Back at the end of April, I shared with you all the tale of Happiness, Heartache, and Hope. It was a little tale of two ducks, loss, and maybe, just maybe the chance at new life. So if you have been wondering what happened after that, well here is a peek at the ongoing tale of Fred the duck…..
When we left you last, we had two out seven of Ginger’s eggs developing in the incubator. It was so exciting to candle them from time to time and see movement. But then, sadly, the eggs stopped developing. I will never know what happened. And even though I knew in my heart they wouldn’t hatch, we left the eggs for the full time in the incubator. Hatching day came and went and we knew, there would be no baby duck from our dear Fred and departed Ginger.
Fred was still very depressed and something had to be done. Should we give him away to a home with more ducks? Never! Fred was my boy and we would get him through this. I went to the farm store, sat on the floor, and sexed every Rouen duck they had to find Fred the perfect little female duck, who I hoped one day would grow up to be his new mate. That night I brought baby Betty home and we started all over with the stinky duck in the house routine. Lucky it was later in the spring this time and with the weather improving she did not have to spend as much time in the house as last year’s ducklings.
Fred took little notice of the small peeping thing when I would take her outside. I wondered in those first few weeks, would he ever realize Betty was a duck!?!? Then, one day, as I lay on the ground with Betty exploring a few inches away, Fred and our two older hens came over, stood for a few minutes staring at Betty and walked away. Now if that wasn’t odd enough, a few minutes later the scene played out again, but this time with the three pullets we picked up this spring standing there watching her! Maybe it was an interview of sorts, because the next day, Betty joined the pullets wandering the yard!
Day after day, I would put her outside in the morning and she would spend her day with her chicken sisters. At night we still brought her in, but during the day, I swear she thought she was a chicken. The first night we let Betty sleep in the coop, it was by her choice. I went out to collect her up and she was already inside the coop. She was standing, staring at her three chicken sisters who had gone up to perch and your could almost hear her say “ummm why can’t I get up there!” She finally settled in the straw on the floor and I debated if I should leave her. Fred also slept on the coop floor and I worried he might hurt her being so big and mature. I check on her multiple times that night and all went fine. It went so fine, that Fred actually started to take notice of Betty!!!
During the days that followed Fred would split his time between hanging with the hens and following Betty and her pullet sisters. You could tell he was confused, torn, but interested. And then one day I caught Fred and Betty in the kiddy pool together!!!! They had finally connected as ducks!!! And while Betty still enjoys the company of her chicken sisters, Fred has begun spending more time following her around instead of our full grown hens!! Maybe love is in the air!!!