Wednesday, November 16, 2011

duck, duck, goose!

I often hear a commotion going on up at the duck pools. Usually it is a couple of ducks mating, which the make the geese put out alarms, or maybe they are rooting the drakes on like fans at a football game. Pretty disturbing public waterfowl orgies galore go on up there.

Kids, that is how baby ducks are born.

Chickens are no less romantic. Screaming hens being pinned down by testosterone-d filled roosters with spurs that grow from their leg bones like knives. One by one claiming their women. Love in the barnyard. Oh but those fuzzy babies that come along are so worth it (easy for me to say)  Yes, and the hens who give me oval presents everyday is what comes of all this. I love my hens. Love them. We have chats. Girl talk.

So I have been fighting this flu-bug-plague-thing. Everything hurts. I was in my favorite cut-off flanel pjs, no bra hair sticking up while sipping on vitamin water looking in the kitchen cabinets for anything that might seem appetizing when I heard the ruckus. I looked out the window expecting to see the sport of duck stacking, when I saw that it was geese. Three geese in the pool dunking something... what were they doing? Mating? No, my female goose was not in the pool. I caught a glimpse of one of my white Holderread Indian Runners head come up for air, then a goose grab it that fast.

I jumped out of my sick-self-ness stepped into my wellies and ran out through the kitchen sun-room, grabbing a broom (I had used it earlier as a walking stick in the mud, as it had been raining all night and all day.) Taking the shortest route, which was up a hill, I fell in the mud a couple of times, but was there at the pool in seconds. It felt like slow motion, me yelling, "NOOOOoooo!" Slide fall, slide... broom in the pool. Everyone scattered.
 I looked up and saw the white runner, running. A bit wobbly, but an impressive sprint across the field. I saw white and then I saw red. Blood. Blood coming from her bill and from her back. I ran after her. I know she was thinking, "Is this my day to die?" "Why is everyone out to kill me?" The only way I could catch her was to lay the broom bristles (go figure my tool is a broom) on her to make her hunch. Then I went and picked her up. Took off my sweatshirt and wrapped her bloody skinny body up and heading to the house. I realized it was pouring down rain at this point.

I ran warm water over her trying to see what was bleeding exactly. But, she was so stressed, so I wrapped her up again, help her close and did some one handed typing to a group on facebook, Birds of a Feather. A closed group full of supportive folks who know what it means to get a duck SOS call. They talked me through it and I calmed down. I just went blank with fear there for a moment or two. Usually I am great at emergencies, and crappy at the day to day life tasks. But a shivering bloody duck was not in my book of experience. Soon I recieved responses from the group. Warm her, clean her, isolate her, she is in shock, hydrate and hugs sent over the internet. Then stories and pictures of their own ducks hurt, and promises of how resilient these ducks are. pictures of the same ducks, healed. They assured me how ducks can get better, even after horrible attacks. I called the vet in the middle of that, and yes, they could take her. Recommendations of inject-able antibiotic/pain meds, Blue Kote, and instructions. I sent Rusty an email with a list of supplies and by the time he came home, I was Crow (waterfowl) Medicine Woman. We injected the duck, spray the Blue Kote and looked her over. She rested for a bit, and three times now I have heard her at her water bowl.

Yes, her hospital bed in my living room. A crate full of white pine chip bedding, a water bowl and a food bowl, near the heater and in plain sight of her doctor. I will sleep next to her tonight, on the couch. I hope she gets better. I can't tell if it is Happy or Hula the white runner duck. Two girls, identical sisters, that came from Nicky in South Carolina. I promised their owner I would take good care of them.

Seems goose breeding season is right around the corner. I had forgotten (on purpose) that December was coming quick. Perhaps that provoked the attack. Breeding geese kill. So, after the duck surgery, I had to begin my goose relocation plan. Meaning: four geese moved up to the house on the hill. It used to be the barn, turned into a house, and now, at least the exterior rooms will be full fledged barn again. Up they went, in the pouring rain. A bit dazed and confused, but there will be no more duck violence tonight.

Tomorrow I will begin moving the goose set-up, up the hill. Pools, accommodations, nest, feeding, etc, will take place up there. I have just moved my two TN Fainter bucks up there as well. Izzy the Great Pyrenees spent her first day up there today, guarding the two smelly boys. Now she has killer geese to protect.

Before setting up geese tomorrow, I have take myself to the people Doctor. I have an appointment. I did not set it, but I need to go. I got that thing, that nodule sitting at 12 O'clock on my right breast that needs to be checked again. Just like Cinderella's midnight and it might turn into a pumpkin. I have other testing too. I really dislike going. I really dislike starting a new Doctor. I dislike trying to convey years of my health at one appointment. I wished I had the forethought to draft up a written medical history essay to hand to her. However, the Doctor is a She, and she is a DO, not an MD. So we will see how that goes. I really need to project positivity. But it is never easy when you don't feel well. Everything hurts. I bet the duck hurts worse than me though. Poor thing. Look if you can. If not turn away.

Here she is: (after the blood was washed away)

she poo-ed just before my daughter took the photo - bill is chewed up - eye swollen

back of duck before the doctoring

She is resting now. I am going to do a little reiki on her and get some sleep myself. I will keep you updated.