Saturday, April 30, 2011

My poor baby girl Keelyn...

Keelyn's been having a rough, rough time lately.  Her bumble foot came back, and within a day she had horribly reinjured her eye.  The boys have been getting very excited with it being spring (and it's their first mating season, so they are extra agressive and rough when mating), and Kouta tried to mount her backwards and scratched her eyelid right open...*sigh*  MamaDuck has been one big worry wart the past week or so.

We got her on another round of Baytril (antibiotics) and Metacam (anti-inflamatory) for her infection, and we also had been trying to keep her eye clean and sanitized with OTC eye ointment.  However, despite being on an antibiotic and such, her eye and the side of her face was swelling and was causing her great irritation and discomfort.
So this morning we emailed this picture to our Vet and explained the situation, and then called as soon as they opened and left a voice mail.  (We are so blessed to have such a caring and knowledgable Vet.)

He called back and went ahead and got us a perscription ready for some medicated eye ointment.

Got home and immediately put it on her eye, and I am soooo sooo sooo glad to say that she's actually able to keep her eye open, and it's not foaming.  We still need to keep up with the Baytril, Metacam, and the eye ointment multiple times a day (for atleast 10 more days, possible another round of Baytril after that...), but I'm just glad we got something that is working and is actually helping.

If you have ducks, it is so important to find a Vet who treats waterfowl (not just exotic birds like parrots or such), most of the time  you have to travel a while to get to one, or if you find one they are very expensive.  We feel very blessed that we found one very close that is at normal Vetrinarian rates.

The flock got a nice treat and spent almost all day outside in the yard today.  GrMa Duck had to do some "work from home" work, so she brought it out on the deck to keep an eye on everyone.  MamaDuck also spent some time with them out in the yard.  Only once did I have to chase them out of the front yard (they are getting a bit too curious and adventurous for my liking lately).  Although it provided a huge amount of entertainment when I hearded them back around the azelea bushes toward the steps (pictured in earlier posts) and every single one of them (except Queenie) took a running start and flew about 6 feet over the ledge of the brick wall next to the steps to land on the ground below.  Darrick got a bit startled when big ol' Kouta landed very gracefully right on top of him! Tehehe.  I so wish I had the camera out!

Well, coming to a close of a day starting out stressfull and worriesome, only to become relaxing and happy.  Going to be giving Keelyn her meds again soon before it starts getting dark.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

our duck aviary

a slide show to show you our duck aviary
with a few notes regarding it's construction

Friday, April 22, 2011

a short update with lots of pictures

Keelyn: she is doing much better after 2 weeks on the antibiotics. We think the infection is gone.   She hasn't shown any signs of her bumble foot for several days. 
The boys: We guess it will be awhile before things settle down with less competition. Things are improving and we are keeping close eye on them. Letting things take their course mostly but not allowing injury or repeated abuse that causes depression. Missy and Beau for the most part are a couple, and so are Kouta and Keelyn, although none of then are monogamous.(these are ducks after all) :-)

and now for lots and lots of  pictures
You see how we have thing set up for our duckies in our backyard and how close to the woods (40+ acres of woods) we are and why it is so important to have the predator proof duck aviary that we have.  You can also see that there is no vegetation (well almost none) left in the enclosure.  We are still trying to figure out how to successfully grow ground cover in there without it immediately being eaten all the way.  But they do get to forage in the yard under while we keep a close watch over them.  We have let the grass go to seed for them in the yard and they are loving it.  We currently have the little pool out in the yard too.  Okay enough yapping ... now to see our beautiful feather family members...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pet ducks and ducklings info and links

BE WISE and THINK FIRST before getting ducks as pets. They are extremely emotional flock animals and are very messy and require lots of attention. Years ago when GrMaDuck said yes to getting two pet ducklings we had NO IDEA what we were getting into!! In Virginia it is illegal to buy just one duckling. (They can get very loney and fail to thrive without love and attention.) Having a minimum of two is good because they will keep each other company, which is especially helpful when they become adults. (at about 16-20 weeks of age). Having pet ducks is A LOT of work. Ducks are very social and need LOTS attention. We quickly did lots of research and we poured our hearts into our adorable feathered family members. Below is the compliation of helpful and/or interesting links that we have complied.­-a-pet-duck/
(click on "Want A Pet Duck?" things to think about BEFORE you get ducks)

A book many duck owners recommend (and so do we) is
Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks: Breeds, Care, Health by Dave Holderread

I know this seems like LINK OVERLOAD... but I thought I would pass on info that took us soooooo llloooooong to gather.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Keelyn's Bumble Foot

Things went well on the adventure to the vet.
Keelyn needs to be on antibiotics for 2 weeks
and an anti-inflamatory for several days.

at the vet's office - mostly calm but nervous

was so nervous, she was panting so I had brought the ducks' favorite cup
with me and gave her some water to calm her down
she got a bit too excited though and wanted to take a bath in the cup... :P

all done and back in the car

After we got back home, I needed to keep her somewhere
while I rearranged the pen situation for her so I put her in the bathroom
...but she didn't want to come out of the carrier.
Got her out, and she went straight back in... :P

Out in the yard, we got the old pen back,
right next to the current one so they can be close.
She needs to be on softer cleaner ground and in a more
confined space to keep her calmer and walking less.
So she gets her own space for a while

Talkin' to the others, so confused as to why she can't go in the pen with them

you can see how much more grass
there is in the temporary pen
(our old pen) this will be softer for
Keelyn's foot

We knew she would not emotionally be able to handle being so isolated,
so after she took a few min. to herself, I brought Missy
 in since she's had a rough time lately too and to keep Keelyn company

settling down and having some water

happy ducks

We were able to get my girl to swallow her pill,
took a few tries, but it didn't take too long.

We are glad to see some of the swelling go down on Keelyn's foot.

She's not happy with being separated though
 (even with Missy's company),
so we are periodically giving everyone a field trips
 in the yard for some socializing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our little Keelyn waiting at the Vet's office

Our little Keelyn waiting at the Vet's office

worries and God's grace

Poor Keelyn she has fought a couple of eye infections already and now it appears she has bumble foot. *sigh* Our wonderful duck aviary is all dirt (and mud when it rains) we really need to get some ground cover planted. Poor little thing (she is our littlest) she started limping a day or two ago and now she is getting the black callouses on her foot. We are trying to give them as much time outside the aviary to munch on grass and to give them a softer surface to walk on, but we live where there are fox and coyote so they can only be out under our careful watch.

MamaDuck was checking on Keelyn much more often yesterday because she barely wants to walk now. MamaDuck said a prayer and asked God to take away the infection and if He didn't do that to give us favor finding a vet who knew how to take care of ducks (not an easy feat even in a rural area). She went inside and with one phone call was referred to a "bird specialist". Bird specialist are often specialist in pet song birds and the like, but by goodness, grace, and favor of God this is a vet who treats chickens and ducks. It gets better. His office is only about 20 min.s from us and their office visit rates are very reasonable. We clearly see this as God answering MamaDuck's prayer.

We know that God cares deeply for the animals and that He charges us with the care of animals. GrMaDuck thinks this answer to prayer is God showing His love and approval of our duckies and our love and care for our duckies.

Keelyn will be going on an adventure today with MamaDuck. Please keep us her and us in your prayers, as bumble foot is best treated with oral antibiotics.

Missy Update: She is getting along better with the boys. But we still are having to protect her. GrMaDuck thinks that she is getting used to her new place in the flock (not #1 or #2 anymore). The feathers that were so aggressively plucked out and now growing back in. She looks like a wild mess right now, but is happy and preening often to get oiled back up. She is also moving out of her depression and socializing a bit more. We are grateful that she knows she is special to MamaDuck and GrMaDuck. She is funny adventurous duck and we are very glad to see her happiness coming back.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

an update

We have had overcome a couple of flock issues.

Missy, our female Pekin, who used to be number one in the pecking order, was getting over breed and abused by the boys, in particular Beau.  Her feathers were being broken and plucked out more than just the normal breeding behavior.  She was too afraid to get in the pool because of this, and in the process got "wet feather".  MamaDuck brought her inside last week and gave her a special warm bath and some extra love.  MamaDuck also did a "duck charge" (wings out, head forward, run forward toward the offender) saying no loudly and firmly, when Missy was being abused.   MamaDuck only needed to do this a few times and the flock seems to be getting back into balance.  Also her feathers are getting better too, since she has been given extra time to get clean away from the flock and outside of the muddy aviary.  
Missy getting her warm special bath and loving it!
This issue reinforces how important it is for the human duck parents/guardians to stay a loving protective and yet firm and in control part of the flock.  We have worked very hard to keep MamaDuck #1 and GrMaDuck #2 in the flock.  Because of this relationship we believe that the power issue could have gotten way out of hand.  Please note that we didn't intervene in the pecking order under us too much.  We know this is something that they need to work out.  Missy still remains at the bottom of the pecking order now, but she the relationships are better and she seems less depressed and more a happy part of the flock.

The other issue we have is that Keelyn got "sticky eye" again, and once again scratched her eye until bloody, which quickly got infected.  So we were back to washing out her eye and putting the eye ointment in it again.  Keelyn's eye is not 100% back to health yet, but is looking good.  GrMaDuck suspects this may be a reoccuring issue for her. 
GrMaDuck took them on a field trip out of the pen today. 
Below are a few pictures.

yummy yummy greens

ducks in a row

Here are a couple of phone quality videos clips
of our duckies field trip.

The first one is trying to catch them walking in a row.