As you might expect, barring predation or the errant footfall, “duck-duck” has made it to adolescence. Her flight feathers are still wrapped in sheaths, but she’s lost most of her downy coat and has feathered out nicely.
More importantly she no longer follows me around; she has integrated with the other ducks and usually gets inline behind the drake as he makes his rounds.
In other news, Kaylee-Dog has reached the one-year mark and weighed in at a respectable 107 pounds. Amazing that she has put on 14 pounds from when we had her spayed considering she doesn’t eat all that much. In fact I remain astounded at what little interest this dog shows toward food.
From what I’ve read this is part of the breed. Maremma’s were bred to spend their days with sheep for weeks at a time. Thus shepherds would fill feeders for the dogs 50 pounds at a go and the dogs would “graze” over time. I suppose the dogs learned to self-regulate pretty well. In many ways she is a very low-maintenance dog.
Also, as she matures, her guarding instincts seem like they’re growing stronger. The other day four of my Welsummer chickens hopped their fence and came walking all the way up to the house from the orchard. Kaylee kept an eye on them, but didn’t show any interest in chasing or playing with them. Later a young buck popped out of the pond and Kaylee took off after him and chased him off while ignoring the chickens on her way back. The following evening at least one, but probably more, coyotes came sniffing around making their eerie yipping noise. Kaylee took up a position and barked and barked. She then went off to investigate. Basically she did exactly what I’d hoped.