Monday, July 31, 2017

Many mama duck styles

So as many of you know we got livestock guardian dogs this year.  While Heimdall and Sobek are still being dumb puppies (BIRDS ARE FRIENDS NOT TOYS), they are also already so good at their jobs that I can actually let the mama Muscovies raise their ducklings and I don't loose half of them to vanishing the first week.  This is super amazing because brooder ducklings suck (they're wet and stinky!).  But also interesting because of all the different mama duck styles we turn out to have.

White belly mama wants to take her ducklings as far away from the other ducks as she can possibly get them, as soon as their little legs are strong enough for them to follow her.  This is a little bit of a problem because she wants to take them into the cow pasture next door, and cows will step on ducklings and not even notice.  Still raised them all as far as I can tell though.

The white mamas always go in on a nest together, and seem mildly confused as to why these ducklings are following them.  They will cuddle the babies if they huddle up, but seem to want to know why crying ducklings are making that noise.

This is as close as I could get to black mama duck, because she will attack you if you look at ducklings funny.  Not just her ducklings, but ANY ducklings.  She stops mothering them a lot earlier than the other hens do, but makes it up in sheer determination to make you BLEED.

One of the blue hens has a nest that should hatch soon, that will be the last ducklings of the year, so help me.  I might have too many ducks.  But mothering ability is a good thing to decide which to keep based on, so I have an excuse to keep them a little longer.

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