Monday, June 2, 2014

Riduckulous

May 2014

Ducks. They are ridiculous.
I've listed about six examples below, for your amusement.

We've figured out who's who when it comes to our ducks. Percy, the black one, is a drake. Leif, the fawn & white, is a hen. I'm sorry that this sounds like some horribly sexist joke, but it turns out you can sex Indian runner ducks by how vocal they are, or aren't. Females are noisy and talk all day long. Males barely whisper, if even that.

We'd wanted Percy to be a female because he would have started out laying black eggs that would have progressively lightened to white or light gray over his lifetime. Cool! But it wasn't meant to be. Leif is our female. She quacks all day. Most ducks actually don't "quack" though.

Having a {female} duck is like having someone with a strange abrupt laugh hanging out in your backyard ALL DAY:

"HEH! .......... HEH! ............ HWEH HWAH HWAH HWEH HWEH HWAH!..............HEH! "

I've worried the neighbors will get irritated, but our super nice neighbor to the south says she loves it because she grew up on a farm, so it's actually a peaceful noise, she says. The neighbors to the north said they haven't even noticed the noise. Well, that's good. I certainly can hear her. All day: "HEH!"

We have loved watching the ducks in their "pond", but I learned this week that ducks also enjoy running through the sprinkler. 



Every time I get the hose out to water the flowers, the ducks come over.

Ducks eat like the Cookie Monster.

When we feed the chickens out of our hands, they strut up to us, eye the food, eye us, eye the food and with quick precision they peck the exact piece of food they wanted.

The ducks? They cautiously waddle up to us, eye us for a long, awkward moment, and suddenly their head thrusts forward and their bill rapidly vibrates in the handful of food, sending it flying around them. It gets everywhere, most of it probably doesn't make it in their bills.

Ducks can be rudely aloof. 

When the chickens are feeding, they approach the food politely, going around the feeder until they find an open space to move in between the other chickens. The ducks approach the feeder in a beeline. Chicken is in the way? No problem. The duck head pushes under chicken butt, the chicken ends up piggyback on the duck. The startled chicken almost falling over, wings flapping. Food starts flying as the duck starts eating, chicken looks bewildered, most likely thinking, "Well, I never! How rude!"

Ducks are so clumsy.

We knew the ducks were clumsy the day we got them, but moving them outside into the coop proved to be quite amusing. They had to learn how to use the ramp to get in and out of the coop. The chickens learned it pretty quickly, and they are able to flap their wings enough to achieve soft landings while getting down and elegant hops onto the ramp.

The ducks had a harder time learning to use the ramp. The first few days we'd have to put them in the coop by hand. Watching them come out in the morning was hilarious. Leif would take one step out onto the ramp, not watching where she was going and not understanding the ramp, her second step would be off the edge, she would fall head first into the dirt below...."HEH!"...then took off running.

Percy learned how to go up the ramp by himself at night like the chickens, but Leif would be the only one left out. We would hear her, protesting loudly at being the only one left outside the coop. We'd have to go out there with the broom to herd her and put her in the coop ourselves. {Which got her all worked up, "HWAH!!!!! HWAH!!!! HWAH!!!!" While the rest of the flock stared from inside the coop, probably wondering why they had to share a home with an idiot duck. She's terrified of the broom now.} It was watching her try to make it up the ramp that was hilarious, because...

Ducks have very poor spatial awareness.

Leif would see the rest of her flock inside the coop, and she tried to get in, she tried so hard and would get so confused. She would stand next to the ramp, and since her head would be positioned over the ramp, she thought she was on it. So we'd watch her, repeatedly, walk up to the ramp, think she was on it instead of next to it, and she'd turn and walk toward the coop...then stop, wondering why she was now under the coop instead of in it. So she'd go back to the ramp and repeat. Over and over, she didn't understand why she wasn't getting inside the coop.

A similar thing happened when we first introduced them to their pool. They would walk up to the pool, their head over the side, they would gobble up water with their bills and dunk their heads in. Then, they appeared to think they were in the water because it was all they saw in front of them. Instinct to swim took over at the sight of water. The result was a comical display of them trying to paddle and swim on the ground: they'd squat down, and run rapidly in circles, before tripping and face planting in the dirt.

I could watch them being fools all day, but they finally learned to push themselves over the pool edge. Watching them get out of the pool still usually results in some trips and falls.

I am glad we decided to get ducks. They are so fun to watch; I understand now why they have a reputation for being silly. They get along so well with the chickens. The chickens have a pecking order and can get into spats with each other, the ducks are completely oblivious to any conflict, they waddle around the yard all day--"HEH!"--wagging their adorable tails and gobbling up food and water like piggies. Every once in a while they abruptly plop down, fold their heads onto their backs between their wings and close their eyes. 

May 2014

Our sweet, silly ducks, Percy & Leif. We will never be able to take them seriously.

Cheers,
Heather


HWEH!

1 comment:

  1. This was the first blog I read this morning while having my coffee. These ducks crack me up! I never realized what personalities they have. All I have ever heard about them is that they are messy and loud. Well so are kids but we have those!

    Have a great day :-)

    Erica

    ReplyDelete

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