You see, a couple springs ago, Betty, our female duck, got this crazy idea to go broody. The desire to be a mama was strong and our drake, Mr. Bill was totally on board with his mate's crazy scheme to fill our yard full of the pitter patter of little webbed feet. Baby Girl was one of those many little fluff balls they hatched out that year.
Now to be honest, I was NOT planning on keeping any of the ducklings, but the country kids shamed me into it. They didn't want Betty to be sad with all her children gone. What can I say, I am a softy, a mom, and I totally bought into what they were selling. Rotten children. But I am getting ahead of myself....
Here is the wee family when Baby Girl was just a few days old. Okay, I have no idea which one she is, but she started out small and adorable. The thing about ducklings is, they don't stay small and adorable for long. They grow WAY faster then chicken chicks.
By day 38, she and her siblings were as big as mom and dad! See Betty and Mr. Bill on the left in the back. And let me tell you, this many adult sized ducks make a LOT of duck poo. The time was nearing for them to go. While they were fun to watch, it was getting so you really had to watch where you stepped in order to avoid duck bombs.
We went through the ducklings that were females to decide which one to keep. One was WAY to shy and scared of everything. Another was just down right evil and would bite. Baby Girl was calm and seemed like a good fit.
Of course the day came, and everyone left, except Baby Girl. Let me tell you, she stuck to her parents like glue. She may have become large, but she was all child at heart. Though sometimes you could see Mr. Bill and Betty just wanted some alone time. Heck, what parent doesn't!
Baby Girl did finally give her parents some space because she LOVES to play in the pool. Nine times out of ten, when you look out the window, that is where you will find her, splashing or simply floating. Mr. Bill and Betty don't particularly care for her rambunctious behavior in the pool and tend to take napes under a bush, well out of the splash zone. I know I don't like when the country kids splash me in the pool, so I get it.
Winter came and the trio spent many hours playing in the snow or just "yard sitting" as we call it. Even when the snow was coming fast and furious, there they would sit, being blanketed by it. As much as they loved the snow, they still couldn't figure out the whole sledding thing. I never did have the heart to tell them they were doing it wrong.
Spring came and Baby Girl celebrated her birthday by going broody. *smack forehead* Like mother, like daughter. She found a spot so far back in the corner of the shed and camouflaged herself so well in her attempt to become a mom. If I hadn't caught a glimpse of her eye (in the red circle above) I might not have know where she had been hiding. I moved her nest to a more appropriate nursery area and then Betty joined her and these two broody ducks co-sat on a big ol nest.
Remember how I mentioned we picked Baby Girl because of her gentle, middle of the road temper? Well she turned into devil duck once she started sitting on that nest of eggs! She would hiss and bite if you tried to get a look at her eggs. I took enough nips one day candling the eggs to see which ones were developing that I had a bruise on the back of my hand!
Once the eggs hatched, Betty and Baby Girl were co-mamas, thought the majority of the duckling stuck closer to Betty. I think Baby Girl was happy with her smaller part of the bunch. First time motherhood can be overwhelming. We did NOT keep any ducklings this time and managed to find them all homes well before the onslaught of major piles of poo.
I think Baby Girl is glad to be ride of the herd of ducklings. I honestly don't think she had a clue what she was getting herself into! Now that her attempt at motherhood is behind her, she has gone back to being a mild tempered duck who just likes to spend her days in the pool, floating and splashing. And let me tell ya, I like her MUCH better this way! Here is hoping next year she thinks twice before going broody.