Sunday, December 16, 2012

Duck tales...

You may remember when our family went on a holiday to America earlier this year, our entire duck family were killed by foxes. Our beautiful drake, Freddie, tried to protect his girls and managed to survive for a few days, before dying of an infected wound..and a broken heart.

It was an awful day when we heard the news. Even though I knew that this is the cycle of life, it still hurt and we all cried to think of our ducks being scared and dying in this way.

Several months later we offered to take a friends' trio of ducks, the offspring of our original duck family, Freddie Jnr and his two girls. Just as the quince tree was blossoming the sister ducks began to lay and eventually were sitting on about twenty eggs between them.

It's always such a joyous site to see the first little duckie appear!

And they kept on appearing! In the end there were 19 ducklings..with one little one born sickly, which brought the number to 18.

Five little browny ducklings and fifteen yellow. Is there anything cuter than a duckling? So adorable.

And hungry! Boy do they eat A LOT! 

And they grow so quickly. Almost before our eyes.
After the first week I noticed one little one was dragging it's leg behind it. It struggled hard to keep up with the others, looked in pain, and was obviously not in good shape. At first I thought she would probably just quietly pass away as she grew weaker and weaker. I thought about euthanising her, it's always hard to know what to do in this type of situation.

Anyway, in the end I took her to our lovely vet who was SO kind and showed me that the duckling had broken her little leg. Together we put a mini splint on and taped it up. For the next two weeks she lived in an old guinea pig cage where she was clean and dry. No traipsing around our big back yard meant her leg would have a better chance to heal. And it did!

After week one I put two of her siblings in with her to keep her company and at the end of week two she had her splint taken off. I did a little duck physio to help her leg to bend properly again and very quickly she began to walk/run like the others! What an exciting moment.

Today was just the best. Here she is, standing in the front/middle, after being re united with her family.

Her mum's were thrilled to see her and she has joined the others as if she had never been away. I am so happy I took her to the vet that day, and that the care she received means she is likely to now have a good, happy and active life. I think we might have to keep this special girl. She has been so strong and brave.  And what a beautiful & caring vet we have, she treated Little Ducky free of charge and with such respect and love. Tomorrow I'm going to drop off some flowers and a photo of her little patient.

You can learn so much from others can't you? Bravery, perseverance, kindness and compassion. And even though the cycle of life continues on, with it's sadnesses, and challenges, it's good to look for things that inspire, like courageous little ducks and big hearted people x