As usual, I didn’t notice since we’d been too busy digging and weeding and harvesting to keep track of dating ducks. But the other morning, while I filled up their bath water, I could hardly ignore the, er, evidence before my bleary eyes. This time it was Fannie (I think) tying the knot with Peep. Yes, that’s right. We’ve got another drake.
If you’re not keeping track, here’s the score. (So to speak…)
In the beginning, we thought we were getting six female ducklings:
Two Buff Orpington
Two Welsh Harlequin
What we actually got were:
One Buff Orpington (male)
One male and one female Cayuga
Two Welsh Harlequin females, including Gladys, our miracle duck*
In terms of temperament, we wanted easy-going. The website said:
Buff Orpington: calm
Welsh Harlequin: most calm
Note: If you’ve ever heard the screechy QWAAACK of the Welsh Harlequin female, you might hesitate to describe the Welshie as “most calm.” It’s possible, however, that the description is just missing a comma.
And then there’s the question of eggs.
According to the super-friendly and helpful folks at DucksforBackyards.com **, we could expect the following production levels:
130-180 eggs per year X 2 = 260-360 eggs per year
Actual eggs now expected: 0
130-180 eggs per year X 2 = 260 to 360 eggs per year
Actual eggs now expected: 130-180
150-200 eggs per year X 2 = 300-400 eggs per year (gulp!)
Total possible eggs per year : 430-600 eggs (!!!!)
Which, realistically speaking, is more than enough eggs for any family, any year.
Except for one thing: I had the soil tested.
Now I’m not sure we can eat even one!***
*Please note, regardless of what we planned vs. what we got, WE LOVE ALL OUR DUCKS!!! (PS, we did get a refund for the missing sixth duck.)
**The company guarantees a 90% accuracy rate regarding gender. If we’d noticed sooner, we could have gotten a few bucks back but we’re not upset by the turn of events—it makes an even better story!
***To be continued….
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes