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Monday, May 20, 2013

Warmth vanishes

Cold and wet weather returned to Wyoming.  The ducks are now in the greenhouse where they stay dry and out of the high wind.  We had to snag the ducks out of their pen yesterday when the temperature dropped to around 45 and it continued to rain.  They don't have their adult feathers yet and they were soaked when we went out to check.  We herded them into a cage, then moved them over to the greenhouse (all the plants that were hardening off had to come in the house--this is a chaotic time of year).  I do have to check on them to be sure they don't get too warm.  I think they preferred the pen, though maybe they just don't like being chased into cages and relocated!

I noticed their beaks are different colors.  I looked this up and that is apparently how you determine the sex of the ducks.  The lighter peach colored beaks are the females.  We have two females and three males.  It really did not matter to us what sex they were since they are just bug-eaters.

Beak colors indicate sex
It continues to be cold today (50 degrees) and the wind is 15 to 20 mph.  The rain is slowing, so they may be able to go back to their pen tomorrow or Wednesday.

(This will be after I modify the tarp over the pen.  It was nicely waterproof, but also collected a lot of rain, sagging down and damaging the chicken-wire cover to the cage.  Since it has been quite some time since we had any significant rainfall, I had not thought of this possibility.)

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