Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life With Ducks

It has been a long time since I have posted anything about our ducks on here, so I thought it is about time for an update!
The summer months are always hard for our backyard female.... when we brought the ducks home as wee babies, we bought 3 females. A couple months later, when the sexes became obvious, we realized that we had 2 males and only 1 female. Bad news for us, because that meant less eggs, but it has also been bad news for the female. With only one female, for 2 males, well... let's just say the males are a little (OK, a whole lot) overzealous about mating with her. And, if you have ever seen ducks mate, it is not a pretty site. It is very rough. And with 2 males, each wanting there turn, the poor gal gets de-feathered and beaten. Each summer we have tried to re-home one of the males, but have had no such luck. And we have felt too guilty to slaughter him ourselves. Plus, the 3 of them are inseparable, and follow each other everywhere.... they are a 3 duck flock, and get sad if we even try and put them on different sides of the yard.  But, as the summer wears on, the mating becomes less and less, the female recovers, and everyone is once again happy and healthy. But, if anyone wants a male duck for a pet, please contact me!
A few weeks ago, just at duck, we heard boisterous quacking coming from the backyard. Todd bolted out the back door as fast as he could, and as he did, a raccoon took off running.... and just in the nick of time. The ducks were all alive, but one of the males was badly injured on his neck. No blood, but he wasn't able to hold his head up for more than a week! After a day of him holding his neck in, we realized that he was not able to eat of drink, as he couldn't stretch his neck out to get the food. As our ducks are still people shy, they do not like to be picked up, so examining him, without injuring him further, was not an option. We decided to put some food and water propped up higher, on a stump, and he was able to reach it! He slowly but surely got stronger, and he is now back to normal. Glad we didn't have a death-by-raccoon on our hands, but thinking back, it almost would have been better if he was eaten. Then we wouldn't have to deal with the crazy mating thing.
Having ducks has been a learning experience and they are seriously funny. And of course, they are a hit with the kids. Phoebe wakes up every morning, pulls aside the curtain, and starts yelling "duck! duck!".

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  1. Sounds like it would be fun to have ducks in the backyard. I'm sure your kids love it!

  2. I did not know you owned ducks and it sounds like they live a soap opera kind of life! I am so happy that the hurt duck recovered. I would have been so sad.

  3. So much fun!!! We are thinking of adding some ducks to our flock next year :)

  4. She should just tell those males that she has a headache. Somehow, I don't think they'd care.

  5. i didnt even know you had ducks! neat!

  6. I am probably your only reader who has also gone through this EXACT same thing. Got three, didn't realize the sexes until the two big pekins were smothering the little black one. Additionally, the Pekins were too big for our yard- so I put them on a commmunity message board for free and someone came and took all three to a nearby farm. Didn't solve the unfair mating issue on the female unfortunately. We have since gotten two Khaki Cambells- both female. I got them off craigslist! Which is also a good place to put ducks up for grabs.

  7. I guess I DID know you had ducks and forgot.
    ; )