Tag Archives: Winky

Daily Drama 40

Standard
Daily Drama 40

‘Tis the season, and the origin of the term “pecking order” is in full Demo mode. I now have six drakes in the bully pen and only three drakes remain in the common yard with the geese. Emilio is the worst and picks on Vinny and Sal (V&S). Tony can protect them against Boxcar and Boondock (B&B), but not Emilio. Tony picks on poor old Fabio. When I put Tony away, B&B relentlessly chase V&S up onto a brushpile supported by a stump.

IMG_5128_w

The brushpile also conceals illicit activity of a more devious variety: Carmen Miranda is sitting on a nest. I yank a couple eggs every time I see her off the nest. The last thing I need is more Muscovies.

Shamrock is in the bully pen because he is a jerk. He joins in every fracas and encourages any kind of aggression, like a puny feathered cheerleader. Plus he follows Cubicle, my female goose, around everywhere, which annoys the heck out of Norman. Romeo, the gigantic Muscovy drake is in time out because he is after my hens. I think earlier this spring he actually murdered my older hen, Penguin, but no one’s talking.

IMG_5111_w

Shamrock the Terrible

They behave themselves in the garden. I’ve been letting Romeo out for a couple hours in the afternoon, mostly to give the rest of the bullies a break.

IMG_5105_w

Cubicle, Romeo, and Madonna. You can see that Romeo has got his eye on the hen.

It’s much quieter in the aviary with everyone locked up. Norman still takes his job as flock manager very seriously. There’s not much to manage, though.

IMG_5067_w

Norman on patrol, Cubicle swimming. Grover at the fence, Kitty Hawk hanging back, Winky blending in behind.

Vinny and Sal are still shy about venturing beyond their brushpile, and they won’t go out to the yard with the hens. Once their confidence is restored in the aviary common yard, I’ll let the bullies back out, one at a time. Maybe.

IMG_5142_w

Sal and Vinny, checking out the pond. Jello the hen in the distant yard. And that’s Norman’s neck and head, mid-photo.

Dang it. Time to lock up Romeo. He’s huge, but surprisingly easy to grab. Muscovies have really sharp toenails, so it’s all about technique.

IMG_5144_w

Sal averts his eyes as Romeo attacks Madonna the hen.

This is when I threw down the camera and made things right. Darn you, Romeo!

IMG_5164_w

Romeo, professional thug

It‘s really no surprise that the meekest of the ducks are shy about reclaiming their territory. Old Fabio, named for his head pouf, has been here since late 2006. He’s at least nine years old, and walks like your grandpa. His head pouf disappeared about when he lost his curly drake feather. He’s always been scared to death of me, and now that the six ducks he came in with are gone, he’s kind of lonely. B&B are very protective of him, but they attack V&S so they are locked up. For now, Norman looks after him.

IMG_5168_w

Fabio, Vinny, and Sal hanging out near their friends in the bully pen, just out of the photo, stage left.

The other drama queen is Lula, my poor little hen. We aren’t certain what her problem is, but it has been going on now since spring 2014. She’s on Metacam daily, and while she walks like your grandma, she is walking again. She has a hard time getting up to her roost at night, so I have been helping her up if she asks politely. Tonight she did. Other times I discover her up there already.

IMG_5160_w

Lurking Lula

One problem is that we can’t eat her eggs because of the Metacam (meloxicam). She is a very sweet hen, and comes over to get her medicine when I call her.

IMG_5121_w

“Don’t eat my egg!”

So I went back inside for the evening and I think I’m through dealing with bullies. But, NO! Here is tiny Spike the Budgie, terrorizing The Pirate, my handicapped dove. She put up with his pacing and haranguing, and then she suddenly lunged at him! He took off, flew to the kitchen via the dining room, landed right in his own cage! Nice flying, Spike!

20150711_213932_w

“BACK OFF, puny green thing!”

Advertisements

Daily Drama 39 | The Roundup

Standard
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.

2014-11-16 08.56.22_w

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.

2014-11-17 15.01.42_w

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.

2015-04-27 09.29.34_w

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. 

20150619_194210_w

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!

2014-12-25 16.27.06_w

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 — Dobby Style!

Standard

Dobby the Capybara has been asking for it- so I let him write another blog. I told him he had to write a little bit about the Funny Farm and he protested, but finally agreed to write a bit about the ducks. Sure saved me some time! Here’s what he wrote:


Let’s take a walk out to the aviary.

2015-04-20 19.27.51_w

Lula the hen, and Winky the Muscovy duck share a nest.

Look at these silly girls! They are sitting on . . . a nest. No eggs, just a nest. Lula gets hauled out of there to get her medicine every day and Winky complains about nothing. Personally, I think they are just lazy.

2015-05-15 10.03.38_w

Carmen examines the plank blocking her cave.

Our other Muscovy duck, Carmen Miranda, has laid eggs in several places so far, but her newest place is UNDERNEATH this old storage unit, in a hole. She can get way under there, which makes it hard to know if she’s even there. Does she think she’s a badger? I bet she’ll have that wood dragged away from her entrance by this afternoon.

2015-04-27 09.29.34_w

Sal, the Tree Duck

Every year our drakes bully each other. We usually have to separate them, but this year, Sal is trying out a new strategy. This is a brush pile over an old stump, and he perches up there. Vinny and Tony hang out up there, too and the other ducks don’t bother them.

Old Fabio (he’s 9) gets bullied but he has two buddies who stand up for him. They have claimed the bully pen area and everybody leaves them alone. Romeo the Muscovy Drake doesn’t seem to be as dedicated to murdering Norman the goose this season, and everything is fairly orderly out there this year.

2015-04-30 17.01.06_w

Penguin is the black one.

This is our very sad story. Our oldest hen, Penguin, was found dead at the first of the month. This photo was taken the day before, and she looks fabulous, doesn’t she? She had a slow winter but had been laying eggs, so we suspect Fowl Play, but it really doesn’t matter, now. She was a good hen. Now we are left with Lula the sick one, Jello the naughty one, and Madonna the intellectually challenged one.

2015-05-03 16.44.11_w

Momma Mallard with ducklings

The ducklings have dispersed but we still see this little group. The six are now five, but they are fat and happy.


And that’s what he wrote about the Funny Farm. Personally, I think he should have been more respectful of his friend, Penguin the hen. She was nearly as old as Dobby, and I know he was especially fond of her.

The big news wasn’t really about the Funny Farm at all. Dobby has every right to be proud, though, because he made the cover of Guinea Pig Magazine! An exceptionally fine publication, he was featured in a magnificent six page section of the magazine! You can order your very own copy of the magazine – or subscribe! – here!

IMG_4792

That’s little Dobby at the bottom left corner.

If you want to read Dobby’s blog, here is the link:

http://petcapybara.com/2015/05/15/my-magazine-debut/

Daily Drama 33

Standard
Daily Drama 33

The biggest thing going on around here is Georgia Dee’s Gift Shop. I inherited my Mom’s jewelry inventory and after a decade of hoarding it, I realized there are some pieces I have never worn. I keep hauling out shoeboxes and finding more nice items. Check out the gift shop before all the good stuff is gone and I start uploading my ashtray collection. All proceeds benefit The Funny Farm.

IMG_3106_w

Next door to the Gift Shop, my volunteer, Jillian is helping me track the weight of The Dudes.

IMG_3048_w

First, you have to grab one.

IMG_3049_w

It’s harder than it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian has long arms, so she can reach them easier than I can. Plus, I have to take the photos!

IMG_3051_w

She got Carl and we weighed him.

IMG_3053_w

The pigloos are full of guinea pigs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you notice the new wall hangings? I just have soft things hanging over their cage. Earthquakes, you know.

IMG_3054_w

This should be easy.

IMG_3052_w

Fred has decided not to be weighed today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She really did get Fred, I was just teasing. He is fast, though!

IMG_3055_w

Fine, we’ll get Stevie Ray.

IMG_3058_w

Putting them back is easy.

The other indoor project is the New Cages For The Kitchen project. Now that I have two handicapped doves indoors, I need a larger cage. That’s the doves on the left in red and green cages.

IMG_3183_w

BEFORE

The new cage is big and fits perfectly into the same space. Pirate can’t walk or land, so she has a couple hammocks and some wide ledges. Luna can’t fly, so she has ramps up to the ledges so she can go UP, where a bird belongs. They have only been in the cage a couple days but are adjusting quickly.

I have a new cage for the right side, too. I will divide it horizontally so my elderly cockatiels can have the top. Jorge is old and feeble and I have seen him fall once. It’s time to reduce the altitude in his cage. AND, they won’t be able to see the annoying little budgie, Spike, who will have the basement apartment. (Note the white curtain that hangs between Spike and the doves.) Because it is horizontal, he will actually be able to fly across the cage. If he behaves and I don’t have to keep clipping his wings. There’s one in every crowd isn’t there? The new cage will also mean that the pink Dobby-chewed fabric that is so tatty looking will go away.

IMG_3209_w

AFTER

Luna the dove saw the vet today because her bad wing is giving her problems. Even an x-ray won’t show us exactly what is going on, and surgery is dangerous and expensive. She is not in any pain, so it’s a wait-and-see situation. She loves the ramps in her new cage, and the two girls love sharing a cage. They are also uncaged every night, as they all are, and as long as Spike spends the evening with me, away from the rest of them, everybody is happy. He’s such a bully.

2015-01-28 11.44.51_w

Lula is in the infirmary.

The vet also saw Lula. Her symptoms are vague but she is slowly pulling out of this round of the blahs. She’s been up and down with this business since about May, and sometimes she’s just perfectly fine, laying eggs and all.

2015-01-28 11.45.01_w

Wait a minute! Who is that in the infirmary with her? KITTY HAWK!

We’re going to see if Metacam will help her.

2015-01-28 11.45.34_w

GROVER! You’re in there, too? Well, she isn’t lonely, anyway.

Here’s little Carmen Miranda. She is always right by my side and so is the first to discover the worms under Dobby’s hot tub.

2015-01-28 15.37.06_w

Worm soup.

Romeo prefers Dobby’s swimming pool.

2015-01-28 15.38.12_w

Stand back! That’s cold water!

After I take the photos, the Muscovies are inspired to groom. They are supposed to do that BEFORE the photo shoot.

IMG_3247_w

Romeo

IMG_3250_w

Carmen Miranda

Don’t I have three Muscovies? WINKY! Dang it! Where is she? Sorry, gotta go!

Daily Drama 32 – Winky, the Wild Wayward Wanderer

Standard
Daily Drama 32 – Winky, the Wild Wayward Wanderer

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

2014-02-06 16.21.07_w

“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.

2014-02-09 15.57.08_w

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.

2014-12-25 15.01.22_w

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.

P1200500_w

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.

P1200626_w

Winky came into the kitchen.

Winky was strong and hungry and grew quickly.

P1200635_w

Baby Winky

P1200640_w

Winky, so innocent

P1200730_w

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.

P1200734_w

She has always been bold.

P1200748_w

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

P1200803_w

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!

P1200785_w

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.

P1200843_w

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.

2014-02-09 16.53.28_w

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.

2014-02-06 15.57.55_w

“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.

2014-12-25 15.01.30_w

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.

2015-01-04 08.44.49_w

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.

2014-12-25 16.19.43_w

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.

2015-01-04 08.44.24_w

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.

2015-01-05 10.39.37_w

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!