Acquired: Bred animal myself
Posted Mar 11, 2015
Now, mind you, as a disclaimer, I was just a kid when I had ducks.
Our ducks were mallards, and we used them mostly for eggs.
My brother, two years my younger, took it upon himself to teach them to fly.
Up to that time, our mallards were mostly ground-bound. They waddled wherever they needed to go. We had a small creek on our acreage, and these ducks would make the two hundred yard trek through the horse pasture most days.
My brother Roy was determined to teach the young duckling to fly. I was smarter and, therefore, dubious. Tame mallards are just too heavy, I insisted.
But he was persistent. As the young ducklings started sprouting wings, he'd toss them in the haystack, and they'd flap and glide to a soft crash landing.
I'll never forget the day I went out to do my chores and heard an overhead whistling sound. You'd think he was one of the Wright brothers.
Well, he was "right"--I was wrong.
After that, it was a familiar sight at chore time to see eight or ten ducks fly, just over our heads, wings whistling, and glide to a landing near the chicken pen. We'd feed them with the chickens and shut them in for the night, safely out of reach of "coons."
The male (drakes) make a soft, raspy quacking sound--hardly a "quack." More like a soft "wax, wax." The drake sports a shiny, iridescent green head.
The hens are smaller than the drakes. They are brown, speckled with stronger voices. They are serious about defending their nests.
Their eggs have a slight bluish tint and are about the same size as a chicken egg and with tougher shells.
Those ducks were cool. Just cool.
They'd come up and eat right out of your hand.
They'd love to get in a mud puddle and stick their heads under the water into the mud and see what they could find. It was also fun to see the young ducklings follow the hens, single file around the yard.
What a fun way to grow up!