Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sad Duck News


When Poppy and I got up this morning it was 2 degrees!!!  I don't remember it ever being this cold before!  Ever!   Neither humans nor animals around these parts are used to such weather!

Our poor, poor old male Muscovy duck was frozen to death in the pond this morning.  His mate was near death.   Her tail feathers were frozen under the ice, pinning her down.  In the picture below, she is on the left, after being rescued, and that's her feathers in the icy pond.  Poppy had already pulled the dead male out of the frozen pond. 



Poppy got a long handled brush, one he rigged up for cleaning the drain pipe in the pond. With the extra long handle he tried pulling the old female, but she was frozen tight.  Using the heavy brush end on the long handle he managed to break the ice around her enough so that the next time he pulled her, she broke free, leaving several tail feathers sticking up in the ice...



My heart is broken.  We got these two ducks in 2002 when they were just babies.

 According to info on line, the life expectancy of a Muscovy duck is seven years. This pair was going on 12 years old.  I am hoping the old female will be okay.  She did eat some corn earlier.  

Here the sun had come out and melted some of the snow...



With wild animals lurking during the night, being able to swim away has probably kept the ducks safe these many years.  Guess we will never know what happened last night.

It will take time to get over losing our sweet old male duck.  He was such a pet.  He liked Old Roy dog food and would waddle up to the kitchen window and stand there wagging his tail until we saw him.

Thank for your shoulder...

Love,
Henny Penny

26 comments:

  1. Aww, hugs to you. It is always hard to lose an old pet friend. Hope the female hangs around for a while yet. Will you change things up for her if it stays cold?

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    1. Thank you. I made her a nice warm cage today, but could not get my hands on her. When I got too close she headed to the frozen pond. She is so afraid now. I just hope she makes it through the night.

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  2. Oh, I'm so sorry. I do hope that the old girl recovers from her loss and trauma...poor thing.
    Jane x

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    1. Thank you. I'm hoping she will too. I probably won't sleep tonight worrying about her.

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  3. That makes me so sad. Poor duck friends. I hope the female makes it. Thinking about you.

    Love you, Vicki

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    1. I appreciate that Vicki. It's crazy to get so attached to ducks. Love you.

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  4. Oh, it's hard to lose an animal (wild or tame) that you've come to know and love.

    Victoria in Indiana

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    1. It surely is! They have been with us a long time.

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  5. I'm so sorry! I can hear your heart breaking. Our animals hold a special place in our hearts, dear souls. You must have given your ducks very good care. It isn't usual to hear of something living almost twice it's normal life span. Maybe there is some comfort knowing that. xoxo

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    1. Thank you. That's true. He did have a long life. Both he and the female were getting feeble. In fact, she walks a few steps and then sits to rest, like her legs are weak.

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  6. I had to check your profile again to confirm that you live in North Carolina, and not the North Pole! 2 degrees! It has never been that cold here in Seattle, at least in recorded history.
    I am so sorry about your ducks. Mrs. Duck will miss her mate and you will miss your friends.

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    1. It felt like the North Pole! I have never known it to be 2 degrees here! Thank you.

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  7. I am so sorry Henny Penny. What a terrible way to die..Ducks can usually weather any weather...maybe it was just his time to go on to warm ponds:)

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    1. I appreciate that! Poppy has always said, don't worry about the ducks. Ducks don't get cold. I will always wonder what happened last night.

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  8. Mama, I am so sorry. I could hear it in your voice when you said hello this morning. Poor, poor duck. He had a good life, but it was not really time yet. Nature is harsh, and especially seems harsh to a tenderhearted mommy like you. I love you!! Lynn

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  9. Thank you Lynn. It is hard to believe that Madison and Michaela were feeding that duck when they were about three years old. I love you too!

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  10. Dearest Henny, so sorry about your little manny duck, I hope Mrs Duck makes it. I bet the pond froze over so fast that they could not get out. It has -1 to -10 here all week and I have worried silly about the critters. It is a warmup today, I hear. I hope time heals your heart quickly, XO and a big hug! Terry

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  11. Oh, thank you Terry. Mrs. Duck made it through the night. Thank goodness she has a friend, the duck that came from Shelby's farm. They have been side by side since old man duck died. I have worried about the critters too. Do you remember it ever being this cold in NC? Love, Henny

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  12. I'm very sorry to hear about Mr. Duck's demise, and I am glad Mrs Duck seems to be a little better after such a traumatic experience. We don't really know what our animals think, but yours are so very lucky to have you watching out for them. In olden times,some people kept the animals in the first floor room, and they slept and lived in the second story of the farmhouse. The animals were sheltered, and their warmth helped to keep the people warmer. BUT, things were very smelly, as you can imagine. I was thinking about you being tempted to bring in all of your dear livestock, and trying to keep everybody cozy in such extreme weather. I have a mountain of moving blankets I could bring you, if I lived next door. But I will hold warm thoughts for you and Poppy and all of your animals.

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    1. I like that idea of keeping the animals on the first floor. Lynn and I were talking about Tasha Tudor recently. I believe her barn was attached to her house...that beautiful place in Vermont. That would be nice! We could have used those moving blankets! It has warmed up some now. Thank you Pam.

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear that the cold was too much for your ducks. The cold weather is hard on everything, but especially the poor animals who are out in it. I hope your weather warms up.

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    1. Thank you. Ducks are not supposed to get cold! I worry about all the animals out in the cold too.

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  14. During our very cold spell, I was thinking about the wild animals that were suffering and possibly perishing. Feeling very impotent. You were able to provide life-saving assistance. Your heart is big.

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    1. Thank you Janet. Yes I'm happy we saved the female. Thankfully, my husband found her before he left for work. I never could have managed alone.

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  15. Replies
    1. Hey Gail! You're right. That's the bad thing about having animals...getting attached and then losing them.

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