With a looming winter storm - it seems appropriate to talk about ducks.
1. The storm is projected to give us at the farm 7 to 11 inches of snow (the latest projection).
2. The storm will either give us 3 or 13 inches depending.
3. We're prepared for this one - it'll be 3 inches.
4. There was a duck in our kitchen today.
ed note: we received around 11 inches of snow - with the wind, it is always hard to tell what we got out here. And, today we got another 3-4 inches. The temps took a dive and the winds picked up. ick.
We have a small flock of laying hens (about 38 ladies) with a resident farm manager (Bob, the rooster) and one small white duck (named Yogi). Yogi is, in fact, a female duck and she does periodically lay an egg for us as well. So, she does her best to earn her keep on the farm. Even if she didn't lay eggs, we'd still probably keep her on the farm. There's something about hearing a bunch of hens making their...well...hen noises followed often by very loud quacking. The juxtaposition of the two is enough to make me laugh, even if I do hear it nearly every day.
So, how did Yogi find her way into our kitchen?
To make a short story long, let me first tell you about how these birds drink. Chickens dip their beak into the water and then tip their heads back to swallow the water they have scooped up. They have pointed beaks and the volume of water is small. Ducks, on the other hand, have a bill shaped like a scoop (for picking up duckweed on the surface of a pond, for instance). There is a greater volume of water involved each time the duck tries to drink.
There is also a reasonable amount of water that spills onto the duck and around the watering area.
Temperatures have been around zero for several days on the farm. The water stays unfrozen in our waterer - but it freezes fairly rapidly once it is out of the waterer. Ducks also have feathers that are excellent insulators. The heat from a duck's body will not necessarily keep the edge of the outer feathers above freezing.
Is everyone with me now?
Yes, Yogi was finding it hard to stand up without falling forward. It seems that there was an accumulation of ice on her front feathers that unbalanced her somewhat. Being the benevolent farmers that we are - we decided we would bring the duck in for defrosting.
The duck was not too hard to catch with the extra weight holding her back. She was placed in a pet carrier with some bedding and brought to the kitchen. She stayed there for several hours and said absolutely NOTHING.
But, there was still a duck in the kitchen.