My ducks

My ducks have to be fed, even on a holiday. They’re nearly grown, are flapping their wings and quacking (though they can flap, it seems, only to help them get out of the water), and are absolutely voracious. I’m going through oatmeal like it was water (and it’s going through the ducks like crap through a goose), and I’ve just ordered another sack of mealworms. This week I’ll try them on lettuce and unfrozen frozen peas and corn.

Here are the “babies”: three drakes and a hen. The hen is the shyest one, so I make sure she gets a full ration. (I also hope her brothers don’t rape her!) The hen is top right, and hasn’t developed a green pate:

They all know me now, and come running or swimming when I whistle. They have also started leaving the water and taking food from my hand on land (they’ve long taken it in the water, but not the shy hen). Here’s mom standing guard on land over the brood above; isn’t she gorgeous?

And Mom taking a few Cheerios (a treat) from my hand.  This was the first time she trusted me enough to do that.



  1. Randy schenck
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    So much responsibility and so little time.

  2. Taskin
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Those are some fine looking ducks!

  3. Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Awesome! Glad things are we going well!! 😇

  4. nicky
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    At the risk of being banned (ducks are, after all, the cats among birds) I’m quite fond of duck dishes (guilty confession).
    I knew two farmers in Zeeland (Old Zealand that is, on the island of Tholen, to be precise), who had an arrangement: you kill and eat my ducks, and I kill and eat yours.
    Just goes to say that our attitude to animals is deeply flawed, not to say schizophrenic: “Some we Love, some we Hate and some we Eat” (I won’t post the link to that book again, since we got the whole cover on your site last time)

  5. Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    They’re really beautiful
    When you think they’re going to leave you?

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Soon, I think, but maybe they’ll hang around for the noms.

      • Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Is there duckweed naturally growing in the pond, Jerry? If not, you could get several bags of it at a pond store (or from a natural pond that have tons of it) and they’ll multiply like crazy in the campus pond. This would provide backup munchies for the ducklings, should you have to miss a day of feeding them.

  6. mdeschane
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    What are “unfrozen” peas”?

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Frozen peas from the store that are defrosted so the ducks can eat them.

  7. Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Great story and pictures. Ducks, too.

    • Posted July 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes, both Old Mother Duck and the Four Little Ducks (not so little anymore).

  8. Glenda
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Jerry, your feather-babies are beautiful. Wonderful relationship. They will have a wonderful healthy advantage when they head out on their own. Good chance they will be return next year and remember you.

    During a discussion with an American biologist I had long ago, she described the Mallard duck as the ‘coyote’ of the bird world. Never for that tribute to their adaptability.

  9. rickflick
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to see beautiful wild creatures recognize you. They trust enough to allow you to join them in their world.

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    What a special relationship to have, and your paddling of ducks are clearly benefiting from it.

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