You may remember Chip-Chip as a tiny duckling rescued from our cat’s and dog’s mouths. He lived for a few weeks in my bedroom, then the garage , then the woodshed and finally in our pond. He’s free to go but for the time being he prefers waddling after me in the garden and having a chat. One day I was scolding a daughter for lopping off the head of a Brussels sprout plant and noticed Chip sitting at my feet (he’s very quiet when he wants to be!). I couldn’t stay mad about the sprouts, could I?
Chip is far friendlier than the domesticated ducks we raised and eagerly gave away (we still have two Khaki Campbells Sophie and Ferdinand–our one daughter calls him Ferdiler for some reason). he gets bonus points for coming when he’s called and napping on my lap. I see him stretching his wings now and again so he may leave us someday, but for now we’ll enjoy him.
We were told by the experts that Khaki Campbell ducks don’t make babies.To clarify they hardly ever get broody and if by chance they do the Khaki duck makes a terrible mother. Some of you remember the big chicken massacre of winter 2015 when Sophie the duck managed to flee the blood thirsty fox but not without a noticeable limp.
We assumed she’d kick the bucket but wanted a few more ducks so we stole a few eggs and gave them to a broody chicken.
Summer arrived and suddenly Sophie would go missing for hours, only appearing once or twice a day with much fanfare and noise. Ferdinand was always thrilled to see her–for 15 minutes–and off she’d go again. We discovered her 11 eggs tucked in a nest where the sheep now grazed.
Before we could decide what to do Sophie shocked us when she ran out the next day with a tiny malformed duckling dead and hanging from her mouth. My daughter and I grabbed all her eggs and found another broody chicken. Sophie screamed and cried for her eggs–so we gave a few back.
Now we have chickens who think they’re ducks and ducks who think they’re chickens all over the property. Turns out Sophie was not half bad as a mother after we rescued her baby from Ferdinand that first week. My husband re-enacted a great high school football moment with a flying dive to save the little critter. We let mother and baby bond for a while in a big tub and set them free with some trepidation. But the bonding session worked and Sophie gave Ferd a piece of her mind when he tried to get near the duckling. Now they march around as a family unit–sometimes. Other times the little one hangs out with the friends he doesn’t know are his brothers and sisters.
We’re not really sure what to do with all these ducks–but they’re so adorable and most of us don’t like dark meat. I suppose they’re just lawn ornaments.
Yes, there is bullying on the little farm. Scolding them in a slow teacher voice does nothing to stop it, so I carry on to the barn for a fun time in the snow with the goats, cat, ducks and chickens. Maybe I’ll get a good picture for Christmas cards!
No Pixie. I’m not kidding. Snow is fun. The babies will LOVE it.
The photo shoot with the chickens gets cancelled. The chickens are being chickens. Oliver the cat is being a big baby.