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Ducklings and a Blended Family

goat

Ducklings and chicks are a few of my favorite things. That’s a good thing because we end up with them every spring. Of course, it’s not every year that one of our broody hens hatches chicks and then adopts the ducklings as well.

video

Now she circles the backyard with her babies under her feathers and around her feet. In a way, she resembles a small winged merry-go-round.  The ducklings are twice the size of the chicks but none of them seem to notice or care.  There’s actually a very good possibility that even the golden Buff Orpington chick popped from an egg that our sweet broody hen did not lay.

I gather quite a few life lessons from my adventures in animal husbandry and this is one of those occasions. For humans, the “blended” family is one of the most challenging (and rewarding) situations life has to offer.  I come from a blended family, in fact.  My sister is actually technically my half-sister because we share a father.  She came from my father’s first marriage and I was born to her stepmother when she was five.  Of course, I never cared about details like “half” or “step” — she was simply my sister and I adored her.  I also loved her mother, who never forgot me at holidays and faithfully sent gifts/cards.  But things were not always starshine and moonbeams at our house and we were not successful at blending: my parents ultimately divorced.  In the years that followed the divorce, I lost touch with my sister and once we were finally able to reconnect — she moved to Australia and got married!

For my broody hen, all of her babies are precious and equally important.  She disciplines them with disapproving pecks and comforts them with soft clucks and warm enveloping wings.  They eat all of their meals together and nap in the shade side by side.  Because of her acceptance and careful monitoring, the ducklings don’t bully the chicks and the chicks happily share their mom’s fluffed feathers with the ducklings.  Together, they make the most beautiful family.

If you can’t see the video, click here to watch it on Flickr.

  • YDavis - I bet the video is cute but I was unable to view it. I’ll check back later to watch it.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I added an extra link at the bottom of the post. Hope it helps!ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - So sweet! I love that blended family!

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Rosa: Aren’t they darling? I love how the hen does a Sugar Plum Fairy dance in an attempt to keep track of her many babies.

    -LacyReplyCancel

  • Marlene - Awwwwwwwe toooooooooo cute. If only real people could be so accommodating as nature but I guess I live in la la land. Oh well its nice there…..love alwaysReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Marlene: You and I live in the very same far away la la land, my friend!

    -LacyReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - We have a sort of blended family ourselves. We have a nephew that lived with us while he was a teenager. He came to live with us while I was pregnant with my daughter. There is no question in her heart that he is her brother. My son, who was five when he moved it, also claims him unabashedly as his brother. I only struggle with it because he has a mother. I decided to be his Mommy though. He didn’t have someone to make his favorite meals, take his side when he needed it, and put my finger in his face when he needed that. He’s 26 now, married with a little girl. He sometimes calls me Julie and he sometimes calls me Mommy. Both work for me.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Julie: You know, the more I find out about you — the more I respect and appreciate you. Many women would have resented sharing their home with a teenage niece or nephew and especially once they became pregnant with biological children. I am not at all surprised that you raised him as your own and that you encouraged your children to see him as a sibling. What an incredible and inspiring woman you are!

    -LacyReplyCancel

  • ducklings learn how to swim - […] Ducklings and a Blended Family : Razor Family Farms […]ReplyCancel

  • Mary Catherine - When I married my husband, I had two children from my first marriage and he had five children from his previous marriage. Talk about blending! It was rough for the first few years and did the very same dance as that chicken in the video but we’re one big happy family now.

    Those ducklings are precious!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Mary Catherine: Wow! Seven children would be a huge undertaking for anyone but a blended family of seven — you deserve major accolades!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - Love that duck picture!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Liz: Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - How cute! I love that they all just seem to accept each other as family. We have a cow and her calf (they actually belong to our friend’s daughter but they have nowhere to keep them) that live in our old barn and the accompanying pasture. A few weeks ago one of the young bulls (only about a year old so not a troublemaker yet) got out of a different pasture so my husband just put him in with the cow and calf as a temporary measure. The cow took a few minutes to show him who was boss, but then they all 3 settled in together like a little family-mama cow, baby calf and “adopted” teenage bull 🙂 Its really sweet.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Sweet, sweet, sweet!!! I, too, just love baby chicks!ReplyCancel

  • Hayden - very sweet!ReplyCancel

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