I love ducks. They are such happy little gossips; they bring such joy to the farm. Last fall, I sold the last of our ducks because I didn't think I had a good enough house to winter them properly. It's been almost six months since we had ducks on our farm, and I couldn't stand it any longer. I decided this week that we needed baby ducks. (Yes, needed them.)
When I get it in my head that I need a particular farm animal, I get a little obsessive about it. The hunt for the one particular breed of whatever can get a tad absurd as I search high and low for "the one." Over the years, some of the chicken breeds I've gotten a bee in my bonnet over have included: Speckled Sussex, Silver-laced Wyandottes, Marans, Welsummers, Easter Eggers, Polish, and Salmon Faverolles. (I'm a bit of a collector - I like having variety in my flock.)
So when I got it in my head I wanted ducks this week, I went to the local farm store for the launch of "Chick Days." (Which, in case you were wondering, is the real beginning of spring.) When I got there, they had Speckled Sussex, Silver-laced Wyandottes, Marans, Welsummers, Easter Eggers, Polish, and Salmon Faverolles. But no ducks. And so the hunt began.
It ended today when I struck gold. I arrived at the hatchery just before closing on hatching day. It took a lot of restraint to only leave with six ducklings (three breeds.) A lot of restraint.
But we're now the proud owners of a pair of Rouens, a pekin hen, and three Anconas of unknown gender. We've always had Anconas and Pekins in the mix of our duck flock. The Rouens are new for us - they'll grow up to look like really big mallards. I'm already head over heels in love with them. I have no idea how I survived six whole months with no ducks.
Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.