There 14 ducklings. Two died yesterday from unknow n causes and we finally got an accurate count.
The mother duck decided they were better off across the bridge in the duck house. She made this decision just after my husband and eldest had moved the duck house on to the lawn. Half the duckling crossed on the bridge and the other half went down the ravine and across the stream. Only one need a bit of a push to make it up the slope on the other side.
So the duck house was moved back. The next problem was the height. While it is fine for the senior ducks, the junior East India company were going to have difficulty. we tried a wooden ramp, but it collasped when the mother duck put her foot on it. So my ever resourceful husband built a series of steps. All the ducklings save one were able to climb into the duck house. The one panicked and had to be lifted in.
This morning, when I open the door, the senior ducks rushed out, causing one duckling to tumble and panick. Was it the same duckling? Other than the one with white wing tips, they are difficult to tell apart. Then the juniors came out in a rush. Finally mother and babies were reunited in the winter garden and they stretched out in the sun.
Later they spotted swimming in the baby bath. Only the Lab started barking to greet one of his dog friends and caused another mass panic. Four ducklings found it difficult to climb out but manged it as I went into the enclosure. They were again reunited with much quacks of delights with their mother.
14 is better than 20. I suspect the number will fall again as ducklings are very vulnerable, but I do think a sizeable proportion will survive. Or so I keep telling myself.
Why is this so nerve racking?