duckmother's blog: Duckmother

Posted on Jul 10, 2011 1:19 PM

 I am an RN and a Master Gardener (plus, I have my own little gardening busin ess) but by far my most favorite job, I rehab ducks! My husband, Jeff, and I raise baby ducks (mostly American Wood Ducks) and release them back into the wild.  We have also rehabbed other waterfowl and adult waterfowl. We have on ocassion rehabbed birds...doves, robins, waxwings and woodpeckers.  This is how I got my name duckmother.  The most ducklings we have had at one time is 19!  Ducks do not know the difference between themselves and any other duck for the first 2 weeks  of their life, so we can put many kinds together.  However, after 2 weeks, they can tell and will try to beat-up or even kill a new comer.  So, when we had 19, luckily we were able to make them 3 familes and not 6 or 7 like there would have been later. They stay in the house for the first couple of weeks.  They have their own bathroom and bedroom.  I train them to a blanket as early as possbile and then I can leave the room (most of the time) without them following me.  After week 2, we take them out on the back deck for a few hours a day and show them their new kiddie pool.  Within time, we introduce them to the creek behind the house...which runs into a lake about 3 houses down...and they will eventually stay there all day.  They will slowly make their way to the lake but return at night.  Then they stop coming home.  We still go down to the lake and feed them.  They will hop out of the water and sit with us after eating but in a short time, they will no longer get out of the water.  During the winter, they will only migrate a few miles, so they return to the lake once in a while but in the spring, they will all return for a few weeks.  They will all answer when we call and will come over to us...to see if we have food!  After 2-3 years, they no longer a nwer our c alls but will still co  me towards us, looking for food.

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I love to work outside!  Our yard is mostly shade, so I have a lot of hostas. I also have many ferns, coleus and elephant ears.  Most of these plants do very well in the ground or in pots, so really all I have to do is feed and water them.  Since we have a creek in our backyard, I don't need a water feature but I bought one anyway about 12 years ago...it is still in the box! 

 

Being an RN, I work part time at a locel urology clinic and perform in-situ bladder cancer treatments for 15 doctors!  Sounds like a lot of work but I only work 2 days a week.  I have so much fun at work and the pateints are fantastic!

Other hobbies include; Fishing, Scuba Diving and Hypertufa (pot heads)



 

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Hi Kim~ by nap Jul 10, 2011 8:29 PM 5

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