Disaster hit my duck coop this past week.

Apparently some critter had gnawed a hole in the section that served as the laying area, which is just outside the coop but attached to it, and got into the main part of the coop.

When I went outside to let the ducks out for the day, there were three dead ducks, with severely chewed necks. I am having a tough time dealing with it.

I’ve had my duckies, Millie and The Chocolate Drops, for several years. They’ve reliably laid eggs nearly every day, keeping us in fresh eggs for breakfast and baking.

But then, an apparent weasel discovered them, and managed to gnaw into the coop.

My husband is burying them for me in what is usually the goose cemetery in a spot behind our house.

I blame myself in many ways. I had heard a kerfuffle that night but just thought my duckies were acting up, as they sometimes do.

I was so wrong.

Over the years I have had many ducks and some were carried off by raccoons. That was when I started locking them in the coop every night and, for several years, they were just fine.

They’d greet me each morning with loud quacks when I’d let them out of their coop and feed them corn, pellets or bread.

It was always such fun to reach into the coop each morning to discover just how many eggs my girls had laid the night before. Fresh eggs can’t be beat for flavor and color.

Millie was the last of my previous duck flock who had been carried away by raccoons. She had her special way of moving her head whenever I approached the coop. She’d bob her head back and forth, anticipating the cracked corn.

They loved the plastic “kiddie” pool I kept filled with water for them to swim in and had a great time splashing around. They’d try to turn themselves upside down, although it was not deep enough for that.

They always greeted me in the morning with their loud quacks.

I miss them so much and am so sorry I didn’t realize there was a hole gnawed in the corner of the nesting area.

I will most likely buy more when the opportunity arises, but I will forever remember this flock. I’d gotten to know each of them personally over the years.

I will so much miss them and their daily happy quacks.

Eileen Adams lives in Wilton where she gardens and raises geese.

Milli2, left, and Tillie watch over Brownie, a Khaki Campbell duckling in 2016.

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