On Saturday, we brought a few empty boxes to the live animal auction at Ledlow's, near Montello, and scored eight head of Muscovy ducks - four "drakes" (males) and four females ("ducks"). We were very interested in these ducks ever since receiving a free trial issue of "Backyard Poultry" magazine. Here is why:
- they are quackless
- they are good egg layers
- they are good at hatching their own eggs (no incubator)
- they are good meat birds, and most importantly,
- their favorite food is mosquitos!!!
Auntie Karen and Uncle Stan
Auntie Dena and Uncle Eddie
Auntie Jana and Uncle Jim
Auntie Soozie and Uncle Mike ... hence "Los Tios" (aunties and uncles)
We settled on eight because we got a deal, and eight were all there were...so no Uncle Steve at this time. However, just coincidentally, we spotted a stray TURKEY roaming outside Portage, and we were this close to pulling over and stuffing (pardon the pun) him into the van. Had the turkey a Sudoku book tucked under a wing, I certainly would have.
Zak and Solomon threw some fencing up and Solomon slapped together a mean shelter for them. Later, if things work out (ie, we don't have a duck butchering party), we will make something more permanent. Their pen is right outside our big picture window (which we call "the flat screen"), so we can watch them all day.
They are very peer driven, and their routine goes like this: First thing out of pen - every body sift dirt on the ground. Next, everybody preen. Next, everyone nap. Next, everyone walk around fluttering like you're heading for Mexico (they can fly, but haven't left the ground). They change tasks as if someone rang a bell. Next, everyone sit and eat gnats or mosquitos, or look like you're chewing gum.
Anyway, today we had a hoopla because we successfully escorted them back into the pen in record time. Zak and Solomon and Sarah (the duckboys and duckgirl), with one accord, navigated the tightly compacted flock (that is how they travel) effortlessly into their pen. Yesterday, we had to do the two-step and it took awhile, but today, they knew exactly what we wanted and complied.
Night night, los Tios!