Friday, April 22, 2011

On ducks...

 I found these ducks in a box of my mum's things and thought they might be nice for a small Easter post. 

Mum was an infant teacher and made and collected teaching aids all her life and she didn't often throw things away. These ducks are probably older than me. Anyway they got me thinking about the ducks of my childhood.
My folks were into self-sufficiency -- a kind of pre-hippy thing, and we had loads of animals, and among the various kinds of poultry, we had white muscovy ducks and lovely browny Khaki Campbell ducks, and I bet you can guess which ones I liked best.
Yep, the Khaki Campbells. They seemed somehow gentler and more friendly than the other ducks. They were my dad's favourites, too. There's something about ducks. They make me smile.
I especially loved the ducklings, little balls of cheeping tortoise-shell fluff. Sometimes not all the eggs of a nest hatched, but the mother and ducklings had moved off. In those cases my sister Jan used to hatch them herself, wrapped in old woollen jumpers and placed in the electric frypan on the lowest setting.

When the orphaned ducklings hatched, they used to follow us around, cheeping like mad. The best day was when they first discovered water. They took to it like... yeah, that. Absolute joy and delight.
These days people are coming back to self-sufficiency, but though many of my friends grow their own vegies and some fruit and some keep chickens, nobody I know keeps ducks. It's a shame. Joyful creatures, ducks. Though possibly a bit messy for suburban back yards.
What about you? Any experience with ducks? Grow your own? Yearn after a little self-sufficiency? Or do you prefer your ducks roasted?


  1. I love ducks. But I don't eat them. They're a bit too greasy for my taste. Like geese. We do occasionally have ducks that wander through the yard for a few days. They're wood ducks and build their nests in the hollows of dead trees. They're fun to watch.

    We're not allowed to keep wildlife where I'm at, even though I have well over an acre to keep them on. The city fines heavily when they find out you have them.

    Such a shame too...

  2. Theo, it is a pity you can't keep ducks, though these ducks aren't what I'd call wildlife. We have the same restrictions here about keeping wildlife -- you're not allowed to have pet kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, etc.

    My favorite kind of roast duck is the chinese duck, where it's basted in a heap of tasty spices and roasted. Yum. And not too greasy at all.