|rain dancing Flora- American Buff Goose|
|don't think we'll be going out there...thank you very much|
|Lyle with Jacline|
The ducks are pretty easy to keep; good foragers- though they scarf down a lot of food. They eat slugs and snails with relish. Much of what I read expresses what a mess they will make of the yard. While they do dabble, I find them gentler on plants. If they have plenty of space, they do negligible damage to the landscape. Their droppings just seem to dissolve away in their pastured run. I do fill a rubber basin for them daily (it holds about 20 gallons) for head dunking and bathing. Ducks need to cleanse their eyes and sinuses due to how they feed. A large, metal stock tank (that is 2'x2'x4') gets topped up as needed and refilled with completely fresh water weekly for swimming.
|I spy with my little eye...|
Since they don't put themselves to bed like the chickens, people seem to think that waterfowl are not as bright. They don't seem to be as adept at problem solving as the chickens, but they do exhibit a sense of humour. I often see a duck sneak up on a chicken, goose them on the backside (no pun intended), and waddle away while quacking their heads off as if they are laughing.
|take me out of here now please.....|
Within our waterfowl flock, we have a pair of American Buff Geese. Their husbandry needs are the same as the ducks though they tend to graze more; dabble less. They are docile and calm, not too noisy, but as goslings, were extremely gregarious. They would constantly groom anyone who held them and would nibble on pant legs if they were within reach. The ducklings I raised with them are the friendliest ones in our flock from this social influence. As goslings they were a startling neon chartreuse/gold colour. Now mature, they are a soft, elegant buff hue as their name implies. They are less tame than they were as wee ones, but Flora, the female, doesn't begrudge me the occasional cuddle. She will nestle limply in my arms with her head forcefully pressed into my shoulder or in the crook of my elbow as if her skull is too heavy to lift. Nothing quite like holding an armload of floppy goose.