Last night was the first night that the ducks spent outside in their duck house. For the last week we have been carrying them outside first thing in the morning and putting them in a wire pen in the yard. The duck house hadn’t been finished yet, so we had to keep bringing them inside at night to their baby-pool brooder. Even though they were only spending nights in their brooder for the last week, it was stinking up the house to high heaven. Even with the window in the brooding room open and the door closed, the stench of duck poop was filtering through the crack in the door and seriously offending my nostrils. Four week old ducks shit a lot.
Yesterday was the day the ducks turned 5 weeks old and there was no way I could take the smell anymore. So even though the duck house isn’t completely finished, I put them permanently outside for good last night. Even though I was glad, I was a nervous mess.Â Though I have taken great pains to make their house predator-proof, they still seemed so alone and defenseless outside all night. I was also nervous about the temperature. It was forecast to go down to 40 last night, so I decided to keep their heat light on in the duck house. At 5 weeks, they should be pretty comfortable down to 50, but they aren’t completely feathered yet, so I worry. I imagine that they will be fully feathered within 2 weeks, and then I’ll feel much better.
So I put the ducks in their house just as the sun was going down last night. Of course Arp was working late in the city, so I was all alone worrying about them. I fell asleep with the kids all right, but then I woke up around midnight and freaked out. I kept hearing small noises and worrying that a bear or a raccoon might be outside trying to murder my babies. Every little sound was driving me insane. Arp doesn’t get home ’til 1:30 or so, so I was up worrying for quite awhile. Finally, I forced myself to put on the fan for some white noise so that I could get back to sleep.
When Arp got home, he shook me awake to tell me that the ducks’ heat lamp was off. So he headed out to the duck house with a flashlight and key and found that the plug had somehow been shaken loose. So he re-attached it and came inside. That’s when he reminded me that just about that time (2 am) 2 years ago, everyone would have been leaving our house after our daughter was born. You see, yesterday was also J’s birthday. We had her at home 2 years ago. I suggested to Arp that if yesterday was going to progress as it did after J was born that he would be asleep and snoring in 5 minutes while I would be lying in bed awake all night. I can never seem to sleep the night after a birth, even while my husband and babies are sleeping beside me.
Luckily, I did eventually get to sleep last night. And the ducks were just fine inside their house. They seemed very happy when I opened up the doors this morning to feed and water them. In fact, they literally jumped out of their house to take in the sights of the morning. Now let’s see if I can survive night number two.