Sunday, April 25, 2010

Millie Duck

This was my little Millie duck, last June, when I first got her.  I got Millie to be a companion for Daisy, the wee little duck in the photo, who was lonely.  Millie came from a veterinary student who couldn't care for her any longer.

This was Millie, in July, swimming in her kiddie pool for the first time.  Below, she's with her little friend, Daisy.

Millie had a good summer and grew bigger and this was her in the fall, in her new duck run with her pool installed.  She loved to swim and play with Little Duck (Daisy).  She also loved to moodle around with her beak in the leaves and grass.  She loved to nibble on my pantlegs and she liked to quack really loudly.  She knew her name and always quacked a greeting when I pulled into the driveway.

This was my most recent picture of my little Millie duck, taken on March 31st, while she was mucking around in the leaves outside in the new fenced area I had made for the ducks and chickens.  She sort of liked the chickens and would try to roost up on top of their feed bucket so they weren't higher than her.  I'm not sure if she thought she was a chicken, or whether she just didn't want anyone to be up higher than she was.

Today Millie was killed by a hawk, while I was home and just inside, about 50 feet away.  I put them outside at about 7 AM, into their fenced area, where they go every day.  I came back in.  It was raining so I didn't go back out very quickly to check on them.  Millie had been hiding her eggs somewhere the past few days.  I went out around 9 to check on them and fill their feed bucket and Little Duck was walking around but I didn't see Millie.  I thought that I would probably finally be able to find where she was laying those eggs.  Imagine my shock and horror when I rounded the edge of the shed to see her dead on the ground with a hawk ON TOP OF HER.  It was not afraid of me and I had to run at it screaming to get it to go away after I put the chickens and remaining duck back into their run.  It looks like it pulled her out from under the edge of the shed, because her little feathers are under the shed a few feet away from where I found her.  She tried to get away from it, but it killed her anyway.  Poor little Millie.  My last look at her alive was as she marched away from me this morning when I let them out, into the fenced area with her little military gait, stamping around like she owned the yard, as always.

I wish that I had heard something and I wish that I checked on them earlier.  I can't believe that all this happened in the span of about 2 hours while I was RIGHT IN THE HOUSE a few feet away from the yard.  I should never have left them unsupervised.  Millie was a good little duck and I'll miss her and I am afraid to say that her little friend Daisy (Little) will miss her probably more than me.  Little is now all alone with only some chickens for friends.  :(


Niesz Vintage Home said...

Oh Elizabeth, how awful! I am so very sorry. :(
We have hawks around our yard quite often, and I always fear for the bunnies that live under our shed.
Believe me, these things happen in an instant. So, your checking on them sooner or more often may not have made a difference. Perhaps a chicken wire roof on the enclosure will keep Daisy safe...esp now that the hawk knows she's there.

Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your Millie Duck.


Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Kimberly. I put them back inside their covered run, and the hawk can't get the chickens or Daisy in there. I have a larger fenced area (too large to cover) around the coop and covered run. I used to let them into the uncovered area to play when I was home, or even if I was out on short errands, but I'm only going to let them out there when I'm actually OUT from now on. So they can be out when I'm gardening or doing chores, but otherwise, they'll have to be in the secure run. I've learned a hard lesson, unfortunately. Thanks so much for your kind words--they mean a lot. Millie was a good duck, and had a lot of personality for such a little creature.