Homesteading, Modern Day Homestead, Modern Day Homesteading, Uncategorized

What the Duck?

Since our other female duck was turned into a fox feast, we have had 2 drakes and 1 hen trying to live harmoniously together. It’s been a tad rough with them adjusting and I can tell you, each egg that hen lays is DEFINITELY fertilized… NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART. NO PICTURES, EITHER. I couldn’t do it.

The two drakes have been picking on each other fighting for the hens attention for months. I picture a duck version of West Side Story (commence snapping and slicked back hair with switch combs). They definitely are quarreling. And the duck we first thought as the “alpha” was maimed and developed a bubbly eye in the process and the other two ducks want NOTHING to do with him… tear.

Bubble eye, just from some light reading, is what happens when a duck gets a cut or essentially what could have been a wound turned into conjunctivitis, or pink eye, many of their open wounds foam or bubble… it’s not cute and I don’t want to post any pictures. We were able to successfully cure his eye with a constant application of saline two times a day. Poor Quackers. Yes, that is his name. This duck was a bully and now is being retaliated against.

The fighting hadn’t ceased. One morning we heard flipping, banging, and squawking coming from the duck house. It was like a tornado of terror waiting to be released. When we opened up the door, the two drakes fluttered out and kept wrestling and trying to hurt each other. One even grabbed the other one by the feathers under his eye and slammed his head to the ground. It was a terrible sight.

At night, we started to separate them by creating a divider in the duck house, but each day kept getting worse and worse. They started involving the female in their destructive path by trampling her if she were in the way. Keith was officially done.

After much research online, he was confident (yet scared) that he knew what to do. He ever so calmly placed the most aggressive duck in an old feedbag with the corner removed for his head. He then covered the duck’s eyes and gave one clean chop. No pain, little mess. He then prepped and plucked him properly for consumption. Quackers is now in our fridge and after two days will be transferred to the freezer.

It’s something we never thought we’d actually do. Not sure why. We jokingly talked about it, but always thought we’d pay a butcher or chicken out… see what I did there?!?! 🙂 We now have a 3.5 lbs of organic duck for our Christmas feast. That’s plenty for our little family. We keep Christmas small. VERRRRY small. I’m sure I’ll write about it soon enough.

This coming Spring, we will get two more ducklings (probably pekins) and see what our chances are at getting another female. This may continue as a trend until I get my ratio of mostly females. Then I won’t rely on purchasing new ducklings for a while, unless I come across some Indian Runner ducks. Those are the ducks I covet. But, I hear Pekins are kind and maybe they’ll let me get close enough. And MAYBE they will let me put adorable accessories on them. No? Too much? I think more tears will be shed if I hug a duck and then have to kill it.

Happy Quacky!

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