Monday, 3 June 2013

Life in the duck lane

Quite unexpectedly, the ducks have become everyone's favourite farm animal.
Everything they do is comical - the way they move, the noises they make, the way they behave.

They waddle around the vegetable garden in line, like a runaway train, this way, that way and back this way again. The drake's reassuring quacks give away their presence. Otherwise, they just get on with life, coming and going, going and coming, ever dabbing their beaks into the ground after juicy morsels.
They demand very little. A toddlers paddling pool for the occasional dip, the odd handful of food and a house for the night.
The ducks struggled to get in and out of their water,
so I made a ramp for them out of turves.

As well as the three lovely duck eggs they leave in their house most mornings, the ducks have fulfilled their primary function, as there are now very few slugs to be found in the veg plot. In fact, they have learned to follow the rotavator, snapping up the worms and such like. When Don is working his land, they stand by the fence watching.
They did once though unearth all my onion sets just minutes after I had planted them! Had they unearthed the lot, I could have just replanted them. However, they just scattered a few randomly over the soil, leaving me with no clue where the gaps were. The result is that I now have some very gappy rows of onions.
I have learned to give it half an hour or so between rotavating a veg bed and planting anything into it.

The ducks have learned to go in after the rotavator.
But the ducks are naughty!
Leave the gate open for a few seconds and they're out, without fail, exploring and wandering.

And so to my party trick. For all I have to do is shout "DUCKS" in my firmest teacher voice and up pop their heads in unison before they waddle off at speed back towards the veg plot.

The good news is that the ducks cannot fly. Otherwise I've a sneaky feeling they'd be off into the sky with the wild mallards which wheel around and fly low over every now and then.

So that's it. Life in the duck lane.

...and I never even stooped to a "quackers" pun.

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