Happy New Year!
Whoops…Am I a month late?
Well, that’s me! A day late and a dollar short!
Let’s say January didn’t count and start over with February, shall we?!
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Where Have I Been, You Ask?
Well, my friends, if you remember waaay back to last April, I was “revamping ” the blog!
What I actually did was lock myself and everyone OUT of the blog…
By increasing my security, I accidentally locked us all out…Sorrry!
And then I gave up…
Because the blog is expensive and time-consuming to maintain.
Especially for a nontech-savvy person like me.
I am creature-savvy! Not tech-savvy!
I’m more feathers and fur than SEO and Widgets.
What is a Super Cache anyways??
When I first broke the blog, I thought “Good riddance!” I was burnt out.
But then as time went on, I missed it! I missed writing; I missed creating; I missed educating; I missed YOU!
So I swallowed my pride and called I.T.
(Actually I chatted with I.T. via instant messenger on my computer! Nifty when you don’t like talking to people…)
And they fixed my problem in under 7 minutes…
I could have fixed the blog MONTHS ago, in under 7 minutes…
Goes to show what procrastinating can do.
I was both MAD and ELATED!
Mad that I had dreaded fixing an IT problem for months when it would have only taken 7 minutes, but elated that my blog was back!!
So Here We Are Again!
But enough about me, right?
You wanna know about the ducks!
And maybe the other critters too?
Here’s What You Missed In 2019:
** It’s hard work being a Sparkle!**
We adopted Sparkles in February! (Exactly one year ago today!!)
And we just celebrated her 13th birthday last month!
Sparkles came to us as a 20 lb cat!
With a proper diet, expertly calculated calories, and an exercise plan implemented by Vader (aka, playfully chasing her through the house), she has lost 2.5 lbs in one year!
We are so proud of her weight loss.
Don’t worry Sparkles, no one likes to look at the number on the scale!
She was a wonderful addition to our home and she puts a smile on our faces every day!
However, we also had some health issues with her that popped up like roadblocks throughout the year.
First, she was on antibiotics for a cough but recovered quickly!
Then she had an anal gland abscess (don’t ask, don’t google it) (Aka – a hole in the booty). But she healed beautifully!
And then she developed a GI ulcer from eating the Christmas tree…Merry Christmas to us!
Thank God I’m a Vet Tech! And have wonderful veterinarians!
But it is a new year! No more health issues Miss Sparkles! I mean it!
(P.S. we will not be getting a Christmas tree this year in case you were wondering!!)
Be on the lookout for Sparkles’ formal introductory blog post coming soon to the Cozy Cat Corner.
Aka Sir Nicholas
Aka Boo Bear
Aka Mr. Destructor
Aka Pain in my Booty…
They say eyes are like windows into the soul…can you see his devious spirit??
Have you ever owned a rabbit?
Like IN your house, not outside in a cage?
They are adorable, full of personality, and loving!
But high maintenance and destructive!!!
Wooo doggies has he been a handful since he came to us in June!
I never really planned to own a rabbit after reading the hilarious but daunting stories about rabbit ownership in one of my favorite books, “Enslaved By Ducks.”
But I suppose every pet comes with its own set of challenges and rewards!
More on his cute butt coming soon to the “Rabbit Hole” category of the blog!
We fell down the rabbit hole, so you must too!
P.S. you can find more information on all our new additions and the old familiar faces on our Meet the Flock page.
No, bumblefoot is not the name of a new animal.
That would be a terrible name…
Bumblefoot is a nasty medical condition.
A real thorn in my side! (or foot, really…)
As defined by Google, it is a bacterial infection and inflammatory reaction of the feet.
The red circle shows an example of icky bumblefoot and Willow models the bootie she wore during treatment. She is very embarrassed that I showed you her gross foot!!
Maybe someday soon I will write a blog post on bumblefoot and tell you more.
But right now, I don’t feel qualified to write on the subject because I feel like I failed in treating it.
Five out of seven of my ducks developed bumblefoot last year.
Three needed major treatment, two needed minor treatment, and one did not survive.
Rest in Peace Winnie
My sweet, sweet, Winnie.
We lost her in June 2019 to complications from bumblefoot.
She was known for her independence, her beauty, and her unique happy dance.
I wanted to honor her in my 2019 review but I don’t want to make us all sad today. So if you would like to read more about my girl, you can read her story on the memorial page.
Duck Pen Renovation
The loss of my sweet Winnie and the bumblefoot epidemic called for some changes.
The ducks have eaten all the grass in their enclosure.
And they will not allow any more grass to grow.
They eat it before it even has a chance.
As a result, the ground in their pen is barren and the soil gets washed away with each rain, exposing little rocks.
The ducks then get minor scrapes on their feet from said rocks.
Then bacteria living in the soil get into the minor cuts of their feet, causing infection.
Ducks do not have a great blood supply to the feet, so infection is difficult to fight there, even with antibiotics.
And that’s how you get bumblefoot. And that’s why it’s hard to treat.
So prevention is key!
How do you prevent it?
Keep them from cutting their feet!
This is why allowing ducks to free-ranging on grass is ideal. The grass is a soft cushion/barrier and they are less likely to injure their delicate feet.
But I cannot safely free-range my ducks. There are too many hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and stray dogs around.
So we made the best of a bad situation and renovated the duck pen to increase “foot safety.”
1.Fenced off areas at the top of the pen and planted clover to decrease soil erosion from rain.
2. Laid down outdoor mats to cover the ground and sharp rocks.
We also replaced our ripped aviary netting with a wire roof. This has helped us in MANY ways!
1.Decreased feed costs by keeping the squirrels out!
2. Increased safety of the ducks by keeping the raccoons out!
3. Prevented pests such as snakes and mice from entering the coop!
And we planted some sunflowers and a small bush to add shade and beauty during the hot summer months! Just for funsies!
What Else Did You Miss In 2019?
We visited IRELAND!
Unfortunately, our animals could not travel with us, but we had an amazing pet sitter caring for them in our absence.
We had the pleasure to explore the mid-lands of Kilmalady, Tullamore, and Kilkenny.
I kissed the Blarney Stone for the gift of eloquence and we took a quick tour of the most haunted castle of Ireland.
We drove the Dingle Peninsula and went on a night kayak on Lough Hyne, a marine lake, to see the bioluminescent plankton.
I also looked a golden eagle right in the eye as she sat upon my arm and I happily stroked some grumpy-faced owls.
We had some of the best seafood and graciously took shelter from hurricane Lorenzo next to a fireplace inside a castle in Galway.
I exchanged many a euro at road tolls, pinched my butt cheeks together on every single narrow Ireland road, and climbed atop a rocky western shore.
The people we met and the experiences we had will stay with me for a lifetime!
I now want to move to Ireland but my hubby vetoed me. So I guess I’m here with you guys for a bit longer.
Coming In 2020
I can’t top visiting Ireland, but I do have some exciting plans for this year!
- Monthly Newsletters are back! Not signed up? Click here! – I tell you a secret each month and share bonus content!
- A new category called “The Rabbit Hole” is coming soon! Bunny tips are just around the bend!
- And we will be on Etsy shortly!! Find the strange and wonderful It’s a Hard Duck Life products and creations for sale! Launching by March!!