Today, alas, seven of my ten orphaned ducklings have left the nest–literally. They’ve gone to live with my Amish neighbor, where they’ll either live long and happy lives as his breeding stock or end up on somebody’s plate. He’s a firm believer in free range poultry, though, so they’ll have a happy life until their fates befall them.
I took some pictures before the departure of the seven, and I realized Veelie–a yellow duck with a brown “V” on her forehead–is an aspiring supermodel. She posed with all the aplomb of a seasoned runway professional. Fortunately, she’s one of the three we were planning to keep, so I can stay on as her stage mother.
At least, I HOPE Veelie is a “she.” From what I’ve read, females are half the size of males and lack their overwhelming libido, so I’m hoping to keep a pair of females. They’re all about the same size, though, so I’m hedging my bets by keeping three; I’m hoping that will help my odds of having at least two ladies.
There’s only one duckling who radiates a significant aura of manhood at this point; he was bigger than the others for awhile–although they’ve pretty much caught up to him by now–and there’s something very macho about the arrogant way he waddle-struts among the others. I call him “Bandito” because of his black mask. I thought about keeping him, but if my theory is correct and he is indeed a boy, I suspect he would be more than the two other ducks and the chickens would want to deal with. So he lives with my neighbors now.
I have to admit that as cute as the ducklings are, they eat like teenage boys, so I’m glad my neighbor’s going to be the one feeding most of them from now on. And the three that remain–Veelie, Brownie, and Ophelia–seem perfectly happy with less competition at the feeder.
I hadn’t planned on being a duck owner, but so far, I’m a fan. Especially now that I’m not feeding ten of them.