Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The vulnerability of ducklings

We lost two more ducklings yesterday. One slipped down the side of the baby bath and the other drown. The last was particularly heart-breaking as the body was still warm when I discovered it.
We now have 6 ducklings. The baby bath has been taken out of the enclosure and the hole filled in. You think you are doing the correct thing and the only thing that comes is disaster.
To make matters worse, my youngest's favourite hen,Dinosaur, finally subcumbed to old age and died. I was dealing with that when the littlest duckling became trapped in the baby bath. We buried all three in the garden.
There are many times that I feel hopeless. I should have known. I should have done something.
The one crumb of comfort my husband found in a birdbook was that pochards (a type of ducks) typically hatch broods but only 2 - 4 survive to adult hood.

I suppose this is a good lesson for the children. They know that things don't always survive. Death in the modern age seems to be so far away many times, but now they are dealing with the fact that animals die. Babies are vulnerable. Life is risky.

Fingers crossed we won't lose anymore. I am scared to start giving them names -- in case of losing them. Tips is still hanging on.

We filled in the duck pond with mostly rotted compost from the compost heap. The ducks appear to be delighted to root around and find bugs to eat.

I have just checked on the ducklings, counted 6 and brethed a sigh of relief. Each day, they survive is another victory.

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