Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Odd Couple, A Sweet Pair of Quackers
This was an unlikely pairing to me,kind of like joining together a closed umbrella with a toy duck. The tall, skinny duck is a female Indian Runner. The little guy is a Call Duck. He quacks louder than most big ducks, and he flies. She does not. She runs a little faster than the average duck, she leans forward and runs..looking like a closed umbrella with legs, running fast! I did not think they could actually mate and produce ducklings. Watching them join together on the pond was like watching a ship with a little dinghy on top....it took quite an effort on the little guys' part, but he was persistent! The little guy waited , watched and and fretted around her. I could tell he wanted to go swimming in the pond and forage for bugs and slugs, but he stayed close to his sweetie pie. Then came the nightly raccoon raids. We could tell the raccoons were trying to grab the ducks and eggs through the pen wire and finally, for their own safety the pair of ducks left the nest to sleep in the middle of the pen where raccoon hands could not grab them. I ended up putting a few duck eggs under one of my bantam hens, believing the little guy really could not possibly have fertilized the eggs.....but look! He did and here is one of the two ducklings. I was happy for this! First , because I wanted to see what a pairing like that would produce, and second, the Odd Couple were the only 2 survivors of the coyote attack last winter that killed all the rest of my flock, so any ducklings to survive and grow should have good survival instincts. Here is one of the ducklings, grown up. They both look similar, and are smaller than most of my ducks, a little bigger than their father, and as loud as him. They both fly too. They are pretty nice ducks, I am thankful to the Odd Couple! By the way, they stick together pretty closely, and Mama Duck seems to be the leader in the duck flock, with Papa Duck chasing away any male duck that approaches his gal! They really are The Odd Couple.