The 'critter count' here at NorthWapiti grew a little 10 days ago. Nope - no puppies, no chicks, no kittens - and we don't count bees. There are, by my calculations, 1.4 million of them here (no, I'm not kidding 24 hives of about 60,000 bees each) .... Our 'critter count' grew by THREE.
Meet - Parsley
Why ducks, you ask?
Well, our gorgeous piece of property in the Tawatinaw Valley, which we love dearly and has been more than ideal for us for the last 19 years, is just not suitable for sheep.
Being in a river valley, the ground is mostly sand with pines, lichen, and scrubby brush.
While we could clear out a corral, feed year round and haul the sheep somewhere to properly work them, that really is not fair to my husband, sheep and this lovely piece of land.
We looked pretty seriously at moving, but to be bluntly honest, dog bylaws in the province have gotten so out of control that to leave a place that we know is accepting and supportive of our dwindling, but still important to me, sled dogs would be insane.
So things were in limbo..... until Twig and I went out to do a sheep herding demo with some friends in a nearby town.
Gisela, another herding friend, was doing a demo with her border collies and ducks after our sheep demo. It was the first time I had actually watched dogs working ducks. It got gears really turning.
I talked to a few folks about it and just over a week later Bet and I were picking up our new ducks.
They are Indian Runner/Peking Duck crosses from my friend Jill. Jill uses them for herding in addition to her sheep and has some lovely working dogs.
You can see a video of Jill doing a 'duck demo' here .
We set up the pen we used for the chickens last year with a dog house, a 'pond' and the likes. They seem to be enjoying the set up and are settling in well.
Got to say, I'm enchanted. They are ADORABLE.
Twig is also enchanted. They are HERDABLE.
Zac says 'They are not sheep'. He refuses to look at them, but I can get him to move around them so they go where I need them too.
Bet gets so excited around them I think she pees alittle - not that she'd admit it.
Stay tuned - new adventures on the way!!!