Mortimer came and spent over seven months on our little farmstead. We adored him, watched him grow from a little brown duckling into a beautiful taupe and green Mallard drake, and he gave us so many laughs with all his character. Being part of a mated pair with Phoebe, it was a tough goodbye, but a necessary one. That last two days he was here were not pleasant, especially for him since he kept getting quarantined. The mornings were the worst, running up to any duck he could and pecking them, grabbing them, chasing and chasing every duck in sight. He was not a happy guy, and the whole flock suffered. Even Phoebe has stopped laying eggs from all the stress… She’s a daily layer, but she’s had three days with no eggs!
Morty left yesterday with a great guy who resides in Harrisonville, Missouri. He has property with a pond in the country. He keeps several ducks, including Runners like Mortimer, chickens and even a turkey. He’s in very good, loving hands which made the goodbye a lot easier.
Now, for the sweet gift I found today. It was laying next to our roses:
It’s a curled tail feather from Mortimer (grainy image, but you get the idea). Only mature males have these curled tail feathers. It was a very special find, and we’re keeping it to remember our very first, beautiful male duck. So long, Mortimer, thank you for the joy you gave us, and may you enjoy your new pond & flock!
Poor little Chameli! We had a duckling emergency this morning due to one of them getting pecked on the head by an adult male drake. Yes, Mortimer did it. I don’t hold it against him at all, considering these ducklings are new and he’s very, very territorial. He even challenges our dog, and runs up and down the fence to challenge him. It’s my fault this baby was injured. I should have placed cardboard or small-holed wire all around their pen. They moved outdoors on Monday into a large, steel dog pen. It’s what we used for the baby chicks in Spring and it worked perfectly. I assumed the ducklings would be fine, but the holes are large enough for the babies to barely squeeze through, and Chameli got stuck. While stuck, Mortimer started pecking away at her head and she couldn’t get away. By the time I stepped outside this morning she was a bloody mess.
Daniel and I cleaned her up in a bath, then held her in a soft blanket for thirty minutes and compressed the wounds. The bleeding stopped, but the skin is open in two places and we don’t know if they will heal correctly. I keep applying antibacterial ointment. If anyone is experienced with this and has any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. You can see one wound we couldn’t wrap up, and the other larger wound is under the tourniquet. She’s grooming herself, but hasn’t eaten yet. She’s resting quietly, alone in an indoor cage away from her sister. When I walk up to her she’s very needy- she comes to me and wants to nestle. I’m praying the wounds scab over so the skin can grow back.