Flicker’s Lair Blog

Chickens v Ducks

by Heidi on July 11th, 2008
 
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We have wanted to add Muscovy ducks to our little homestead since I read about their prodigious appetite for flies. Finally yesterday evening Steve collected 10 month old ducklings………

We thought we could put them in with the chickens. In we go with the box of ducks and take 1, then 2, then 3 ducklings out of the box. The chickens go berserk! No, that really isn’t too strong a word, they were hysterical. Running around, screeching, trying to fly away; and there’s only 3 ducklings out of the box, all smaller than the 25 big 2½ month old chickens.

We figure ok, we will need to separate them; we move all the chickens into the middle stall and shut the little ‘door’ between the stalls. We get the rest of the ducklings out of the box and leave them to settle in.

We’re stood just watching our livestock, when a little duck head sticks under the wall into the chicken stall. The duckling starts scrabbling and is soon under, quickly joined by 2 more. The chickens notice and are starting to panic again.

The ducks find this funny! You can hear them laughing quietly and calling their friends through. They are herding the chickens into corners and chasing them around in circles.

We realise that something needs to be done, and I go in to try and catch the mischievous ducklings. I have a box and manage to catch the first easily enough, but the second one doesn’t want to be caught and I find myself chasing a duck that is chasing chickens around a small enclosed space with chickens flying at me!

I am now in tears from laughing, and squealing because of the chickens flying at me. I have gotten the second duck into the box and am now chasing the third, but the first two are trying to escape and the third is proving elusive. I try and fold down the lid to contain the first two and get back to trying to apprehend the third. At which point a crazed chicken lands on the box opening it, then seemingly unaware of the company stays in the box, while the ducks try to get out. By now we also have a chicken hiding in a feed bucket.

I need help, but have managed to lock Steve in the duck stall. I give up on the third and take the box with the other two, sans chicken, to the duck stall, also liberating Steve from his containment. I sent him in to catch remaining trouble maker.

Finally we had 10 little ducks in one stall, 25 crazed chickens in the next, a thoroughly wound up puppy in the third stall, 12 loud sheep out in the open part of the barn (they think there may be some grain involved) and me unable to compose myself, laughing so much I still can’t really speak.

We left them all to it. This morning Steve went out to open the barn doors and assured me that the chickens had spent the night safe from invasion by rampaging ducks!

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