When you got it ; flaunt it, as the old saying goes. And boy does Batman ever know how to flaunt it!! You could say that when Batman does something, he does it gooood and he’s got the goods to prove it!
You might recall, it was just this spring, when I began my blog. The goal is to share the simple, good life and smiles found here in the Heart of the BottomsUp 2/3 Acre. It was shortly after beginning this, we had decided to add to our little homestead. The volunteer was 1 drake (male) Muscovy duck. The famous Batman. Thus, making our homestead complete of dogs, cats, chickens, roosters, 3 hen ducks and 1 drake. Looking back you’ll remember that Batman’s arrival made such an impression that he inspired one of the first stories I put out. Since then, this character has beaten the rose for getting the human race to ‘stop and smell the…. oh what is THAT !?’ “That’s Batman! He’s a Muscovy duck, and he is a very proud one at that!”
Muscovies are ducks, but the only things that tell you that, are there bills and webbed feet. Other than that, everything else is different. These birds don’t quack! The loudest noise they make is a hiss. It really is quite hilarious to see the three girls and Batman stand in a circle, stretching their heads in and out, toward each other hissing, while simultaneously wagging their tails! Whatever they talk about all the time, sure must be exciting!
Other differences between the Muscovy ducks and all other ducks are the fact that Muscovies don’t really fly. Oh sure, they have wings and do take flight, but only about as far as a chicken. Other than that, they are home-bodies. The other difference, is the time of sitting on a nest of eggs. Unlike regular ducks who sit on a nest of eggs for 28 days, Muscovy ducks will sit for 35 days.
Okay, ‘all about Muscovy’ lesson is now history. And you are a little smarter than 2 minutes ago ;P which puts you ahead of me, when I got into bringing ducks home! You see, I thought dogs are dogs, cats are cats and ducks are ducks. I didn’t account for ducks having one breed that is only similar in two things (bills & feet)!
We quickly learned that ducks can not step up, so hubby had to build a small ramp for the waddlers to be able to get in and out of their side of the barn. They could before, but we noticed that it was a major work-out for them. And the fact that they don’t waddle around quacking only drew up the conclusion that we won’t have a Duffy duck. Which is totally aces in my books. Instead, we ended up with Pepe’ Le Pew character named Batman. If you don’t know what I mean by this, stop right here! Go read the first story about Batman and see what I’m talking about. This here story is the sequel to his beginnings.
Now I don’t know the origin of the Muscovy ducks, but I can tell you they did not start in Moscow. They were introduced there in 1500-1600’s by traders. But, if I where to take a guess by Batman’s character, I would have to say he’s from Venice, Italy. You know the Grand Canal, where all the gondoliers can still be found for tourists and in our duck’s romantic fantasies. My guess is that Batman was born there and studied there for his bachelor’s degree! Which he accomplished at a young age 😉
After Batman arrived here and laid his claim to our three girls, you could often find them in their yard chasing flies and bugs or being chased (still) by the duck of all ducks! In rare moments you would find Batman the center of attention being the King of gossip and you could easily imagine him singing the song by Toby Keith, “I Wanna Talk About Me”. Thankfully, he’s not loud, just very animated.
So what do you suppose this Pepe’ Le Pew cross Toby Keith’s song of a duck brought to the BottomsUp 2/3 Acre? Well let’s put it this way, other than his character and some great stories to pass down, I guess you could say…’someone else’ thought that Batman was as good as he claims. The proof is was in the nest.
It started one morning when I decided to just leave the eggs there and see what happens. I just couldn’t keep up with using all the duck eggs and I was tired of baking. (yes, duck eggs are fantastic for baking and freezing for future baking). So naturally the eggs started collecting in a nest and daily routines of farm chores continued. Then one morning while opening the up and releasing all the fowl of the farm, I noticed a girl missing! A brief search found her on the nest and hissing at my presence. It wasn’t that kind of gossip, hissing talk either. It was more like ‘Lady, just what do you think you’re doing here! Can’t you see this is my circumference zone? Now back off before I call you know who!’
Now I know you’re laughing at that, but a quick look around revealed ‘you know who’ watching me closely. I ran into the house with the announcement that ‘we have a girl gone broody on a nest’. I followed this up with, ‘does anybody have any idea how many eggs she sitt’n on’?
Oh boy! Nobody had a clue of how many eggs where under that duck. All we knew is that there is a whole whack of them. I guess in 35 days we’ll know.
Two weeks later, I’m out do’n my morning chores and noticing that it’s staying darker longer… finally. Those summer mornings tend to really get to me. Five o’clock is just too early! But, I guess it’s a small price to pay to raise roosters for winter dinners 😉 With the days shortening, the early mornings are now numbered til’ that racket dwindles down to 2 roos. But for now, I drag my ol’ wide load out to feed and fatten them up. I released the farm fowl for the day. They fly out, they run, roll, and waddle their way out to the yard. I love watching this from the safety of behind the door. I may be tired, but I’m not tired of tending to the needs. Observing the flock with joy, checking the count of toddlers, and babies. Checking the bands on legs of those growing, and counting the heads of ducks…whaaa, wait a minute! Stop the press! There’s another girl missing! Oh boy! There she is, yep, on a nest! This could get interesting. We had better mark the calender.
So, I wonder just how good ducks incubate compared to chickens? I guess we’ll find out soon. What are we going to do with them?
For now, it’s back to the routines of summer. Yard work, weeding, swimming, farm chores, house chores. To sum it all up ~ Building a castle 😉 Get up early. Attack each morning as fast as I can waddle out. Open up the doors for our feathered friends to greet each day. Observe, check, watch and count each….ohhh no! You’ve got to be kidding me! Only Batman waddled out! And he’s looking kinda lost and lonely. All three girls are nesting!! Oh, we are going to be in trouble if all hatch unless we are blessed to know what to do with them all!
Is this normal!! In the chicken world, you are lucky to get 1 or 2 chickens to go broody. I never thought ducks would be any different. All three of them and pretty much at the same time! Life on the BottomsUp is going to get very interesting. (The under-statement of the year!)
Day in; day out and Batman just sits around outside moping. He’s totally lost without his girls. He has no one to play his suave charms on. No one to listen to his singing about himself. And no one to chase with all his heart, to share his ‘to sexy for his shirt’ feathers. Nope, Batman just sits there day after day, looking like just a duck. It’s really quite sad.
The calender’s days have been crossed off. Finally,the day has arrived. When I open the door, will there be any little yellow puff balls? Wait a minute are Muscovy babies even yelllow? I tell you, I was so excited to find out, that there was no waddling of my ol’ wideload out there. Nope, the inner beauty dug up a youthful kick that morning.
I grabbed all the feed buckets, fresh wood chips and cleaning tools (haha the poop stick) and off I go. Open the door, observe, check, watch and count each…what! nothing?! Aww bummer! So, I go in coop, a little slumped over (yes, I can mop dramatically too) to do the cleaning, and whoa! Hold the horses! There they are! The cutest little things I ever did see! Little Yellow puffs with bills as big as they are! They are the cutest, funniest, little creatures ever! Get up everybody! You gotta see this!
Batman came out with his head held high and strutted with pride and joy. His girl and 14 offspring where never far from him. Bubba quickly picked out his favorite to keep. Now if only I could get 13 other people to pick theirs. Haha, Yeah, high hopes 😉
I made a quick call to my parents to say my famous words “guess what I got!”. They never know what I’ll come up with. You just gotta keep parents on their toes or they might get bored. Well, this time they knew the answer, ‘ducks’ they said excitedly. But they had no idea how many, and laughed while asking the very question we are still pondering. ‘What are you going to do with 14 ducks!?’
Yep, you know it! Right on schedule the other two nests hatched. And the shouts rang out. Get up! You gotta come see this!! The ooo’s and awwws where endless. The head count impossible! And the Batman, well lets just say he’s no average duck! The characters I claimed he has, has nothing on him. He’s in a class by himself! He’s got it and he can flaunt it. He IS that GOOD!
It took a couple of days to actually get a head count. The total is: Batman, three for three equals 42! And what are we going to do with them all? Well….I guess what I can’t sell, well, I recently read Muscovy duck don’t taste like chicken, they taste like roastbeef…hmmm 😉
(C) Mammy Oaklee