The ducks and geese took up residence at the little farmhouse on the porch, especially since I just hosed it down and washed it. It is a covered area and although they do not mind the rain, when it is constant as it has been, they prefer a little roof over their heads. They have their own shelter and the barn, but this one is next to the rain barrel, the barrel that is overflowing with fresh rain water and they can play in it.
They have been eating oats lately and their feed consumption was way up. This tells me two things. They are not eating enough grass and bugs and they need to move. I also observe their droppings, and yes, they are hard not to observe or step in, and they are brown and now green. If they are eating enough grass and greens, the droppings are a deep green colour. The brown was from the oats. Although they can survive on their meagre diet, the pasture is free, or rather the lawn. I have now mowed the lawn for a while becuase it has been raining and raining. The grass is lush and green and perfect if you are a duck or goose. Even the chickens perk up eating fresh grass. So, I gritted my teeth and opened the gates knowing full well there would be messes everywhere. The messes are disgusting, but nothing that a hose won't clean, as long as it does not track into the house too much. Shoes are always off at the door, but there are two dogs who are inside at night that do not adhere to the shoes off rule. I try to run them through the fresh grass so they can clean off any manure stuck to the fur. Usually it works. It does not clean off the sand and mud, but that is another story.
There are quite a few Sebastopol cross goslings that are feathering nicely, more open than the pure Sebastopols, but beautiful with a touch of black and grey. I cannot tell if they are geese or ganders. Some can, but I cannot, not until mating, so they will stay the winter until I figure it out. Some will go to new homes then.
In the meantime, they are eating the grass and mowing it down at a remarkable rate, despite the rain and the growth that is continuously taking place. They sort of respect the fence around the garden, but the Khaki Campell ducks can slip right through. The only tell tale sign of their entry was a nest with four eggs under a potatoe plant. Duck eggs are the best, thanks duckies.
The moral of this story is, don't mow the lawn. Get geese and ducks instead. Oh, and watch out for the lawn slugs. Hee hee.