Ducks Raising Ducklings – Musings on Cuteness and Social Behavior of Muscovies

I wasn’t expecting our latest batch of eggs to hatch until this coming Monday, so wasn’t i surprised to notice a bunch of extra, TINY, newly hatched duckling heads tucked in amongst the other ducklings, adults and adolescent muscovies?

In comparison to my rabbits, whose breeding, nesting and birthing i have a large role in facilitating, the ducks do it all by themselves. They breed, lay, nest, sit and eventually hatch all on their own and usually do a great job of it. Our last two hatches were miserable failures: a hatch of ONE duckling and another of just 3. I hadn’t even counted Snowflakes eggs and it seems she hatched out 11 little ducklings with just 3 duds left on the nest. After her spring clutch of 13 i’d say Snowflake is the winner of successful hatches this year!

I am mildly concerned by an interesting turn of events in the flock just now: Snowflake had basically adopted Svetlana’s 3 young ducklings the past few days as the temperature turned cold and they sought refuge in her nest amongst the eggs. Now that her eggs are hatched, she seems more interested in cruising about with the older and more mobile surrogates than with her own little bundles of fluff. I’m grateful that the next few days are supposed to be quite warm and that they have many brothers and sisters to snuggle with, but concerned that she will abandon her little ones entirely, leaving them cold at night and without the safety of a protective duck to help them manage amongst a mixed flock of many different ages.

It is amazing just how well tiny ducklings CAN manage amounts so many different and older ages of ducks: the others really do try NOT to trample them and despite their small stature a duckling a few days old will often be found nipping at a much older and HUGER flock-mate come dinner time. Warmth, however is another issue entirely – so i hope miss Snowflake will notice her peeping babes on occasion and give them the comfort and warmth of her fluffy chest come dusk.

I locked them in together last night to help solidify the bond and ensure they were warmed during their first evening, but i’m not sure the bonding goal really worked. She still seems most interested in the older ducklings, so we shall see! Raising chicks or ducklings in a flock of mixed ages can be a bit more complicated than brooding under lamps, all at the same age – but it’s the way nature planned and they really cope quite well. Humans don’t always have ALL the answers after all. We do enjoy looking at cuteness, however and i’m pretty happy to have taken a few minutes to just lay in the field watching their adorable antics before getting back to work.

This is what life on the farm is all about – and it’s high time i took some time to lay down and enjoy it. :)

Do you have any experience with animal mamas getting a bit ‘confused’ ?

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Filed under Birdsong Farm, Critters, Ducks

Fiber Friends in the News and Local Community

I am so excited to share a bit of news! My time is usually spent holed up in my studio on the 2nd floor of our farm house, or outside shlepping water, cleaning cages or ‘moving wood around.’ (family joke). Every once in a while, however, i leave my hermitage and touch base with my community! And, every once in a longer while, i welcome a member of the community into my studio and they write a little something that can be read by folks who live nearby or in some distant community. This week i have TWO exciting bits of outreach to share!

First off, a big THANK YOU to Victoria the lovely reporter who wrote this lovely piece about my little business. Yes, you CAN make a living as a crazy artist, especially if you’re willing to stab yourself repeatedly in the name of entrepreneurialism. :) Folks from all over the western states who get their power from smaller power companies, like our own Consumers Power co-op, will flip through the Ruralite magazine this month and happen to spot an adorable photo of Pocket posing with her little Fiber Friends.

Secondly, i was pleased to be asked by the Philomath Community Library to put up a little display in their case. I have stopped to check out the local artisans showcased in their display many times when checking out books myself and it’s fun to see my little Fiber Friends peeking out from behind the glass. My work will be on display throughout September, so stop by and take a look if you’re in the area!

Along with my Fiber Friends there are a few copies of my latest book, Bedtime Snackit included in the display and a copy or two available in the library to read, thanks to a donation from the author, Tm Mueller.

It sure is nice to get out and be part of the larger community now and again. Folks out there are friendly and ultimately are who make my lifestyle possible with their support, both financial and emotional. As the article mentioned, i really do sincerely care about my customers and get a lot of joy and pride out of making items that mean so much to folks. It is such a joy to get to do what i love for a living and live in such a glorious place. Thank you to everyone who helps make that possible! You are all the best Friends i could ask for!

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Filed under About, Felting, Fiber Friends, Fibers, Local Spotlight, Me

Benson the Corgi – SPLOOT!

Those of us with Corgis are quite familiar with the word “sploot.” It’s the favorite position many of our pups choose to lay in, especially on a hot day on cool tiles. Folks unfamiliar with corgis often startle or giggle when seeing this unique position. It is rather silly, but also looks oddly comfortable. Introducing Benson the corgi posed in that classic sploot position. I’m quite proud of this one.

And despite the heat i was able to convince Pocket to come up from the cool first floor and do some modelling for me. :)

I’m really, truly pleased with how this little Fiber Friend turned out and honored at the response from Benson’s mom when seeing photos via email:

You should be proud of this little masterpiece!!! It’s the perfect match for the real Benson! You really need to give yourself a few pats on the back for not only your artistic vision but also the ability to transfer that talent into creating a material object. – Jodi
I hope to post an update of Benson with real Benson in a few weeks if Jodi will humor me by taking some photos. I just love seeing ‘client appreciation’ photos and welcome them from everyone! If you’re a previous Fiber Friends customer and want your dog and Fiber Friend featured on our blog – post a comment below and i’ll contact you right away.

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Filed under Critters, Dogs/ Corgis, Felting, Fiber Fridays, Fiber Friends, Fibers

It’s Time to Can! Can it Forward Day is Here!

Are your jars santized? Relish cooked down? Jams good and sticky?   It’s time to get canning! Check out the live feed below and hang out with fellow canners all day!

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Filed under Preserved Food