A while later, I bought two of the young ducks and they were brought here to come live with our chickens and make use of the chicken run and chicken coop. Chickens and ducks together. A real little farm!! One was named Jemima (after Beatrix Potter's Jemima Puddle Duck) and the other was named Bolt (named after famed Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt because it was a runner duck).
The chickens hated the ducks and attacked them to the point of damaging them. It was horrible.
We created a very temporary "duck run" from which one of the ducks escaped and ran into the neighbouring field. We could hear it quacking and ran around with a net in our hands, but we were dodging plant material, and the duck was wiley and fast. We were pretty sure we would never get the duck back. So, we devised a plan. In the evening, after the chickens went in to roost, we put the remaining duck in a cage in the chicken run and left the gate to the run open. We hoped that the duck (safe inside the cage) would quack pathetically and the escaped duck would be lured back to be with its sibling. Sure enough, we checked later on that night and the duck had come back!! It was inside the chicken run close to the cage, so we shut the gate and had both of our ducks back.
|Jemima and Bolt beside their charming little duck house.|
So... time went on, and a couple of bags of duck feed later, it was becoming winter. We have a heat source in the chicken coop, but not for the ducks. However, lots of fowl winter just fine as long as they have some shelter. So, they managed o.k. until we went away to a family Christmas gathering and when we came back, we only had one duck and some blood smears in the snow. Not good. So, we asked our lovely neighbour lady's husband where he kept his ducks in the winter. He had a little barn that he put them in, so I asked if he could keep our remaining duck over the winter. He kindly agreed to do that. We gave him our remaining duck feed.
A few weeks after that, he came around to our house to tell us that our other duck was found keeled over in the barn. He didn't know why it died.
I vowed never to have ducks again.