Saturday, January 17, 2009

Duck Bathing: Round II

Sorry readers - I have no goat baby news for you. Stuffin still has a somewhat puffy feeling udder and is behaving vaguely strangely, but she isn't really bagging up and I think I can still feel tail ligaments (if I am feeling her right) so we must continue to wait. In the meantime, I'll do my best to keep your attention with the second round of duck baths.

The 11 ducklings from the Animal Rescue League seem to have stopped growing 2 inches a night, and instead they are actually putting some effort into feathers. This morning was bath time, so everybody piled into the tub for a good round of swimming, splashing and squawking, along with a few genuine quacks! They were less wet than last time when they came out, and everybody just had a good toweling off, and back into the "duck tank" for their breakfast. The older ones did begin to show an interest in adjusting their feathers during the bath, while the younger ones generally splashed about with wild abandon. I do notice that the ducks that had been guessed as being Blue Swedish are not showing any blue-ish feathering, and one of them actually has some brown tips coming in. I wonder if they are Swedish/Mallard crosses?

After their bath, it was time for Disston.
He takes up a large portion of the tub all by himself.
He is very thorough and vigorous with his flapping, and both of us were completely soaked by the time he was finished.
He is incredibly strong and we had to wrap him quite tightly in a towel afterwards to do some feather clipping. We have clipped his wing feathers so that he cannot fly away. He is now living out in the barn with the goats, because the weather has warmed up considerably here (well, it's 32F, which is 0 °C for my Canadian readers) and that is much more tolerable than the last week of temperatures. We hope he will develop an interest in the mice living in the barn. I have read in numerous places that Muscovy ducks catch and eat mice. How charming.

In other news, I went to my first meeting of the local spinners guild last night, and WHAT FUN! They are a great group and so very welcoming. All the husbands come with their wives and some of them are spinners too, while some of them are woodworkers. When I found that out, I called Kelly (having previously assumed he would not want to spend the evening sitting around with a bunch of ladies talking about wool). He was pleased with that and came hurrying over and ended up talking with the men-folk about tools and spinning wheels and I don't even know what else! It was their annual pot luck meeting so I brought some cookies and there was good food and wine to be had. They also did their annual gift swap but I hadn't been at the last meeting when they picked names, so I did not expect anything. I had mentioned to Lorraine, of Hedgeapple Farm (where we got Kitkat, Oreo & Clover) that I would be coming. What a sweetheart she was - she brought a gift of some beautiful rovings for me too! Fortunately, I had brought my batts of "Green Tailed Jay" from Butterfly Girl Designs on Etsy, so I was able to share a batt of that with her too.
They meet once a month, so we'll be back! In the meantime, I hope to do some more spindle spinning so that I actually qualify as a spinner!


Joanna said...

The ducks in the bathtub are darling. Do 'y'all have a pond or running water on you property? for 'em when the weather is better? We're up to 10 degrees today, wheee.

The spinning group sounds great especially if husbands come. and the group EATs while their there, that's my kinda people.

I've been trying to find a local goat soap making class that both of us could attend. I found one but $259 per person per day so I don't know, that's real steep for our budget.

Mom L said...

Glad to have you back! The ducks must be a lot of fun to have around. Disston is a beauty - if you find out he really does catch and eat mice, let Diane know. Don't know if a duck would get along with her 3 hounds, but she could use some help catching mice!!


Nancy K. said...

I can just imagine the mess in your bathroom after swimming lessons! ;-)

Your spinning group sounds swesome! How wonderful that the men are also involved...

Lola Nova said...

Boy, you must get a real work out cleaning up after bath time. I am so glad that you are finding a community of spinners, that sounds so cool.

I checked with the husband about the wood working forums he belongs to, and I think he just belongs to the one for Woodworking Magazine. Though I'm sure he would be up for checking out others. Does Kelly have overflowing shelves of woodworking magazines like we do at our house?

Oh, and I finally got your package in the mail yesterday. Should get to you by mid-week next.

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

Your babies are HUGE! My goodness! ..and so quickly.

Apifera Farm said...

So sweet! A tub of ducks, makes me wantt o break out the bubble bath. What good mothering you are doing...

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

Ducks in the bathtub... hahaa!! FUN!! Those babies are getting so big! Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Diane L. Dodd said...

love the ducks in the tub- and the 'local spinners guild' is AWESOME!!! i can't even believe kelly went.
omg if somebody had told me a year ago that i would be married, living in iowa, and wishing i could make my own wool socks a year from then- i would have punched them. LOL. i love it! let me know if they teach a class on how NOT to get trucks stuck in snow. and PS- i called the quitline a few days ago and my 4 free weeks of patches are on the way! THANK YOU!!! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a great name for a farm blog: "Ducks in the Bath Tub"!

They look so excited to be in the water. Are they becoming more tame now that they are handled by your more often?

Go Disston! Eat those mice, boy!

Sorry now kids yet....soon though it seems :)

Stay warm and have a ducky day!


(word verification: 'whinar'.
I can be such a whinar when my knee hurts. lol!)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh! And I almost forgot!

I'm so excited! Yesterday my spinning/knitting friend came over and I bought her Louet wheel from her! Woot!
This is the spinning wheel I learned how to spin on. I really love it. It's so easy to spin and isn't too big, so is easy to tote around. :)

We're spinning now, buddy!

That Bamboo blend roving is lucious!


(word verification: "tread"
Tread carefully where ducks waddle......) lol!

Claire said...

Joanna - yes, we have a pond - not a huge one, but certainly fine for a few ducks. There is a river otter that lives in it in the summer, and beavers that visit too. I worry about the snapping turtles though, in case we have more ducklings. $259 is a lot of could get a lot of how-to books for that!!

Mom L - the jury is out on Disston and the mice. There were several playing in the hay near him last night and he did not show interest.

Nancy K - the mess was unreal! Feathers everywhere! Apparently some of the men are better spinners than the women! Go figure!!

Lola Nova - I'm not sure if there are more woodworking mags overflowing, or cooking and craft magazines (mine)! I am still working on your felted sheep...

Yellow Jacket Ridge - They're not on steroids, I promise!! Still looking for loom transport through my work. Will be in touch.

Apifera - I agree, but of course then I would have to clean the bath first!

Anna - You could turn it into a stamp!

Diane - you have plenty of land for sheep for sock purposes! I think the truck-in-the-snow thing is just part of the charm of moving to Iowa.

Lisa - the ducks hate to be touched, but they are getting tamer at approaching the food dish when I am still standing close to their area. They are such chickens. I, they're ducks!

Claire said...

Lisa, my enviousness over your Louet wheel knows no bounds...

BlueGate said...

Love the 'tub ducks'! You might actually have all Swedes, they are not a color-stable breed so each hatching will produce a variety of colors including white. We had 2 pairs and loved them, such personalities.

On a more bizarre note, I just stumbled onto your blog by accident and was reading along about the spinners party...OMG, I was there! Small world! Hope to see you at another meeting soon, its a wonderful group.