Living Room Brooder


I have just come home from a busy weekend at work and I am stretched out on the couch, enjoying some down time.  As I’m laying here, about to nod off, the feeling of being watched overwhelms me.  I open my eyes to five ducks staring at me, chins resting on the edges of their brooders.  This is an attempt to alert me to the fact that it has been 1 1/3 hours since they’ve eaten and they are fading away.  Probably not going to make it.  I can try rolling over with my back to them, or closing my eyes, but that will just elicit a cacophony of peeps, chirps, squeaks and whistles as they convey the urgency of their situation.  So I fill their food and water bowls for probably the 1,237th time today.  And since I’m awake now, I might as well make a cup of coffee.  The ducks are aware that the kitchen is where treats come from.  Hubby shook a bag of chocolate chips to prove a point, and they lost it.  He then rewarded this behavior with frozen peas, their favorite.  So why in the world do I have nearly grown ducks in my living room?  A couple of reasons.

First of all, we brood all of our babies in the house.  I’ve talked about this before; it makes them comfortable around us and helps us to handle them calmly.  And as we found out the other day when we had a duck escape out the back door on their way to the temporary yard, they will follow us when they are in new and scary scenarios.  Which makes catching the poor decision makers easier on us and them.

But we also haven’t gotten their duck yard done yet.  Every time we think we have a spare minute to accomplish this task, something comes up.  I have started precepting nurses at work, so I spent a lot of extra time in classes.  My husband currently has 16 knives he is working on, trying to keep up as the orders keep rolling in.  We had to spend a little money we didn’t plan on to purchase a band saw because one of the orders is super special and the chef wanted a saya (think wooden sheath almost).  The cat is almost bald due to licking all of his hair off so we had to take him to the vet.  There is always money being spent on feed and bedding.  So between a budget and time constraints, well, the duck yard has been put on the back burner.

This is not the best scenario, however, and we have this week to fix it.  Then insanity settles in again and the putting off would kick into high gear.  We need to get these ducks out of here.  They don’t have enough room and the house is full of feathers right now because one of them is molting.  Anybody need a down pillow?

I honestly can’t complain about the crazy that is our life right now, because we are up to our ears in projects and jobs and fun stuff that are of our choosing.  There are not a lot of people that can say that.  I am in the process of making my husband’s knife shop a little more organized, so we know what orders he has and what needs priority.  We are planning on pigs in the spring.  We want to set up a farmer’s market booth during the week next year.  My job is continuing to challenge me as a nurse, and now as a teacher to other nurses.  We are both growing and learning in our messy homesteading education.  And there are new and exciting projects that are on the horizon that I am not quite ready to talk about yet.

I’m going to go ahead and get the ducks some more peas, and maybe crash on the couch for 30 minutes while I have time.  We have so much to do, but the rest of our lives to perfect it.