Alright, so we have a lot of duck drama going on around here. I will fully own that the problem started with me. As many of you know, our OG duck, Downton, had a sister that got eaten by the dinosaur that lives in our pond. I wanted Downton to have a real duck family of her own so when Tractor Supply started selling ducks this spring, Syd and I ran down there and bought 8 ducklings. Yes, 8. EIGHT. As someone who champions making each moment count, I can say in that moment I failed miserably. Who buys 8 ducklings? How did someone who has a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics make this decision? Do you know what happens to 8 ducklings? They turn into 8 enormous ducks, that’s what. Especially on this farm because everyone enjoys an all you can eat buffet.
Despite this failure, things were ok for a while. We built a bigger pen to hold them all. Downton adopted them and let them follow her around. We had many days of saying things like, “aww, there goes the little duck family.” They did great for a while.
Until the hormones hit…….
And we figured out that we had 9 big ducks total.
7 males, and 2 females.
And to our horror we witnessed the first duck nonconsensual mass breeding.
And then we witness duck racism.
Now we have major Duck Drama.
Did you know that ducks’ sinuses are in the backs of their head? Well they are. Male ducks grab the backs of the female’s heads when breeding. If a female is bred to often all this biting the back of her head irritates her sinuses and she gets something called foamy eye. This is discharge from her irritated sinuses. Gross right? I agree. But our female mallard, not Downton, got foamy eye because we have 7 males who are single and ready to mingle.
One Sunday morning I went out to feed the animals before leaving for church and the mallard female had foamy eye. I could ignore the drama no longer. At this point there is a Pekin and Mallard that have claimed the two females respectively. So, I rounded up all the other males and threw them into the dog kennel to keep them from harassing the females. #metoomovement
Ok, so now I have to tell you about Skinny. Skinny is neither Mallard nor Pekin. He is, well we don’t really know. But the Mallards and the Pekins are unified in only two things—Bred the females and Skinny must die.
I could pull so many biblical principles out of this situation. First and for most being there is something in us that just inherently hates what is different. It’s us at our most animal like. But these ducks don’t have the benefit of a Savior that empowers them to overcome their prejudices. They don’t have the Word of God that tells them all nations, all races, all tongues will be unified in heaven. Because they don’t possess this knowledge, they act out on this animal instinct by grabbing Skinny by the back of the head jumping on him and bludgeoning them with their bills. Seriously folks it’s the slowest and worst way to die. Terrorists could learn something from these ducks. Don’t worry, we have saved Skinny so many times.
My dad was right when he said this farm is a petting zoo and not a real farm because I can’t bear to have anyone on this property suffering. I am dealing with 3 different duck groups who cannot coexist. I have the couples: Downton and her new husband Big Pekin and the Mallard female and mallard male that paired off. I have the bachelors: the four males, 2 Pekin and 2 Mallards. And I have Skinny: the duck without a place to lay his head.
The couples are in the duck coup. They are the only ones who are trying to do life in a good way, so they get the best house. Hey, you don’t get the promised land if you don’t follow the 10 Commandments. The bachelors are in the dog kennel. Problem: the dog kennel does not have roof, so a bobcat already picked off one of the bachelors. I feel terrible but I really am trying to do the best I can. So, if you are counting, we are down from 9 to 8 ducks, total. After that death I moved the bachelors into the chickens’ outside scratching pen. The chickens are flabbergasted at this, but I asked them to have a better attitude. They ignored me and pooped in my garage. Whatever. And Skinny? He moved into Jesse’s shop. He lives under the 1971 Mustang making him the coolest duck by far. However, the bachelors, unless they are locked in the goat pen, would still bludgeon him to death if given the chance.
While trying to feed everyone on Friday morning before taking everyone to school I had a breakdown. I just can’t keep this up anymore. I’m constantly worried that someone is loose and Skinny is getting bludgeoned to death. I cannot be party to anymore nonconsensual mass breeding of my sweet girl ducks. Everyone got loose on Friday and I was having to employ Parkour to catch them and get them back where they belong. I am 40 and recovering from a stomach bug, I can’t do this. So, it has come to this….
The extraneous males are going to be processed. If you don’t know what “processed” means I’ll explain it. Processing means they are going to live on a beautiful farm that is full of duck food and exquisite ponds. On this farm there are no problems and all ducks get along. On this farm the weather is always perfect and they are happy all the time. No one is trying to kill anyone.
This is the only way I can protect my females and not spend every waking minute of my day managing duck drama. This is by no means some sort of feminist move, I promise. I don’t hate males. And I fully own that this is my fault. In that moment at Tractor Supply I should have paused and reconsidered buying 8 ducklings. #failedmiddlemarchmoment But now we have all been rolled over by the circle of life. Peace will be restored and before too long we will get to enjoy some delicious Duck la orange. (I am sorry to all my friends who are vegetarians.)