Well, there won’t be a white Christmas here this year (again). The temperatures have risen and it rained last night, so everything that was previously frozen is thawed and soggy. The ducks, of course, are happy…they love mud and it’s warm enough for their pools to be out. Some of them couldn’t even wait for the pools to fill before they jumped in this morning. Others were more interested in dabbling in the holes that had filled with rainwater runoff and making them even bigger.
The Runner/Pekin group is still as cohesive as ever, though mom (Joséphine) seems to have moved into more of a group member rather than group leader role. One of her babies is now the leader – she tells the group when to get moving with a sharp quack, like a drill sergeant. When we first got the new ducks, we were surprised by how loud Joséphine’s quack was, compared to the nearly-silent Muscovies. Her progeny may be even louder!
The chickens aren’t big fans of mud, so they’ve been spending much of the day around the barn. We’re pleased that we’re making progress on getting the (now 4 month old) juvenile group to go into the coop on their own: last night, we were able to herd all but one in. They seem to know that they’re supposed to go into the coop at night, but they couldn’t seem to understand that they needed to leave the barn and go up the ramp into the coop, so we had just been picking them up and carrying them over to the ramp. This probably confused them, so they would just wait in the barn at night for us to go and get them. No more! Now, they all need to walk themselves over to the ramp and climb up there like big chickens.
While holidays are just like any other day on the farm, we’ll be enjoying some traditions like watching “A Christmas Story”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, several different versions of “A Christmas Carol”, and other classics (after the chores are done, of course). We’re starting a new tradition this year, too: Christmas curry. What’s nicer than spicy, warming rabbit curry on a wet day?
We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and hope the magic of the season stays with you into the New Year.