ENG 162 Fall 2013

ENG 162 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor ME, taught by John A. (Don't ever, ever ask!) Goldfine johngoldfine@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Piece of the week so far....

Week 4 - Prompt: What would you like to be paid to talk about?

As I talked to my ducks tonight, they listened with such contentment.  A few even rested in my arms as we sundered around the yard while I took note of the fall season beginning to make its mark on the trees.  Then when they entered the freshly cleaned Duck Hut and waded through the waves of fluffy spread out hay they quacked their appreciation to me.  Even my most obstinate little one was more yielding to the idea of going to bed for the night.  This is just one of the many moments of enjoyment that they have given to me, and even the less peaceful moments I can truly say haven't been regrettable.

For years I had wanted to have ducks but always found some reason not to.  Finally after talking to someone I worked with and about two months of serious research I came home with six baby mallard ducks from the Tractor Supply store.  On the 30 minute drive all I could think of was, "Am I ready for this?" and "Am I going to keep them alive?".  I was now responsible for these little guys that sat in a small box of the floor of the passenger's seat peeping at me.  Was I ready for this?

When they came home with me it was still too cold out in our garage for them and I didn't invest in the special heat lamp.  They started out living in the house in an unused garden tub in our master bathroom.  I took a heavy black garbage bag and lined the tub using duct tape.  Then I would daily replace the wood shavings and try to hold each of them for a few minutes.  After about 3 weeks it was time to teach them how to swim.  (Yes, I had to teach my ducks how to swim and this is normal.)  This was done with a paint roller pan so that there was a slant for them to walk down and was not so deep that they might drown.  (Seriously!)  After a couple of weeks I had to re-evaluate their situation because they were too big for the paint pan and they absolutely loved swim time.  I had my husband build a platform that took up about 1/3 of the tub.  The platform became the dry area while the rest of the tub held water that I would increase the depth to as time passed.  For the ducks to go from the water to the platform they had a set of stairs made.  It was the cutest thing; they easily learned how to use the stairs.

After about 2 to 3 more weeks I was beginning to fear that they would get out of the tub and have free roam of my bathroom.  The days were getting warmer but the nights were still very cold.  With help I had 2 appliance boxes made into one and a small kiddie pool at one end, and again they had stairs to get in and out of the pool.  I encased an electrical blanket with a zippered mattress protector and had this on the floor underneath their hay.  This was their home for a few more weeks while we converted my son's old playhouse into the new Duck Hut.

After insulating, wrapping it in plastic, and laying down linoleum flooring so that the inside of the Duck Hut could be hosed out the weather was warmer and the ducks were older.  It was time for them to move out.  With this big step also begun their time to go outside during the day when we are home.  The adventures of duck raising were just beginning. 

Six months later I can say that it was the best thing that I did and I regret that I never did it sooner.  There is so much that I would love to share about my six feathery friends, and I am quite sure that others would find it just as enjoyable and entertaining.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Java Chat from Bravenet.com Free Java Chat from Bravenet.com
Free Message Forum from Bravenet.com Free Message Forums from Bravenet.com