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Cuckoo or what!


The OH was collecting eggs from our flock of mostly rescued, ex-battery or ‘felt-sorry-for-at-the-market’ type chickens when he discovered that the small Call-ducks had started to lay under the raised chicken hut. There is an area underneath which is enclosed on two sides with the shed over the top where the chickens shelter if it rains and the ducks were supposed to sit at night – they don’t, they sit out in the middle of the run! Natural behaviour I suppose where they have a clear view of any predators approaching.

Picture of the ducks on the field

Sundry chickens!

Anyway because the area is deep and involves getting down on hands and knees (we didn’t design it!) and it was wet and he has a bad back (excuses, excuses!) it got left.
Lily one of the geese crept under there, it’s only about 15 inches off the ground, and added an egg to the nest where the duck egg was. The duck must have been confused and horrified to find this huge addition to her nest, but happily laid another one!

The question really is would the duck have accepted this and sat on a nest containing this interloper or not?
I have removed Lily’s egg as neither her nor Gracie have fertile eggs, Boris the gander is elderly and either infertile or hasn’t got the hang of it, but they never hatch!
The Call ducks are smaller than a normal ducks, with a softer quack and prettier.

Comparison of Call ducks and Geese on the field.

Boris is in his ‘bolshy’ mood, hissing and making dashes towards you with his neck out – all because his girls are laying eggs!

Right! I’ve seen her off.

What are you two doing?

Oh Yummy! Digging (beaking) about in the embers of the bonfire!

The ducks doing what they love best, dibbling about in the overflow of the water butt, making a lovely mud puddle.

More dibbling, the red duck is one which belongs to my Grandson, but won’t be going back in the bath!

And watching over it all – the sentinel of the gate.

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Next post: Gooderstone Water Gardens - no birds Hywel



You have a fabulous flock. The Sentinel is glorious! At least Lily knew where to drop her egg. I would call it breakfast is waiting.

5 Apr, 2016


Oh I loved this, you have really made me laugh describing it all, I know I shouldn't laugh at him really but I swear I could hear your hubby making his excuses, not sure as I would ever go near Bolshy Boris and his ladyfriends but would love to say hello to the chucks, ducks and your fabulous sentinel of the gate..I can see by the photo's that the chucks have got the goosestepping off to a fine art, the ducks are having a whale of a time making their muddy puddle and I guess your grandson has played around there as well, you have to buy a new red duck for his bath now, lol. I'm adding this to my favs Honey .....

5 Apr, 2016


Thanks Bathgate and Lincslass - Boris is usually moderately friendly but gets possessive when his girls are laying eggs, has been known to sneak up on me and give me a nip, but if you grab him by the neck and push him away he will usually slink off disgruntled as you have shown him up!
The ducks and their muddy puddles mean that all the chickens containers of drinking water have a layer of mud in the bottom. It must be a duck and goose thing as the geese are the same - collect a beak full of mud and gargle with it in a clean bucket. With Boris his paddling pool bath, which is sunk into the ground so he can get his fat body in and out, is then the right height to lean out and grab a beak full of mud to add to the bath. Constant re-filling is necessary to get rid of the mud, sticks and grass he adds to it!
This particular peacock is the one I think that was hatched by one of the hens, so he spends his time down that way, the other three scattered about. The field gate had to be heightened to stop the chickens getting over, so is now about 6 foot high and an ideal height to allow long tail feathers to hang down.

5 Apr, 2016


Really enjoyed this very unusual blog Honeysucklegold - you have a marvellous variety of feathered friends there!
I'm with Sue, I would avoid Boris too, even it he is getting to be an old man. I would love to see your peacock displaying his tail, its a very long one.
Do you think your ducks would enjoy an old tin bath of water to play with as they love the puddle so much?

5 Apr, 2016


My son had ducks and chickens on his allotment, I used to spend weekends over at Boston on the allotment and spent many a happy time with his feathered friends, I can well picture the mess the ducks made in and around their waterpool, very comical to watch....

5 Apr, 2016


The ducks have a large tray, not too deep for them to get in and out. You tip the old muddy water out (onto the buddleia nearby) and refill it with fresh. After lots of splashing the water is over the side and a nice puddle emerges. Having got clean the ducks then dibble in this ending up with black faces and beaks. Which reminds me it needs to be done again!

6 Apr, 2016


It's nice to have animals you've rescued ...
Sorry I couldn't look at the photos. I have a phobia ... but the birds obviously have a good home :)

6 Apr, 2016


Had to have a little chuckle again about those ducks...

6 Apr, 2016


For Hywel - I forgot that you had a phobia about birds, you have mentioned it in the past, so I can understand about not looking at the photo's. My daughter also dislikes birds in flight. She is OK about chickens as long as they don't 'flap', but hates to be around anything that flies. I don't recall anything in her past, but there was obviously something when she was small.
For Steragram - Gave the ducks fresh water and as mentioned there were two in the bath and two in the mud produced beside it!

7 Apr, 2016


Great stuff - they obviously have a good mama!

7 Apr, 2016


Thanks for understanding Honeysuckle :)

8 Apr, 2016


What a lovely blog . . .

10 Apr, 2016

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