Life on the Farm is not always easy. Last night we had to put down one of our ducklings. "Shaky" was one of the ducklings we brought home to keep our lone hatchling duck company. Unfortunately, she was never as strong or coordinated as the other ducklings and we had to keep her separated much of the time. When the ducklings went out on the pond, she went with them, and loved to swim! But, she continued to worsen. We tried dosing her with niacin, as ducks can sometimes develop a niacin deficiency, but it did not seem to help. In the last couple days, she would fall over and not be able to right herself or stand on her own. So, we made the decision to put her out of her misery.
Then, when we closed the chicken coop for the night, one of our teenage chickens was missing. The nine chicks we hatched back in March are brave and reckless teenagers, now, often straying from the watchful eyes of their guard dogs. Hawks make frequent appearances, as our chickens have the run of the property, free ranging to their hearts content. So it seems we lost another of our flock to predators.
But, Mother Nature wins in the end! One of our laying hens went missing a little over three weeks ago. She had been missing for a few days, when we saw her run across the yard like a demon possessed! That night, she was once again AWOL for nightly headcount. Matt got out the flashlight and searched around, finally finding her on a nest under the coop. She has been sitting there ever since, determined to hatch her first clutch of eggs undisturbed. And she did. Last night we found a proud Mama sitting on her nest with three little chicks around her.
So, we lost two, and gained three more. Life wins.