A star is born
Last spring when the Corona lockdown started, we had no idea of how long it would last, so the youngsters (and their close friends) all came home to the farm as their schools and universities moved to distance learning. For once all the houses on the farm we're filled, and it was such a joy for me to suddenly get to spend so many happy hours together with my family. However, like so many people shut away during those odd months we suddenly found ourselves with lots of time on our hands but no normal routines to fill it with. For us though, there was an immense luxury in having lots of space on the farm around, which us meant we weren't on top of each other but could go walking through the wild forests alone or be creative in our own projects. One such project being incubating duck eggs to see baby ducks hatch.
We ordered the duck eggs online, but sadly due to the very extreme circumstances of lots of people simultaneously being stuck at home and ordering stuff over the internet it took all of three weeks for the eggs to arrive. The success rate for incubation drastically goes down each week of travel, as ideally the eggs should be incubated as soon as possible. In the end, only one little duck was born alive! And what a sorry sight it was... all floppy and weak. I fed it liquid chick food and slowly over the next 24 hours it gained its strength and fluffed its feathers.
We named it Lazarus as it was the only survivor in the brood. We weren't quite sure to begin with if it was a he or a she, and so we went with being gender neutral. It only took a few weeks for little Lazarus to gather its strength and become a fluffy little ball of love, who totally enjoyed hanging out and being together with its humans. We started of the day with breakfast in bed while reading the news, and then went about the day in a quackful manner. There was only one problem...
Luna the cat showed much interest in babysitting Lazarus! And not necessarily in the nice and good way, but in a very rough manner... After a long conversation about good duck-care with Luna we decided that it might be better for Lazarus to move to my friend Malin until it became a bit bigger... and I think Lazarus was equally happy with moving to Malin as staying at home. Being the only duck on the farm and being raised by humans I doubt it had even registered that it was an only one of its kind. Happy go lucky, in the end of May Lazarus moved to Malin over summer.
A month later Lazarus had grown into a beautiful young Welsh Harlequin duck. We were at this stage still a bit unsure of the gender, but then who really cares we thought? A survivor like Lazarus is to be celebrated either way, and soon enough it would be as big as Luna the cat and able to move home again without fear of becoming someones dinner. But of this I shall tell in a later blogpost, as the story does continue with a very happy ending!