I believe that one year ago, today, my first two ducklings hatched because I purchased them as 3-day old hatchlings as soon as they arrived at the feed store -three days later. I was eagerly waiting because it had taken me months to talk my husband into having backyard, garden ducks. I was told they were "Indian Runners", but I soon figured out they are Khaki Campbells -didn't matter, I was already in love with them. We named them Cheeze and Kwackers.
They were sooo cute and loved playing in my garden, hunting for worms and slugs.
Fortunately, Kwackers turned out to be a girl because I later learned that only female ducks really quack. I also learned that having only two ducks could turn into a problem. So, in August, I found a local family who was willing to give me some Khaki Campbell eggs and I put them in the incubator.
As they say, "Never count your chicks before they hatch." Out of seven eggs only three survived to hatching although one pipped upside down and needed my help to hatch. My plan was to keep two girls and rehome the rest -but then there were only three and I loved all three. They were so cute!
The one I helped hatch had facial stripes so I knew he wasn't pure Khaki. He turned out to be 1/2 Khaki, 1/2 Silver Appleyard and a beautiful drake. We named him Salsa and the two girls, Chip and Dip. Salsa was my favorite so I hoped everyone would get along.
I was wrong! Kwackers was great with the younger ducks but Cheeze just wanted them gone -especially Salsa.
After many hours of observing them and thanks to great advice from BYC members, I discovered the problem was this little hen, Dip. Salsa wanted Dip to be his mate but she was always flirting with Cheeze causing massive fights between the boys-oh the drama! I started looking for a new home for Cheeze.
While I was waiting for a family to return from vacation, who I thought might take Cheeze, a strange event took place. The wind blew the gate open and let the group get together. There must have been a big battle but by the time I got home from work they were all together and Salsa was the boss. Salsa has been the big boss duck ever since.
Now, all five spend the day swimming in their pools, helping me in the garden, eating treats (lots of treats), and getting in trouble trying to use the people pool.
Salsa keeps a close watch on Dip, she still is a flirt!
But generally, everyone gets along. I love my little flock of five! Now, if I could only talk my husband into more . . .
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