BYC Member Interview - Miss Lydia

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Patti, known to BYC Members as Miss Lydia has been a BYC member since October 2009. She will most often be found in the Ducks and Geese sections, giving wonderful advice and sharing her love for waterfowl.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I'm a Southern girl born and raised in Fl, close to the ocean, never thought I'd want to move away from it until we went on a camping trip to the mountains of North Carolina, fell in love and have been here for 37 years now, but have only lived in the country for 19 years. My husband and I are both retired from working outside of the home, but haven't retired really, we both stay busy doing the things we love. [He puts up with and supports my infatuation with my animals] My hobby is my animals.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping ducks?

    I've always loved animals, have had dogs, cats, parakeets, finches most of my life even goats, but until we moved here where we have a mountain river down below our home, I had never even considered having water fowl. Then one day in 2004 my dogs and I were taking a walk down by the river when these 2 gorgeous ducks came floating by, I'd seen wild ducks and geese down in the river but had never seen ducks that looked like this, and not having a computer till 2009, had to do my detective work by going to the library to find out what they were. There I found the Book of Ducks by Dave Holderread. I checked it out and started my love of ducks, found out these 2 were Muscovy drakes that had found their way to the river from the other side, where their flock was being picked off by predators. This was in June of 2004. I would go down and visit them daily taking food down, they were just the neatest ducks. Well, I wanted to adopt them and bring them home but my dh said no because even though they now lived at the river, they technically still belonged to the people who lived across the river from us. So he says if you want ducks go get some. He probably wishes he had eaten those words. lol Well, off I went looking for more Muscovies. I had no idea there were other domestic breeds out there other than the Pekins I would see at parks, but by then I was sold on Muscovy anyway. Needless to say I went and got 3 girls brought them home in Oct of 2004. Well I just had to go introduce them to the boys at the river, so I'd carry one down in my arms to meet Bert and Ernie, wasn't long before those 2 boys were coming up here to visit daily and enjoying the girls' affections. So by now Bert and Ernie were coming to the house daily and next spring one of the girls decides to brood some eggs... I'll finish this story up in a bit.

    3. Which aspect(s) of duck keeping do you enjoy the most?

    I don't think there is any part of duck [poultry] keeping I don't like, other than the frozen poop in winter when I can't use the hose to wash it all off.

    4. Which members of your flock, past and present, stand out for you and why?

    My first duck who I still have, his name is Ernie. He turned 10 this past spring and is near and dear to my heart. He came here and has been a part of our family, taking care of his 5 girls, now 3. We lost one of our first ones in 2013, lost another in spring of this year. Ernie has been the fearless leader of his girls even now when he can barely walk, they still adore him. They all have been very special though in their own way. Next has to be our drake Opie. He hatched here in June of 2011 was rejected by his mom, so my dh and I became his adopted parents. We enjoyed having him inside and 3 years later he still likes to come inside for visits and to get loved on.

    5. What was the funniest thing(s) that happened to you in your years as duck owner?

    Now to finish the story where I left off when Shirley started brooding.. Well, about 2 weeks into her brooding, Ernie was the only drake left at the river now. Bert vanished one day, but Ernie faithfully would come up to visit, this is June of 2005 and I'd leave the gate open, so Ernie could come up spend the day with us, then I'd walk him back down to the river for the night. Now I'd never do that. I'd have kept him here permanently. So back to the story, Ernie comes up and decides to go back to the river early and the 2 girls follow him down, leaving Shirley sitting on the eggs. Well, I was a basket case thinking about my girls being down at the river by themselves, so here I go with Shirley in a dog harness thinking I'd put her on a long line in the river and the girls would see her and follow her home. Well, a dog harness aren't made for ducks without shoulders, so you guessed it... she slipped out of the harness. Now all 3 ducks are in the river with Ernie enjoying their newfound freedom and I am stuck with 10 ducks eggs and what to do? When I figured I am not going to get these girls home, after getting in the river trying to herd them to shore and home, I come home, gathered the eggs in a basket, took them to my room where I put a desk lamp on them and mist them. That much I knew after doing some reading on my own, this I spent most of the night doing. Next morning, not even knowing if my girls were still alive, I was standing at the window facing the river wondering how in the world I'm going to get them home when low and behold here comes Ernie with the 3 girls following close behind. I ran down, opened the gate, got the eggs back into the nest and here comes Shirley. She walks straight into their pen, walks up the ramp to the nest and climbs back on top of the eggs, like she had been out for a bite to eat. All 10 of those eggs hatched. Ernie became a permanent member of our family that day, never to visit the river again. To his and my relief.

    6. Beside ducks, what other pets do you keep?

    Other pets we have are 4 geese, 1 hatched here by one of my Muscovy's. 14 hens of various breeds and 1 Rooster. Also 5 dogs and a small pond with 8 goldfish in it.

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    I'd like to say how thankful I am to have gotten a computer in 2009 and to find BYC. I have learned so much on how to care for my flock and have made some wonderful friends here. If I can give back just a little bit of what I have learned and been given on here I'll be happy.

    [​IMG] Ernie at around 7 yrs old [​IMG] Opie the orphan [​IMG] One of my favourite pics

    [​IMG] Another favourite [​IMG] [​IMG] Danny watching chick TV

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    7 people like this.
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Very nice interview Patti. I like ducks but have never owned any.
  3. N F C

    N F C booooo!

    Dec 12, 2013
    Patti, thank you so much for the interview, great stories! Your love for your birds comes through loud & clear. Nice photos too, that Ernie is a handsome guy [​IMG]

    Nice to finally 'meet' you!
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Patti, thanks for sharing! Wonderful story teller.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Well done!
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Thanks for the interview!
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Jun 24, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    My Coop
    Great interview, just love the story!

  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Patti, it's so great to learn more about you!!! You've been such a wonderful part of our community over the years!

    It's hard to believe you didn't have a computer before 2009, but I'm glad you got one and you found our little family here!!!

  9. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

    Jul 9, 2009
    Miss Lydia

    Well my friend ( for so many years )....I have been awaiting your interview for so long....

    You are more than awesome! I have loved reading of your loving and caring of the beloved Muscovy ducks that we both have given an incredible insight into the ownership and love we give and receive from these wonderful creatures....

    You give knowledgeable advice for those that need help with ALL duck would be fitting to tell you of how many lives you have saved with your help to those in is insurmountable to are for me an outstanding VIP....

    I think we first met through Plumtuckered when Scooter went missing....a very sad story but we gave all of the support we helped me so much when "Boss" was killed...a traumatic time for me...your support helped me through that dark time...we will be lifelong are so much a part of my life...I hope one day that I can return some of the great love and support you give to me and so many others....

    Bless you....

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  10. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Great interview!! Thanks for sharing your life with us. I especially love the pic of Danny watching chick TV :pop I too have a dog that loves chick TV.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: