Sunday, July 31, 2016

Duck Update

It's been a long time... We now have just two of the Golden Cascades, Gertrude and Spot.

After dealing with the prolapsed oviduct issues with Bess, then with Gertrude and Ellie May, we decided to remove Wily, our drake, from the flock in April. We weren't sure we wanted to continue this breed, if the problems we'd had may be inherent with the breed. (Although, I wrote to Dave Holderread about these problems with 3 out of 4 of my ducks, and he had not heard of these problems with other Golden Cascades.) At any rate, whether Wily was causing these issues with overactivity or not, it just seemed unnecessary to keep him. So, after separating him from the girls for a couple of weeks, off to the Wolf Sanctuary he went.

In May, Ellie's prolapsed oviduct was so bad we had to let her go (another trip to the Wolf Sanctuary). Gertrude continued to have some prolapse issues (see previous posts), but continued to consistently lay eggs. Eventually the prolapse appeared all healed. She and Spot both continue to lay eggs faithfully, although Spot's eggshells are soft and often punctured or crushed by the time I pick them up. Since Ellie left, they've both gotten awfully crabby! They quack and complain any time we go near them, hunker down and ruffle their feathers. They just don't seem happy, and neither are we.

Chocolate Runner Baby
We decided to get some new ducklings, and at this time aren't sure whether we will keep the Golden Cascades or not. I will make that decision when they molt and take their yearly break--as long as they continue to lay I will keep them.

On Wednesday, August 3, our shipment should arrive with the following 6 ducklings: 2 Welsh Harlequins, 1 Cayuga, 1 White Layer, 1 Chocolate Runner, 1 Fawn & White Runner.  We're getting them from Metzer Farms this time, which adds a heat pack to allow for a smaller minimum order to be sent safely. These ducklings will all be sexed females, so we won't need to deal with butchering any drakes. We had Welsh Harlequins before and were happy with them, and wanted to try some runner ducks as well as a variety of shapes and colors. Hopefully these will be fun!

I already have names picked out: Harley & Quinn, Blackie, Whitey, Cocoa, and Fawn. Go figure.