January 5, 2016

Winter at last

The ducks probably woke up this morning and wondered what in the world was happening - their world was shrinking fast!  It was 13 degrees this morning and the pond was mostly glazed over.  As the day progressed, even with some sun shining, it froze more and more.  The ducks spent all morning and most of the afternoon swimming in circles to keep a small pool of water clear of ice.  

Josh had heard from a local woman who has kept every kind of poultry imaginable that you have to worry about ducks sleeping in water that cold.  If they stop moving during the night they can get frozen into the ice and lose their legs!  What a frightful possibility!

So I told him this afternoon: We need to clean out the duck house and put in lots of fresh bedding; then figure out how to get them out of that water before tonight.

I haven't been feeling good so this task was really up to Josh.  I missed the event but he said it was rather comical.  Because their cleared spot was fairly small, he managed to reach out to the ducks with a long stick.  Initially they tried to go out further but slipped on the ice so instead came to the edge and ran up the hill.  He was able to chase them over into the duck house once they were on land.

Later on, I brought them down some ground up kitchen scraps and water so at least they'd maybe begin to associate this forced confinement with some delicious food.  In minutes they made a huge mess, but seemed happy for the food.

Tomorrow we will let them out to wander in the yard, but we are fairly certain the pond will be completely frozen over.  So commences our first winter as duck keepers - there is always more to learn!

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