Compassion in World Farming

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Amazing little ducks

It's funny how different breeds of ducks have totally different personalities. Chalk & Cheese, our Muscovy ducklings, were pondering & inquisitive creatures who just absorbed every little thing about the world around them with a rise & fall of their crest feathers. Tom & Cherry, our new Cherry Valley ducklings, are a different kettle of fish altogether. They are very animated, talkative & cheeky little characters. For the first couple of days they appeared quite nervous & I wondered if I would have as close a relationship with them as I had with my lovely Muscovies. But with patience, a lot of time spent quietly talking to them & with a bit of bribery with titbits such as the trusted old meal worms I have quickly gained their trust. Now they seem to love my company, come trotting over to see me whenever I appear & will happily eat from my hands.
We kept them in the old rabbit hutch with a ramp down to a caged off patch of garden to begin with, so that when they felt confident enough they could venture out in safety. They have had a shallow trough of water to paddle & splash about in from day one as it's been so hot. (I don't think this would be so advisable normally as they still have a fair amount of baby down left, which in cooler weather may have got soaked & led to them getting chilled.) Then yesterday I let them out of the run for the first time. Here are their first few tentative steps - you can hear the way they constantly 'chat' to one another:

A few minutes later you would have thought they owned the garden space! They grubbed about excitedly in the longer grass, fought over a feather they found & then discovered the wild bird seed on the ground table & pilfered it. They had a peck at the toes peeping out of my sandals & decided they didn't taste so good, then they came & tugged on my t-shirt as much to say come & play too mum! They reminded me of toddlers - tearing around & having to poke their beaks in to anything they found. It was lovely to see the transformation in them. Of course I am totally crazy about them, but whereas it was relaxing to spend time in the garden with Chalk & Cheese it is quite exhausting watching the two of them!

Tom & Cherry pilfering wild bird seed

Grubbing about in the longer grass (a good excuse for hubby not to mow it !)

They are amazing little ducks!


  1. you are as mad about your animals as I am.....
    nice to see

  2. Some might say just plain mad!!

  3. Chalk & Cheese are adorable! We live in a zoo, too, but they all visit and most leave in November! Not enough sun for a veggie garden, but I am a reformed hippie. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Fun post.