Tuesday, September 23, 2014

RIP Hoisin the Indian Runner Drake

I woke up at about 1:30 this morning, vaguely aware that I could hear a duck quacking.  I couldn't work out whether it was a wild duck, or one of ours.  Eventually I decided that it sounded like Fennel and was pondering whether I should get up, get dressed and go and find out why one of the ducks was quacking at that time of night, when the quacking stopped.  I have a vague feeling that there might have been a bit more quacking shortly after, but by then I was back asleep.

I have to admit that I forgot all about it, until I went down the garden at about 6:45 this morning to hang some washing out before heading in the car to work and the, this evening, to the first Japanese class of the new academic year.

It was strangely silent.  Normally, when I very first open the back door, which I usually do well before The Builder goes down and feeds the ducks and chooks, Fennel starts yelling for her breakfast.  Celery quacks too, but more quietly.  Hoisin possibly also quacks, but he's very quiet and you can't tell if our chooks are clucking over the clucking of the various other neighbourhood chickens.

No quacking this morning.  No clucking, either.  No quacking even when I got to the duck run, with washing and no breakfast. Complete poultry silence.

I looked into the run.  Fennel and Celery were over by the far fence, peering at me in a subdued way. The chickens were also quiet and still on their side of the run.  There was no sign of Hoisin.  Until I looked in the duck bath, and there he was, floating lifeless and still.

We have no idea what happened.  He wasn't in the duck bath when The Builder went down yesterday evening to check for any late eggs and to make sure that all was well.  We can't think of any reason why he would have decided to go for a swim in the middle of what was a chilly-ish night for early autumn.  There is no sign of anything breaking in or even flying in. No sign of any sort of altercation.  But we assume that whatever it was that happened was what made Fennel start quacking at 1:30 this morning.

Poor Hoisin.  There is a small silver lining.  It does mean that we can now reunite the chickens and the ducks with no fear that the chickens will attract unwanted drake-y attention, and they will be able to be let out into the garden together, instead of having to follow a rotation system.  But I'll miss my two funny Indian Runner duck boys.  They might have been no real use, and even a bit of a nuisance if you were Curry and Dimsim, the chickens.  But they were very cute.

Hoisin and Teriyaki in the garden - before they started terrorising the chickens!

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