Sunday, September 6, 2015

Duck Population Decreases

Things were getting a bit crowded in the pool:
13 Ducks in the pool; 12 weeks old.
We've decreased the population. Now there are 6 calmer, happier ducks.
Our six Golden Cascades; 13 weeks old.
We sold two females, then butchered five others. We'd planned all along to butcher the White Appleyards and the Golden Cascade drakes. I've been carefully selecting which GC's I would keep: 5 females and 1 drake. Long ago I identified two drakes, and chose which one I would keep based on his prime coloring. I chose two GC females to remove; one was sold, the other to be dinner--one was small and not the right coloring, the other was just TOO crabby.

Just after we finished the butchering and were getting back to business, Tim noticed that one of the "females" wasn't quacking, but was making that drake sound. OH, NO! I shooed it out to make it mad; still no quack. I picked it up; still no quack. And, to top it off, I noticed a curly tail. Other than the lack of a quack, and a curly tail, this one looks like a hen. Or so I thought. :( He disguised himself by having a blue-grey beak and no white ring around his neck.
Golden Cascade drake; what a surprise!
I believe that the drakes should really look more like this:
Golden Cascade Drake
So, now we have 4 hens for laying and 2 drakes. I don't know what I'll do about the extra drake; I really only intended to keep one, and if this oddball is really the wrong coloring I don't want to breed with him.

Four hens should be plenty for eggs for the two of us, so fewer ducks is ok, although I had thought five would be nice to have extra eggs to sell. We'll be fine with the four.

It is very nice to have fewer ducks. They are much calmer, less competitive for food or pool time, and it's SO NICE to be putting out half as much feed. The two that I sold helped recoup the money spent on food, which is nice, considering we hadn't intended to keep them around so long. We've just been so busy building a house, we haven't had time for this task of "decreasing the population."

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