Tag Archives: Carmen

Daily Drama 39 | The Roundup

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Daily Drama 39 | The Roundup

Today I rounded up all the bad boys and set up the bully pen. At a certain point, Norman the goose takes his job much too seriously and works the graveyard shift, too. When I can hear his supervising honks all night long, it is time for action.

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Outside the pond, L to R Vinny, Sal, Romeo, and Cubicle. In the pond clockwise starting with Norman the Goose, Boxcar, Boondock, Emilio, and Tony at the center.

Here are a couple photos of better times, AKA fall and winter. Most of the fighting is a springtime affair, but it takes a while for everyone to kiss and make up. Norman is the big gander with the black bill. Cubicle is the smaller goose with the orange bill. Shamrock, a tall gray runner duck, is in love with Cubicle, but she doesn’t take him seriously, so Norman is okay with it.

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Around the corn, happily eating together are Vinny, Fabio, Tony, Emilio, Shamrock, and Boxcar. That’s brown muscovy duck Winky behind them near the lawn. On the grass are Norman and Cubicle, Boondock, and Sal. This photo is from last November, and nobody is fighting. Oh, photobomb by the capybara and a couple mallards in flight from the roof.

My oldest drake, Fabio, is about 9 years old. The head pouf he was named for has long gone, along with his curly drake feather. He limps around pretty well, but he’s lowest on the totem pole. Two of the Rouens (fat mallard-colored drakes), Boxcar and Boondock are very protective of him. Tony, a mostly-black duck who came here from Pasado’s Safe Haven with Vinny and Sal, despises Fabio. Tony attacks Fabio when Boxcar and Boondock let down their guard.

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Sal, the tree duck.

However, Tony is the primary protector of Sal. For some reason, my third Rouen, Emilio, despises Sal. So, Sal has become a tree duck, fiercely defended by Vinny and Tony. I have arranged a feeding station up there for them. Lately, though, Norman gets up there and helps himself to lunch when he’s in the neighborhood. Nobody messes with Norman. Except Romeo, my muscovy drake. He nearly put out Norman’s eye one spring, but for some reason, Romeo hasn’t tried to kill him this year. I suspect the muscovy ducks, Winky (disliked by ALL the poultry) and Carmen (loved by all), are keeping him busy. 

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Emilio has been a prince about getting penned with the cats every evening. Or maybe I am an exceptionally experienced Duck-herd.

With Sal in his tree, and Emilio locked in the cat pen at night, it has been quieter. We have passed the summer solstice, and they will slowly quit fighting on their own, but to accelerate the process, I have separated the four worse offenders into the bully pen. This should break the bond between the aggressors and the under dogs more quickly than if I allow the aggression to continue. I’m also concerned about poor Sal and Fabio, for whom life has not been lovely this summer. I’ll continue to watch for bullying- often one of the others will rise to alpha with the bullies gone- but it should settle everyone down pretty quickly. Last year, I had to separate them much earlier and for much longer, so believe it or not, this is quite an improvement!

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Sir Poopsalot, gatekeeper to the Bully Pen.

Welcome to the bully pen, Emilio, Tony, Romeo, and even Shamrock, who doesn’t pick on anyone in particular. He’s just a jerk.

Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Daily Drama 32 – Winky, the Wild Wayward Wanderer

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Daily Drama 32 – Winky, the Wild Wayward Wanderer

Meet Winky the duck. She is a born hatched troublemaker.

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“Hello, can I get some help here? The swimming pool seems to be frozen.”

Winky is a Muscovy duck. Muscovies are commonly found in warmer climates, like South America or Florida. Except that she is a domestic duck, not a wild duck. And much less able to tolerate the low temperatures that Mallard-derived domestic ducks are bred for.

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When Winky’s feathers get wet, she swims like a fully laden cargo ship.

The most recent incoming duck is a new Muscovy hen, Carmen Miranda. Carmen is a very poised and attractive young duck and has been popular with the flock because her manners are so lovely.

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Norman is already very protective of Carmen, and is still wary of Winky.

Winky has been hell on wheels since she was hatched here at The Funny Farm. We don’t breed here, but Muscovy nests are deep. This time, I failed to locate one of the subterranean eggs, so Winky’s mom, Cocoa, was sitting on a dozen golf balls and one duck egg.

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Cocoa on her nest before Winky exploded upon the scene.

Poor Winky, her Mom was horrified when a duckling emerged from the pile of toasty warm golf balls. Sometimes, a duckling will be taken in by a hen, but not this time. Even Winky’s two auntie ducks rejected her.

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Winky came into the kitchen.

Winky was strong and hungry and grew quickly.

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Baby Winky

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Winky, so innocent

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Winky moved to the (Dobby) bathtub and even took over Dobby’s potty bowl.

It is kind of fun having a duck in the house, and for a while I thought it would be fun to raise her indoors as a companion for Dobby.

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She has always been bold.

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She LOOKS like a good “house-duck” type.

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Winky took over Dobby’s area when he went out for the night. She loved his white rabbit rugs, too!

Dobby loved sharing his milk with her and loved having a little pet. But one day she pecked his eye. I was so stunned — and so was he! —  that she pecked it twice before I yanked her out of there!

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Pouffy about Winky

Winky moved outdoors but she was so aggressive I had to pen her up when the other ducks were in the yard. Adult ducks are usually fairly tolerant of ducklings, but she was really obnoxious. She would run around harassing the flock, and I was afraid they would hurt her.

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Yes, she is in this cage to protect those huge ducks!

She grew up big and strong, and the duck population here has learned to tolerate Winky. She is still very feisty, though, and everyone pretty much avoids her, even Romeo, my Muscovy drake. In fact, the tomcats even steer clear of her. Norman the Goose is agitated at dusk if his flock doesn’t return to the aviary. He paces until they follow him in. Norman ignores Winky, though. She is always the last to return to the aviary at dusk: If Winky has returned to roost, I know everyone else is there.

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Winky grooming last winter in the snow

This year has had a lot of unpleasant freezing temperatures, and none of the ducks like it. The grass is gone, the worms are hibernating deep down, the ground is frozen most of the time. The distant sun isn’t up long enough to thaw it.

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“Excuse me, but my pond is frozen.”

The last straw seems to have been the addition of the new duck, sweet Carmen Miranda. Compared to Carmen’s nice manners and flirtatious crest flaring, it is clear why rambunctious loner Winky is less tolerated by the flock. Frankly, I don’t think she cares.

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Winky, left                    Carmen Miranda, right

I take full responsibility for what happened next, for I clipped Carmen’s wings when she arrived. I did not clip Winky, who had shown little inclination to fly or flee. Friday, as I stood in the back yard, the sky was momentarily darkened as a gigantic brown bird flew overhead. Dang. Winky had flown from the rooftop of the house to my west (when had she flown up there?) clean over the top of my house and beyond. I ran to the front yard, but she had flown next door, to the pond Dobby is so fond of gazing at.

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Saturday

She had a lovely day out there with her Mallard friends, and then they flew away at dusk, leaving her alone and vulnerable. I know this pond, I know this duck, and chances of catching here were slim. Most likely, she would fly further away from home, and this way I could watch out for her.

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Where is that undo button? Why didn’t I clip her wings? Same reason why her egg hatched.

I’m looking through the fence at her here, from Dobby’s favorite pond gazing spot. There are ten acres next door, about half is wetlands, creeks, and this spring fed pond.

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Sunday

Monday morning, she was in my back yard, waiting outside the gate to be let back into the aviary. As predicted. I clipped her wings, and she scurried away to check out her favorite dabbling plots, and to raise a little hell with the resident ducks, hens, geese, and cats.

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Winky runs away as Romeo watches.

We’re all lucky that raccoons or coyotes didn’t get her. Her mother and two aunties all flew off the same way and returned, so I had some confidence she would be okay for a day or two. And that she would eventually get hungry and come home. It’s not going to happen again, though. I’m going to keep her clipped!