when you go to your local park and feed the ducks bread - that you are killing them. All bread has yeast which rises when wet (baked or not) and it thickens in their crop and then they can't digest food. If you want to feed the ducks and geese at the park, pond, lake or anything buy cracked corn or unmedicated poultry/fowl food. A 50lb bag runs about $12 or less. Until next time...

No comments: