Monday, March 12, 2012

Ducks are not geese

Go figure, huh?

On March 2nd, we brought home 10 pekin meat ducks and 2 runners (because LJ wanted them). :) They were precious little fluff balls. Screeching, "run away, run away!", fluff balls. There's the first difference between these disgusting little creatures and our geese. The geese ran TO us. Heck, Bitor came home with me because he was in a mucky brooder with a mass of ducks. They ran to the far side of the feed store brooder, and little Bitor (Sweet Boy then, and not now, thus the name change), covered in duck poop and mucky bedding, ran TO me and looked up at me with pitiful squeaks. I was a sucker (actually, I really do like the big bitey jerk, just a little).

When you hold these ducks, they struggle to get away, all but the little runner with black feet (we've named him/her Darkwing Duck). Darkwing will snuggle down in your hand once you catch him/her. Here's the second difference. The ducks don't seem to recognize a person's face. Meaning, put your face down to them, and they look everywhere but your face. The goslings looked us straight in the face and talked like we could understand them (sorta like a 2yr old, or Henry for that matter, telling me about his day). "Uh huh. Really? Then what happened?" The goslings wanted in our laps, and they wanted to talk and talk and then take a nap on us. They were such sweet babies.

Darkwing and as-yet-unnamed runner duckling

Difference number three. These ducks are filthy. They fling food everywhere. Everywhere! They have plenty of water to wash off in, yet are mucky with food. The goslings cleaned themselves constantly. The ducks don't bother. Yucky yucky yucky.  I have a feeling that, by the time they are slaughter weight, I'll be very very happy to see them go.  :)

These pekins grow really fast.  Here's the before and after, in just a week's time.  Sorry for the photo quality... camera phone fun-ness.
They went from this little fuzzball
To this, in a week.

Crazy, eh?

Anyhoo, there's our duckling drama. 

Coming soon: More about the piggles, the geese, and the 8 (yes, EIGHT) guinea keets that we brought home this weekend.  ** This is the farm that doesn't end... it just grows on and on my friend...**

Hope everyone had a splendid Monday!



Miriam said...

I still can't get over how YELLOW that little one is! Can that be natural, or have you taken a can of neon spray paint to it?!

LindaG said...

Haha. Loved your post. :-)
I like that your farm keeps growing, too. Lots to learn from you. :-)

Carolyn Renee said...

We bought a dozen Pekin ducks several years ago. They were the TASTIEST thing EVER! Smoked with an orange/brandy sauce. I could have eaten the entire skin off one if DH didn't stop me.
We ate them up in a year. And even though I loved how they tasted, it's been five years since we had them. For the exact reasons you stated. You think they are messy & anti-social now? Just wait, it gets worse!
We'll probably get them again....but after the memory of the messy buggers leaves my head.

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

I was most surprised by the SMELL. I had never had such a stench then when I brought my Khaki Campbells home from the feed store. Two of them - not EIGHT!! And just from the runny - ass poop all over the brooder.

They do fling water everywhere, are very messy with food. But I grew to love my boy and girl - they would waddle after me and chatter chatter chatter when I did the outside chores. The H took to them instantaneously - he took it the hardest when they were eaten.

Next time I'm hatching them myself in the hopes they will imprint on me and be a bit more social.

Either that or just get geese. Either one.

Chai Chai said...

You are going to LOVE the guineas...once you get used to the racket they make. They are bug devouring machines and great "watch birds".

mamamcmann5 said...

How funny cause we're having our own dirty dirty duck drama. The lady at the store told me I could keep the chickens and ducks together to grow up and if I do they'll get along. The 3 runners I got (one black, one grey/blue and one yellow) are very very messy AND boy do they grow grow grow! They were the same size as the chicks when we got them 3 weeks ago and now they are head and shoulders taller. You've got more guts than I tho. I can't imagine having a cranky goose. They freak me out! Lol said...

I raised one duck and it was imprinted on me big-time. But, having one is much different than having the numbers that you are dealing with. I've been so terrified of geese!!!!!!

Love seeing your pictures and reading about your adventures with all of these critters! Keep it up.


kpannabecker said...

You make me want to get geese. I've always thought they were mean.

Hmmm, chai chai says you'll love guineas? I can't wait to see if you do. I don't think I'll have guineas again, but then I said that about turkeys and I've ordered more of them.

Good luck with all of them.

Rae said...

Miriam, totally natural. Freaky, eh?

Linda, most of the time I'm learning myself! :)

Carolyn, I'm glad they're gonna be tasty, but a little dismayed that it's gonna get worse...

Lindsey, I hear ya (or should I say smell ya) on the duck stench. We finally moved the 2 runners and into a separate brooder with the two swedish, and away from the 9 pekins. The pekins are by FAR the nastier of the ducks. They seem to be duck versions of cornish cross. Yuck. Geese. Are. Awesome. LOUD, but awesome. :)

Chai Chai, I hope so. If not, I've heard that they are tasty. We'll see. They're awfully cute right now.

mamamcmann5, I can't imagine ducks and chicks together... messy, eh? You're braver than me in that respect. And the big bad Bitor isn't all that bad... At least he can't hurt us like the rooster could. Small blessings... lol!

Lana, I can't wait until you can get more of your own creatures!

KP, I'm tellin ya, geese are awesome. Bitor's cranky right now because the ladies are laying, but the girls are pretty peaceful. Thanks for the good luck wishes!