Did you really get the ducks by mail?
Yes, believe it or not, they came to us in a cardboard box via US Postal Service. We alerted our mail carrier a couple weeks beforehand and got a call first thing on the morning they arrived. We picked them up at the main post office.
Are you going to build a pond?
No. Ducks are waterfowl but do not need to live on water. Holderread, et. al. have confirmed that although ducks love to be in and around water, they do not need to swim. Many people who raise ducks recommend a well-maintained kiddie pool in season and that’s our plan.
Will they fly away?
Not likely. Unlike their ancestral kin, the wild mallard, the breeds of ducks that we have are not known for flying. Certain breeds are more peripatetic than others (Muscovy, Mallard) but not ours (Welsh Harlequin, Buff, Cayuga.)
Will you eat them?
No. I realize people eat duck but short of a complete collapse of civilization, I can’t imagine eating my pets. Don’t get me wrong, we eat chicken—preferably, but not exclusively, the humanely-raised ones—but I’ve never been a fan of duck anyway and I don’t plan to acquire a taste now.
Will you let them wander around?
They will be free-range in our large, fenced backyard and locked up at night in a converted chicken coop/covered run. The biggest issue is predators—dogs by day and raccoons by night. We also have the occasional coyote but if so, they just may be outta luck.
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes