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Someone, over the past couple of weeks, has asked me how the Muscovy ducklings are doing?  Well, right now they are thriving.

Molly (their Mum) had 17 babies in the middle of May.  This was a month earlier than she had hatched her babies last year.  May here was bitterly cold and very windy.

Molly was still very proud of her babies and was delighted to show them off to whoever called.  Then when they were about 10 days old, I could only count 16. One was gone.  Without a trace. We’ve never discovered what took it.  A preying bird?  No idea.

When the babies were about 2 weeks old I noticed one of them was panting and having difficulty breathing.  I called my neighbour, Annette, who’s the resident Doctor Doolittle.  Bless her she came around immediately.  By the time she arrived a couple of minutes after I called her, another had started this panting.

Thriving ducklings

Thriving ducklings

We thought they had eaten something and that they were choking.  We tried massage, olive oil, anything we could think of, but it didn’t seem to ease their difficulty.  One actually died that afternoon.

This was all just as we were heading into a crazy busy time with AirBnB guests. Annette kindly took the sickly duckling away with her to nurse it over the weekend.  Then a few days later 3 more started the same panting.

The upshot despite antibiotics all 4 died within a week.  We were heartbroken.

Then another just ‘disappeared’ another predator.

Some of the 10 remaining ducklings developed milder panting symptoms so we dosed them with porridge mixed with dandelion and/or nettle tea.  Apple cider vinegar was also added to their water.

What caused this panting?  The vet suggests mouldy hay (we don’t have hay here), or stagnant water – again we’re not sure where they could have accessed stagnant water – but we do allow free ranging on the property.

It is truly awful when an animal/bird you have nurtured and fed dies.  Especially so when they haven’t had a good old shot at life.

In retrospect maybe I am at fault that I didn’t take more eggs away from under Molly.  Seventeen babies were just too many for her to mind.

Still enjoying their porridge!

Still enjoying their porridge!

The remaining 10, at almost 7 weeks old, are thriving, thankfully.  They are loosing the ‘baby’ look, and are starting to develop wings….. but they are still incredibly cute!

 

Friday Photo

I’ve new gates! I shall miss my lilac gate…. so what colour to go for this time????

Upcycling or recycling?

Upcycling or recycling?

pallets - upcycled or is it recycled?

pallets – upcycled or is it recycled?

I’m back

I know. I know.  I’ve been totally remiss about posting.  Honestly, though I’ve not been slacking.  We’ve been extremely busy with baby ducks, AirBnB guests, social media training, our new sheep (did I tell you we have sheep?)…. just so much has been going on.

I’ve about 500 blog posts half written (in my head)…. so I guess I’d better get the finger out and get them up here!!!

If we’ve had a couple of hours off, or just needed to get away from here for a few hours, we often just go exploring locally.  Do you feel that sometimes you are so busy with your life, that you hardly notice what’s right on your doorstep?

Graveyard Entrance

Graveyard Entrance

Saturday was one of those days, so we took a little time off and went to a local village – Terryglass.  If you’ve ever been to Terryglass I doubt if you would forget it.  It has to be one of the prettiest villages in the country.  The village itself is a few minutes walk from the shore of Lough Derg – on Saturday there was lots of activity on the shoreline with boats and jet-skiers.

The only hotel you'll find in Terryglass :)

The only hotel you’ll find in Terryglass :)

The village was also busy, well it does have two lively and award winning pubs!  They’re quite famous too – Paddy’s Pub and The Derg Inn. Nice places to stop for a coffee, a pint or a meal.

We also had a browse through a new shop – Revived and Retro – based in the old church.  They are doing some very interesting things with disused chairs and doors… well worth a visit.

A tummy rub was demanded on entry :)

A tummy rub was demanded on entry :)

the perfumes from the roses in this garden are amazing

the perfumes from the roses in this garden are amazing

I want a garden like this!  Seriously isn’t it beautiful?

If you’re down this way a great time to visit Terryglass is during the annual Arts Festival which this year takes place from 12th to 16th August…. always a great festival and wonderful atmosphere.

So when are you coming on a visit?  Terryglass is only 10 minutes away from us!

 

Friday Photo

It’s kind of a ‘before’ and ‘after’ today…….

Red and yellow raspberries in a basket

Raspberries – June 28, 2012

_MG_4124

Raspberries today – 26th June 2015

See how far behind they are???  Climate change?

Friday Photo

Hedgerow Haul…… iris and aconite

Hedgerow haul of Irises and aconite

Hedgerow Haul

Friday Photo

The yellow rose of summer!  And the air is filled with its perfume.

Yellow Rose of Summer

Yellow Rose of Summer

Friday Photo

Went on an adventure this week to see an eagle’s nest – with a chick in it.  Unfortunately, zoom wasn’t good enough to catch it….. but did catch this red squirrel watching us!

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel