Wednesday, July 23, 2008
THE STORY OF DUCKYNOWALKY AND THE RACCOONS THAT FELL FROM THE SKY
It all started with Gordita and One Eye. They were chickens over at Veritas Farms who got picked on. One Eye would get her missing eye pecked at and Gordita eats too much--can't stop eating...is the fattest damn egg laying bird I've ever seen. In fact, Paul from Veritas told me if ever I feel like making 30 million dollars I should just take Gordita over to Monsanto so they can figure out what makes her so fat and they can patent the gene.
Anyhow, like One Eye, Gordita was pecked at ruthlessly by the chickens at Veritas, so I said I'd take the two outcasts and see if they got along with my young birds. As it turns out, all chickens want to eat One Eye's missing eye place, so she couldn't be with them, but, Gordita gets along just fine with my birds. She, in fact, is the only bird that never leaves the coop. She just hangs out by the food and honks whenever I go near her. As for One Eye, I decided she should have a duck to hang out with. You see, chickens need other chickens. It's actually New York State law that you can't purchase less than six at a time. But, poor One Eye is considered food by all her brethren (yes, indeed, chickens are canibals). So, I decided that she should have a duck for a friend. The fine folks at Veritas gave me a duck with a limp. That duck's limp went away and therefore there is nothing all that distinguishing about her, so I call her No-Name. I might start calling her Duckywalky in honor of Duckynowalky, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
It worked out with No-Name and One Eye. They half hung out and half did their own thing. Then, an unfortunate incident happened where a duck down the road got tangled in an electric fence and remained there all night. The owners of the duck, at that time, decided he needed a quieter, safer place to spend his days. So, that's how I got Shock. Shock, like No-Name, is completely healed. Then I was informed of a duck at Veritas that could barely walk due to a deformed foot. Needless to say, the deformed duck relocated to Muddy Farm and henceforth was called Duckynowalky.
Duckynowalky usually couldn't leave the duck coop on his own, so I would, most days, carry him out. Sometimes he'd make it back in by himself, but more times than not, I'd have to put him back. Ducks, unlike chickens, are incredibly kind to one another. Shock wouldn't go back into the coop until Duckynowalky was inside. Shock was very protective and both ducks would run to Duckynowalky when I'd put him out. I enjoyed watching all the duck love.
Then one day a baby raccoon fell from the sky. I left that baby raccoon out all night in the barn, thinking mama raccoon would take it back to the nest. Mama raccoon did no such thing. A woman who rescues them took the baby and it's doing fine. Then, in the middle of the next day, mama raccoon ate Duckynowalky.
Now, ducks getting eaten on a farm is no big deal. I mean, sure, it's sad and all, but it's pretty common, and a duck that couldn't really walk was pretty vulnerable. However, I have a very safe coop for both the ducks and chickens, where they are locked in each night. During the day, the only thing that usually gets fowl are domestic dogs. So, when a raccoon is hunting during the day, that's a big problem. Apparently, though, it's not an uncommon problem. They sometimes do that when nursing.
The next day, two more baby raccoons fell from the sky (by sky, I mean, the ceiling of the attic). Again, I left them out, thinking if mama can drag a duck up to her nest (which was in the loft above the barn) she surely would carry her babies back up. Nope. Again, the rescue woman came.
Needless to say, I'm trying to catch this mama raccoon, using a Havahart trap and Friskies Ocean White Fish cat food. I've been doing this for days. No mama raccoon.
It makes no sense why the mama wouldn't resuce her babies and why she won't eat the damn cat food, but it does get the story of One Eye, No-Name, Duckynowalky, Shock and Gordita out of the way, finally. I will end by saying I am truly looking forward to entering mama raccoon into the Muddy Farm predator relocation program. Further details cannot be disclosed, but I assure you they are humane.
As for the rest of the farm, this week at market I'll have:
Basil (Genovese, Lemon and Thai)
Purple Top Turnips
Hakurei (Baby) Turnips
Buttercrunch, Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce