“Ducks are cute”, I said.
“Ducks would be a great addition to the Homestead”, I said.
“The kids that visit will love them”, I said.
“I heard ducks are friendlier than chickens and will bond to their owners”, I said.
Papa Nice just smiled and I was on my way to researching duck breeds, how to care for ducks, and repainting an old coop to make a duck house.
Step 1: Take an old, flimsy coop…add a new roof, new paint and new hardware. Viola!
Step 2: Research duck breeds.
I decided I wanted Pekins. Pekins are big and friendly. The chances of a hawk picking them up out of the yard would be rare. So I called the local feed store and ordered 2 female Pekins that would look like this:
Step 3: Pick up ducklings from feed store.
Off I went to the feed store, with 5 little kids, to pick up our 2 female PEKIN ducklings. But when we got there, the feed store ordered Khaki Campbells and didn’t have any Pekins. It would take WEEKS to get them in. When you have 5 little kids excited for ducklings and 2 ducklings that now don’t have a home, what do you do? You take home the ducks that you didn’t order. “No problem”, I said, Khaki Campbells are nice ducks too…I think. I’m not even sure what they look like though. I guess these are Khaki Campbells and the kids love them. They are so cute….
The ducks have grown a lot since we got them back in April. Only…. they are much darker than Khaki Campbells and they are more skittish than any duck breed I had researched. Alas, I have discovered that we do NOT have Pekins (which I ordered), or Khaki Campbells (which I was told I was given), but rather Black Runner Ducks. Good layers, but skittish, flightless and not very big. Sigh. I don’t even know if they are both female. Apparently they will lay a lot of eggs (if they are female) and I hope that they will settle into the Homestead and become more friendly and comfortable with us.
For now…”Ruby” and “Fudge” will continue to have free reign of the backyard and will spend their day’s swimming in their pool and eating bugs. Maybe I expect too much from my animals. They are ducks after all. Ducks that now have a great life at the Nice Family Homestead.