Thursday, October 9, 2014

Homeschool Project: Ducks

“You want to hatch duck eggs? Sure!”

Those words sealed my fate for the next five months, caring for ducks on top of preparing for a wedding in the family, homeschooling a sophomore, and helping with an aged mother-in-law. I know, the fifteen-year old who asked if we could hatch duck eggs should have been doing all the work. I understand that I should have been wiser about saying yes so easily. I realize that I shouldn’t have ended up in the predicament that I ended up in, but don’t you sometimes make mistakes too? Besides, I thought it would be a great biology project! read more

Back up quite a few years, when our daughter Suzanne wanted to bring hermit crabs home, we did. When my husband, Rusty, suggested that we hatch quail eggs, we brought home quail eggs. Matt got to keep a praying mantis for a winter. Ben had never initiated any major project involving animals, and his interest pleased me. I had hatched mallards long ago, so how much harder could a flock of tame ducks be?

We already had an incubator from the quail project. Ben did the work of ordering eggs and searching the Internet for directions of how to care for them. Once they arrived and we set up the incubator, he turned them faithfully, misted them conscientiously, and took charge of the whole process until they pecked their way out and stood cute as could be.

I fell in love with the little helpless creatures. Ben’s life got busy. Time to feed them, where was Ben? Helping at church camp. Time to clean out their pen, where was Ben? Volunteering at Operation Christmas Child. Yes, I could have asked him to stay home, but most of the things he did, he had already committed to. Neither of us realized ahead of time how much work these ducks would be, so I worked on as a duck mother. Finally, we found someone else who loved ducks and had a good place for them. I watched them swim in their new pond with tears in my eyes because I would miss them but gratitude in my heart that I wouldn't have to take care of them anymore.

Lesson learned? Not sure. Maybe do these things when you're younger? Don’t have children at such an advanced age? No, this is it—Life is life. Sometimes it is difficult, and you just have to wade through. 

1 comment:

  1. Liz had two ducks here. I felt sorry for them because they only had a small container (about the size of a bathtub for them) in which to splash and play. They lived with the chickens. Her home with Jared is by a stream. She decided she would let them loose. I expected them to swim away immediately, but she said she thought they were too attached to the chickens. She was right! Maybe they now think they are chickens.