Have you ever noticed that sometimes the solution to a problem
becomes, itself, another problem?
If you've been following our duck tales over the years,
you might remember that we have had a continuing saga of
"addition and attrition".
A few weeks ago we added Stella, the Swedish crested duck...
and the other three Khaki Campbell ducks, Ella, Bella, and Della...
who promptly flew the pond after illicit advances were made by our
three resident drakes.
And just in case you are new to the world of duck sex... it's relatively ugly.
The males climb on the female's back and practically drown her,
holding her by the back of the head, pushing her under water.
For the past few weeks, Stella has gotten relatively good at avoiding any
feminine behaviors that might attract advances from the drakes.
And yet, with only one thing on their minds, it's impossible to avoid all contact.
What to do? What to do....
Relocating the drakes to the wild would be cruel,
as they are domesticated and rely upon us for feed.
Like roosters, no one really wants more drakes... unless they want ducklings.
It seemed our only course of action was to procure more females...
and they had to be ones who might not fly away.
We drove to the nearest livestock auction this week and found 2 sets of three female ducks.
Three are muscovy ducks (black and white).
And three are Indian Runners (off-white and tan).
Hubbs freed the muscovy ducks by the side of the pond.
The drakes were curious but kept their distance.
So far, so good.
Next we freed the Runners,
who immediately ran into the pond...
bobbing and swimming with glee...
those nasty drakes headed straight into the pond and onto the backs of the Runners.
The next five minutes were ugly and ended up with three runner ducks fleeing from the pond
in search of a hiding place.
Hubbs and I quickly snatched three frightened and soaking wet ducks
out of the brambles in the woods and drove them to the barn.
These three girls will be living in the barn for the coming weeks
until they identify that as home.
Eventually they will be our garden ducks... spending days outside and nights in the safety of the barn.
Indian Runner ducks are flightless ducks who do not need a pond.
They are a tall and upright breed who don't waddle, but, instead, run...
hence the name, Runners.
(We did, however, buy them a wading pool in case they want to splash a little this summer.)
They prefer to graze on insects in a meadow type environment.
I am hoping they will leave my garden plants alone
and become the "Bug Patrol" for the garden.
More on this as time passes....