Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Ducks arrive!

It's addictive, poultry. You think you can be happy with a trio of bantams, only to find yourself caving in and adopting ex battery hens a month later. Then you see an irresistible rare breed which lays blue eggs, that you just have to have... Well today we took our poultry  collection to another level and bought some ducks!

They are gorgeous - Khaki Campbells - widely believed to be the best 'starter duck' - fairly hardy and good layers. We got them from a lovely lady breeder called Julie Reading at AllThingsDuck in Minety, Wiltshire. We are told that it is best to have a drake with your females, as it keeps them calm and happy. It seems to be the case, as the two females follow him everywhere he goes.

We are also told that it is better to have a minimum of two females to each drake, as drakes are, erm - how can I put this? - insatiable - and a poor solo female can be left exhausted or worse, injured!

They seem happy in their new enclosure, although they haven't got the hang of putting themselves to bed yet - twice I have had to run around in the dark ,chasing them with a head torch so that I can put them to bed in their duck house.

I am very glad that we got them from a reputable breeder (having considered several adverts in local papers). They weren't cheap at £25 for each female and £5 for the drakes - but Julie gave us lots of useful advice (for example - did you know that unlike chickens, you should never pick a duck up by their legs as this is the most fragile bit?) and a number to call if we have any problems. I am confident that they disease free and healthy. 

The only thing is, while we were choosing our ducks at the breeders, we noticed that she also had some amazing metallic green Cayuga ducks which are frankly, a bit irresistible...

Now is that a sexy looking duck or what?
I am sure it won't be long.

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