My husband and I have been talking for months about the ducks and how difficult they were making things for us, and for our chickens.
Our ducks were living with the chickens, sharing the same coop and run, and they were frequently bullying the chickens. Even after opening the other side of the coop to the birds and building a huge run, there still wasn’t enough space for all of them to live comfortably.
For this and many other reasons, which you can read about here, we decided it was time to say goodbye to the ducks.
It’s a decision I’ve been grappling with ever since.
I reluctantly put up a ducks for sale ad on Craigslist and for weeks we didn’t get a single email. I thought, okay, that’s it, if no one wants them we’ll just keep them.
We’ll all just keep suffering through this less than ideal situation.
I kept thinking back to a post I read years ago that I can still remember clearly to this day.
My friend Rachael over at Lost Peacock Creamery was in the process of re-homing her livestock guardian dog because he was doing the literal opposite of his job on the farm. Like me, she was grappling with the decision to let him go.
I believed that no one could love him the way I could.
I’m not sure why animal lovers do this, I know I’m not unique. We somehow get it in our heads that we are the only acceptable home for an animal and then, despite all signs of the universe pointing towards disarray, we keep plodding along in the same state of unrest…
As humans we take on too much based on the fallacy we tell ourselves, “No one will ever care as much as I do.” I’m learning more and more this isn’t true. My home is not the perfect home for everything with a beating heart, and, to many animals means no one is thriving.
((Continue reading this wonderful post here: No one will ever love you the way I love you))
I still think about this story all these years later. It spoke to me then and it speaks to me now. I think about how many animals I’ve kept because like Rachael, I believed no one could love them like I love them.
And how untrue that statement can be. Yes, I believe that when you take on an animal you are responsible for that animal. You sign a love contract that you will provide for it and respect it until you two part ways. That doesn’t mean that you should stubbornly cling to that creature, even when things aren’t working out.
There are millions of animal lovers out there, millions of people who can love animals the same if not better than I can… and I met some of them the day we finally sold our ducks.
The ducks were not a good fit for us, but that doesn’t mean that we (and they) should go on just barely getting by and being unhappy. I’m not the type to quit on animals. I’ve never given an animal up to a shelter, and I’ve taken in lots of animals that need homes. Up until now I’ve never sold an animal. Up until now I’ve firmly believed that once an animal comes into my home, it’s here for life.
Now I’m really reconsidering that stance.
The truth is, sometimes there are better people out there for your animals. Sometimes you and your animals are just not the right match. You shouldn’t keep clinging to something that just doesn’t fit, desperately trying to make it work because it should work.
I was really nervous to put our ducks up for sale on Craigslist, not knowing what kind of crazy maniacs could show up at our door wanting to buy them. I wanted them to go to a good home. I wanted them to go to a better home than ours, to people who would love them more than we do. And as luck would have it, those are just the people who happened to answer our post.
The lovely couple that bought our ducks already raise a lot of different types of poultry. They’ve raised ducks before, and even had their own duck house, with a 1/2 acre outdoor enclosure and a pond. They love animals, and they especially love ducks.
As soon as this couple met our ducks I could tell it was a match made in heaven. They were calm and gentle with the birds, speaking in soothing tones. They clearly knew how to handle ducks and I knew without a doubt these people would love these ducks more than I ever could.
They assured me the ducks would be spoiled in their new home. They’d have their own space, instead of having to share it with chickens. They’d have their own pond, instead of having to take baths in a kiddie pool. They’d have owners who truly understand them and truly want them around.
As they drove away with our ducks, now their ducks, in the backseat, I breathed a sigh of relief. Accepting defeat when it comes to raising animals is not easy for me to do, but doing so lead to a happier life for everyone involved, and I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.