We couldn’t keep all of the ten orphaned ducklings we adopted this summer–I knew that from the start–so my clever plan was to raise them until we had a good idea of their genders, then keep only two females. According to the Internet, female Muscovies are much smaller than the males, plus they lay eggs. Males, on the other hand, are large and can be aggressive (again, according to the Internet). Females it is!
But my clever plan was thwarted when my son Sage fell in love with Brownie the Duckling. Even when Brownie’s masculinity became readily apparent, Sage argued that he needed to stay with us. Sage would even change the ducks’ kiddie pool to earn Brownie’s keep!
Who was I to resist such an unprecedented display of responsibility? So Brownie stayed, and I’m glad he did. Although Sage is no longer involved in duck care (the freezing of the pool freed him from all responsibility as far as he’s concerned), Brownie has gone from being a handsome-enough solid brown to bearing an uncanny resemblance to a bald eagle. His head is now almost all white, and his feathers are such a deep brown that they’re almost black, aside from a point of white near each wing tip.
Brownie may be big and messy, but hey–he’s an Eagle Duck! And how many people have one of those?