Duck defrost

Patti had warned me that Muscovy ducks might not be the brightest of the animal kingdom.

The temperatures plunged this weekend, with highs in the low single digits and windchills at 20 below. When I went out to feed and water the ducks and chickens this morning, I had my usual 10 ducks plus the one little brown hen with the speckly white chest that’s been hanging out on the creek with New Drake. But no New Drake, and I figured he was a goner after last night’s bitter cold.

I went back out at noon with more hot water and there in the shed with the rest of the ducks was New Drake, looking like a big ducksicle. Clumps of ice covered his entire body, making it hard for him to even move. There was an especially big clump covering the top of his tail feathers.

So I grabbed him and carried him back to the house, tucked under my arm, careful to keep his wings pinned against his body. The garage attached to the house has a heated floor and we keep it about 45 degrees in there. I figured it would be warm enough to defrost him.

As soon as I got him in there he started picking at the ice on his back and wings, preening and grooming himself. And pooping all over my garage floor. Oh well. Every once in a while he would stretch up and spread his wings, flinging bits of ice around.

It took about 6 hours, but he finally got defrosted and dried off. I took him back to the shed with the other ducks and shut them all in for the night. Hopefully New Drake will stay put until spring.

And I thought this was supposed to be the “quiet” time of the year!

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6 Responses to Duck defrost

  1. Patti says:

    Poor Quackers. He was raised by a chicken so he is even less bright than most Muscovys who, unfortunatly ,think they are still in the warm part of South America.I have read of Muscovys actually being trapped in freezing lakes because they didnt’ have the instincs of water fowl. Ya’ll can see Quackers baby pics and read about his sad upbringing here. http://www.homesteadblogger.com/gardengate2/21306/Aunty+Chicken.html

  2. Patti says:

    oops the site didn’t post.It is on my blog under archives july 2006 Aunty Chicken

  3. Duck-sicle . . . funny! “She can leap tall straw bales in a single bound, she’s Super Farmer Chick! Saving barnyard chickens and water fowl from certain demise, Super Farmer Chick lives under the disguise of a computer software programmer.”

  4. Patti, I’d forgotten his name was Quackers! We just call him New Drake…as opposed to the old drake. Because we are mighty original.Lisa – I am maybe way too clutzy to be leaping anything.

  5. karl says:

    that was a funny story. too bad it was at quackers expense.

  6. Jana B says:

    Wow… no… definately NOT the brightest animal alive! But cute as a little ducksicle!!!!!!!! lol