Around The Farm: Mooning, Mugging, Miniatures, Muscovies, And Melons

As summer winds down (not that you can tell from this stretch of oppressively hot weather), young animals are growing, others are just being their playful porcine selves, and we’re picking juicy melons from the pig-planted patch.

Love is in the air…the Runner ducks are reaching maturity, and the girls are pretty obvious about which boys they like. The fawn and white Runner drakes are older than the Blue/Black/Silver (BBS) drakes, so the BBS girls moon over them like starstruck teenage girls mooning over the high school football star. They chase the drakes around, bobbing their heads and singing a funny little quacky song, seemingly oblivious of the drakes’ indifference.

One of the fawn and white drakes has paired up with the fawn and white duck (who has now laid about 6 eggs), but the other guy is still a free agent.

As usual, the pigs just can’t help mugging for the camera. Here’s Castor (the friendly pig) enjoying a nice belly rub. Ahhh!

Speaking of eggs, the Isbar (Silverudd’s Blues) pullets have also been laying miniature but pretty green eggs, some with speckles. They’re naughty girls, though – they delight in burying their eggs (outside of the nest boxes of course) in the least-accessible corner of the coop. Never mind the multiple, plushly-lined nest boxes in reachable locations – they want to lay their eggs on the floor, in the corner, so I have to pretzel under the poop board and around supports. Sigh. Those eggs should come up in size over the next month or so, and I’m looking forward to doing more incubating.

The Muscovy ducklings are nearly two weeks old and spend daylight hours in a secure tractor outdoors now. On grass, they can nibble greens, find bugs, and fertilize to their heart’s content. It’s also great to have them outside so they can make their water messes where cleanup afterward isn’t necessary. Win-win.

They’re healthy, curious, and very active ducklings, and great fun to watch – as long as it’s me doing the watching and not the Cooper’s Hawk I saw the other day staring at the littles from the roof of the empty tractor next to the ducklings! Fortunately, it could only “look but not touch”, and flew away when it saw me.

How many ducklings fit? At least 10!

And those volunteer melons? They’ve ripened and are so delicious! We harvested several ripe ones, and there are several more ripening now.

Even though some split, the unsalvageable ones were enjoyed by the pigs (only fair, I think).

The vines have escaped their enclosure, climbing through and over the fencing, pushing out babies in places they shouldn’t.

The wire fencing has now become a trellis, with several sizeable melons dangling from it. I was pleased to be able to reuse mesh produce bags as “slings” to support the weight of the growing melons. If we get another almost-8 pounder, though, it’s probably going to blow out the bottom of the sling!

It’s nearly time to start the morning chores, so I’ll wrap this up. May your weekend be as much fun as this ⬇️!