duckling foster mother

Becoming a duckling foster mother

Yep, last week I became a duckling foster mother, and it was as cute and noisy and rewarding as you’d think. Although, full disclosure, I had no idea how much ducklings can poo. Like, seriously, it was every five minutes.

So, how does one become a duckling foster mother? Well, my intrepid tale begins the Sunday before last. It was an absolutely glorious day which we spent mostly at home because other people go out when it’s nice weather and we don’t like those.

However, at about four in the afternoon we headed off to the beach, safe in the knowledge that everyone would have gone home by then. LOL. Redcar high street was still RAMMED, but about half a mile out of town or so was pretty much deserted. The little car park we use is free and has fairly clean public toilets. What more does a girl need?

After a lovely stroll on the beach we went for tea at Nando’s – butternut squash and sweet potato pitta (no mayo) with peri-salted chips and garlic bread and hummus to start. Cheers to Nando’s for having vegan garlic bread. Ta guys, it means a lot.

What a perfect Sunday, am I right?

We rocked back up to the house at about 7 to find a man stood outside holding a duckling. A cyclist had found it under his car, given it to him and cycled off. Clearly, the man was a little unsure what to do with this tiny creature so I offered to help (I practically jumped out of the moving car and ran over to him like a crazy person). Dave and I took the duckling round the empty pond behind our house, which the ducks love. A mother duck with ducklings sidled out of view – if it was indeed her duckling, she wasn’t interested. Harsh.

As I moved towards the other ducks Dave spotted another abandoned duckling at my feet. This one was in a terrible state: half-drowning in duck poo and pond slime and teeny weeny. Needless to say, we took both ducklings home. Whilst Dave warmed them up with a hair dryer, I went to my parents to borrow a tiny hot water bottle. Unfortunately, whilst I was down there the original duckling died – we assume he was very dehydrated and probably in shock.

However, the teeny poo-covered one thrived.

duckling foster mother


We called her Jenny because, bizarrely, Dave thought that if she turned out to be a boy, we could call her Jen. Ok, Dave.

She was suuuper cute. She ate almost constantly (peas, chick crumb donated by a very lovely friend, spinach and meal worms) and spent her days splashing around in her water bowl and her nights snuggled up next to a mirror in the depths of a fleece-lined snood I had. We fashioned her an enclosure from an old dog crate and we were all very happy.

If it weren’t for the obsession she had with the mirror we would have considered keeping her, but she was clearly missing some duck company. Luckily a local (ish) rescue centre called The Wildlife Orphanage took her in, along with eighteen other ducklings).

What did we learn from this experience?

  1. Ducks are the best
  2. Ducks poo a lot
  3. Ducks freaking LOVE water. Jenny couldn’t have a lot because ducklings have to be waterproofed (their mothers rub their oils on them) but she insisted on always going on it, so we’d have to constantly cuddle her to keep her warm. What a nightmare 😏 (good lord, what does my mac do to that emoji).
  4. I can’t keep every animal I find, because my house isn’t big enough. However, I can help each one I find enough to send it ones its way.
  5. Ducks. Grow. So. Quickly.

duckling foster mother

There is less than a week between these two pictures. A WEEK.


Enough about ducks. We’re here for books. I finished How Not TO Die. It was a really good, informed read, but now I’m ready for some juicy fiction, so I icked up Children of Blood and Bone. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m very much enjoying it.

I’m also about to re-read Making Money by Terry Pratchett, 1, because it’s awesome, and 2. because the book I’m writing has an economy that’s a bit unorthodox, so I want to get a handle on how banks and money works without having to read something dull. So, if anyone has any recommendations on interesting books on economics, hit me up.

The dog we walked this week was Sanchez the Shih Tzu. Probably a Shih Tzu anyway. We’re not really sure. He’s 7 and absolutely incredible.

Just look at that tongue.

Right, that’s it from me – I’m off to scour the surrounding area for waifs and strays. Have a great week!

duckling foster mother


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