Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mrs. H in Winnemucca, NV: I’ve Got Your Bossy Ducks!

If you’ve ever watched the movie “Babe”, remember how the little mice proclaimed the subtitles in little mousie voices? That is how I’m hearing it in my head: “Ducks Are Bossy”. And I’m persuaded that some lady with the same last name as mine is standing in her backyard right now, coffee cup in hand, shaking her head in a perplexed manner wondering why the black and orange ducks she ordered are feathering out so white.

Here is the picture of Welsh Harlequin ducks on the Metzger website (where mine come from):


  (picture by Metzger Farms)


I have girls. Like the one to the left.


Our ducks are growing so fast! And feathering out . . . but isn’t this strange?


And that picture doesn’t show that their breasts are rust colored! Oh well, it still could change. There’s so much I don’t know.

One thing I do know is that these girls are bossy. And since they do everything in unison, their whole personality at this point is like four stereotypical teenage girls demanding “take us to the mall”, “we want to go to the movies”, “more allowance”. If we’re not quick enough with a food tray refill, they line up and walk back and forth with their half cheep/half quack voices, like strikers on a picket line. OK, so I’m mixing metaphors here. Can you have petulant teen girl picketers? If so, that’s the ducks right now.

And despite the fact that we are the Source of All Goodness for them, forget the whole imprinting-on-the-human business. I think we were too careful to not handle them too much when they were new. They definitely see us as something akin to big birds of prey whenever we approach. Ah well, they’re for eggs, not cuddling (although a disappointed Sophia would beg to differ – she had been encouraged by the pictures of the Dervaes girls over on Path to Freedom with ducklings in laps).

They’re “supposed” to be feathered out sometime around next week or so, and boy is The Patriarch ready for the screened porch to be converted back to a screened porch! The ducks are just up there nights, now, and this because they are still huddling under the heat lamp in the cold hours of the morning. It’s been dipping into the high 40s here overnight, and the ducks aren’t ready to handle that until they’re feathered out. But admittedly, the screened porch is a mess just from them being there a couple of hours in the morning. It’ll be nice to have that all cleaned up again.

And that’s a duck update! Back to you, Chet . . .

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