Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hard luck

Poor little gal.

It's been t-shirt weather here for the past week. Even in Alabama, 75 degree weather in January is just not right. (That's 24°C.)

The duck pictured standing on ice a few weeks ago is the one who started out black and turned "tweed". Now she's getting more and more white feathers and I'm interested to see if she'll become completely white in the end.

Another one of the formerly all-black ducks is starting to develop a few white feathers now too, so he may be headed down the same path.


Before posting this entry, I decided to try doing a bit of research to see if this was a common phenomenon among black Indian Runner ducks. Now I'm suspecting that there may have been significant interbreeding with some Cayuga ducks, which apparently start out black and become more white-flecked as they age. (Scroll down to the photos at the bottom of that link.) Email me privately for the name of the mail-order hatchery we used, if you want to avoid receiving these alledged Indian Runner ducks!

Another note:
For anyone new to reading this blog - the ducks are just kept in this pen at night (for their safety), and are free to roam during the day.


KFarmer said...

That is strange about the ducks- When ever I order chickens, they always throw in a "rare & unusual breed" for free. Do they do that w/ducks too?

Floridacracker said...

So, do these ducks put themselves up at night? Or do you and Jas have to do a "duck drive" each evening?
When I let my chickens out, I just wait until dark at which time they become completely immobile. Then I can pick them up and toss them in their safehouse.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

That's some hot weather you are having there. I hope it cools off some.

Those are some pretty ducks. They may not be what you ordered, but their feathers are still quite lovely.

happyandblue2 said...

Do there feathers go white because they are aging. Like human hair..

Maktaaq said...

Thank you for the Celsius!

Also, thanks for the link in the earlier post - I was tickled pink!

Rurality said...

KF you must be ordering from McMurray...? The place I ordered from doesn't do that. The more I looked into it, the more I'm convinced that all but 2 of the runner ducks we ordered are nowhere near pure runner ducks.

FC, sort of. We close the pen during the day most of the time. As it's getting dark, we open it and they run right in! Except for the muscovies, who are contrary must be herded in. Last year we had to herd everybody in, but they've mostly caught on now. (Runners are a lot easier to herd than muscovies BTW.) In fact if we're away and come home late, the ducks dash down from the woods, complaining very loudly about the fact that they've not been put up yet. I think they realize it's a lot safer in the pen. We keep the door closed during the day, otherwise Jasmine tends to try to corner any chicken, duck, or cat who wanders in.

In the morning, as soon as the ducks see me they start clamoring to be let out. When I open the door, they sometimes fly out OVER THE TOP instead of walking out. But they never, never fly out before I open the door! Crazy ducks.

RD, yes they are nice all the same, but I probably could have gotten "mutt" ducks locally much cheaper. It's irritating that I didn't get what I ordered.

H&B, no I think it's the ducks that are giving me gray hairs!

Maktaaq you are entirely welcome!

KFarmer said...

Yes, thats who I order from. The chicks are usually healthy (even the rare one) so I cant really complain too much about them.