Friday, March 27, 2015

A Duck Duh Moment

We have four ducks (all to the right in the photo). Two females, the white ones, Whitey and Quackers. Two males, grey one with awkwardly short legs is Jeffery and the black one is Patronus. We used to have 2 more, but we think our previous dog Jax chased off the male which was also black named Shawn and a grey female, Jessie, that was eaten by a hawk. We got them last year around this time and they've been good little duckies. That's their pond in the background, the turtle sandbox. They love it and always wait for it to be filled with fresh water in the morning.
We learned last year how to figure out the sexes of our ducks via the internet because we had no idea otherwise. The quacks of males are completely different than the females plus a male's tale feathers curl up as you can kind of see in the photo on Patronus (the black one). If you want to listen to the differences in the quacks, go HERE.
Our males, especially Jeffery, are very feisty when it comes to the ladies. At some point during the morning you usually see a male on top of a male on top of a female. It's silly. Jeffery is smitten with the chickens, too. He'll bite them on the neck and climb aboard with his short legs, which is normal duck mating practices, just not sure he realizes he has the wrong species. Eh, he doesn't care.
So, to the duh moment. Tyler and I were recently discussing how it sucks we haven't got any duck eggs yet. We were beginning to wonder if we'd sexed our birds wrong and we actually got all males. That wouldn't be cool. We've never seen any of our ducks lay an egg. They are never sitting on a nest when we come into the chicken house. There have been days at a time when we have had the coop on lockdown so they couldn't be keeping a secret nest somewhere successfully. What is wrong with our ducks, are they duds?!
Fast forward to this morning, Tyer says, "You know, I think the white eggs we've been getting are duck eggs." Hmmm. We went through the breeds of chickens we have and realized none of them lay white eggs, so... turns out we've had duck eggs for quite some time now. Fertilized, obviously, nonetheless! Do you know how many ducklings we could have hatched by now? A lot.

See the front two eggs all the way to the right? Duck eggs. They are always a bit odd, kind of like you can scratch the bloom off the outside and their shells seem much thicker. I always assumed one of our chickens just laid weird eggs. It is quite funny we didn't put two and two together sooner. Guess we'll be eating the last of our duck eggs for a while because the next ones from the coop are headed to the incubator!

In case you curious how duck eggs and chicken eggs compare...