So Easter morning when I got up and let everyone out of their respective bedrooms, I noticed Claire wasn’t hopping around as much as she usually does when I walk in the cage. Usually she charges at me like I’m a walking carrot, but this time I barely rated a second glance. Figuring she was just tired, I wasn’t too worried. When I came back in the early evening, she looked remarkably thinner, and when I took a closer look at the front of her nesting box, I saw why. We have baby bunnies!!!!! I initially counted two, but when Gene got back from his trip and took a look today, he counted seven. Seven! When I called him on Easter he was still on his road trip, and he failed to see the humor when I loudly and excitedly announced, “Guess who’s going to be a papa???” Apparently “Harvey” wasn’t his first guess. Claire’s babies, which are actually called kits, are the cutest things ever, aside perhaps from the ducklings. They don’t like to be disturbed, and when Gene held one it hopped around like it was spring loaded, even though its eyes aren’t open yet. I can’t wait till they grow their fluff!
Speaking of growing fluff, the ducklings have morphed from cute bathtub toys into full-fledged gawky adolescence. They’re huge, especially the Pekins. They are half downy fluff, half feathers, and have the appetite of a teenage boy. I have to fill their feeder twice a day, at least, and each time I refill it they eat like they’ve never seen food before. The rescue ducks are the same way – they recognize the pink feed pails, and whenever I walk into their pasture with one, they follow me in a squawking line. As soon as I start walking away from the filled feeder, the quacking shuts off like a switch, and all I hear is gobbling. I am getting between two and four duck eggs a day, which brings the grand total up to almost two dozen so far. I have to admit I haven’t tried one yet… I want to find the perfect recipe for making my first duck egg ever. It’s a momentous occasion.
Puff Daddy is still recuperating, although I decided it gets too warm in the bathroom for him, so I moved his hospital box into the garage. He seems to like it better out there, and I think he is comforted by the sounds emanating from the brooding complex. Abigail built a playpen area for him outside, and when the weather is nice I’ll set him there so he can sit on the grass and eat bugs. He’ll spend all day gazing contentedly through the bars, snapping the occasional fly out of the air. I’m beginning to think his leg is fine, and he just enjoys all the pampering and private buffets. The other chickens occasionally wander over to visit him, which is good because they’ll remember him when it finally comes time to reintroduce him into the flock. Although at the rate we’re going, I think I might just buy him a chicken diaper and pronounce him a house rooster. We all know it’s coming.
In perhaps the most surprising news of the entire decade, Gene said I could get a piglet to raise! Of course, he made it a conditional offer, and said he would only let me get one if I agreed to raise it until it’s big enough to butcher. I told him I agreed with the first part, but objected to the second, so he told me I need to decide if I love pet pigs as much as I love bacon. I’m still pondering. One of the feed stores near us raises pigs for meat, and they get HUGE. And their stank grows proportionately to their size, so I don’t know if I would have a problem with the butchering process. Of course, I said the same thing about the turkeys, and look how that turned out.