Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ducks and Chickies and Kitties...OH MY!!!

Big things are happening at Kneuper Acres and our newest arrivals are here with webbed feeties!  Waaaaayyyy back in February after doing a bit of research and deciding on a breed, we ordered 10 Welsh Harlequin Ducklings.  Since ducks are seasonal breeders, our potential ducklings wouldn't be shipped until April and we were told that we would get a call mid March to let us know when we could expect them.  Now, I feel like the last 3 years of my life have flown by, but that month and a half from ordering them to "the call" must have just crawled for poor Gokey.  He came home from school every day and the first thing out of his mouth would be, "did ya get the call?"  This child wears every emotion and I am sure everyone who knows him can envision the fallen shoulders and forlorn expression when I would tell him no.

"The call" finally did come, though and we were told that we could expect our ducklings the week of April 24th.  It's quite the operation!  They have thousands of eggs that are set in incubators to hatch Monday into Tuesday of their hatch week.  As soon as the ducklings are up and fluffy, they are placed into boxes and shipped out all over the country, their huddled bodies as their heat source and their absorbed yolk from their previous eggshell home as their nutrition.  

We got notification that our package was on it's way from Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, April 25th and that they should be at our local post office no later than Thursday.  I called the post office to give them a heads up and was assured that they LOVE ducklings, so they should be in good hands until I could get there to pick them up. Bright and early Thursday morning as I was getting breakfasts ready for the kids, I got a call and Gokey immediately beamed.  Our ducks were here!  I quickly jumped into some clothes, called the bus barn to tell them not to pick the kids up for school, threw a pajama-clad Squeaky D and Ella Forever into the van and I was off.  

Upon arriving at the post office I was greeted by the peeps of tiny birdlings...there was another gentleman there picking up his shipment of quail chicks.  He opened the box to get a peek of his order and I got a glimpse of the tiniest balls of fuzziness I have ever seen!  I quickly opened my own box and all 10 Welsh Harlequins and 2 extra ducklings (sometimes extras are added to orders for heat) called Golden Cascades were all peering up at me, healthy, though a bit terrified.

So...3 1/2 weeks later we are the proud parents of 11 rapidly growing ducklings and they have been fantastic entertainment in the short few weeks we have had them.  Each of the kids picked a suspected female, except Squeaky D who picked a male, and named them.  X-Man's is Maggie, Gokey's is Louise (he picked this name out about 2 weeks after we ordered them...I sure hope she stays a she), Jillibean's is Rosie, Squeaky D's is Wobbles and Ella Forever's was Two (sadly, we lost Two a week ago).  The other 7 are nameless at the moment because they're really hard to tell apart unless they are banded, aside from the 2 extras.

Ella Forever and Two
Squeaky D and a lapful of ducky love

X-man snuggling Maggie

I think Gokey is whispering sweet nothings to Louise

Their first swim!!!

A ducky trio safely cradled by Jilly Bean

Jilly and Rosie

Exploring the great outdoors

Dottie is very affectionately fascinated by these new arrivals

This is one of the Golden Cascades...see the little eye stripes?  So cute...

Wilma would like a taste...

The rest of our flock has introduced themselves one by one...this is one of our pretty Ameraucana girls

They fought and fought over these giant leaves

Our strapping too is strangely very protective of his new charges

Settling in for a nap in the sun
We have had SO much rain this spring and the edges of our yard along the east pasture is a normal puddle place when we have excess rainfall.  I decided to bring the ducklings all down to enjoy some real swimming.  They couldn't get enough of it! I could sit and watch them forever, especially when they start zipping and darting which starts just after I zoom in in the following video.

And here we are 3 weeks later!  Look how much they have grown!!!

They don't quite fit in the palms of their little hands anymore
(and Jilly's hair was out of control today...wind didn't help) :)

Ducks gone wild!!!  They really aren't fans of being held...

In all of our duck mayhem, our latest broody chicken, Flopsy, hatched out 7 sweet chickies on Mother's Day!

I love the way they're looking at each other

And because we didn't have enough going on, we have also added a fierce Coop Cat
to the mix!  Meet Cooper B. StinkyCat.  We are in love with this guy!
And I have to end this little diddy with a shout out and a big congrats to my Uncle Dave and my NOW Auntie Darbie on their wedding day today!  I wish we could be there to celebrate with you guys, but know that we are there in spirit and sending wishes for many many many beautiful, enchanting forevers together!  We love you guys! <3 p="">

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