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Unlucky Ducks

I was delighted to have bred my Ailesbury ducks during last autumn and had seven additions to the flock – four drakes and three ducks. However, I soon discovered that over half an acre of garden is far too small for so many ducks – 11 including the original four. In no time at all they destroyed my lawn with the amount of excreta they … well … excreted, the holes they dug and the feathers they dropped everywhere. I am very much gone off the idea of keeping ducks.

I was quite happy, therefore, when a friend offered to take the new birds off my hands last weekend. So I gave her six birds and she went merrily on her way to bring the flock to her large garden in Meath. They weren’t even there a week when the telephone calls came about the dirt and feathers messing up her garden and – most annoying of all – destroying the decking outside her back door. The rest of the family weren’t impressed, as the males in the house had to clean up the decking.

Her problem didn’t last long, however. A local fox discovered the birds the other night and all but one disappeared. Two were found dead in a nearby field (I believe it was not a pretty sight) and the other three have disappeared, feared dead also. A single drake was left a very lonely and troubled bird. It was certainly a bad end for the ducks and not how I would have liked their lives to end. I certainly would have preferred them on my plate rather than being killed by a fox.

I gave her another duck yesterday as company for the remaining drake.  Let’s hope she has better luck with them this time.

I’m back to the original four I had and am still making up my mind about their fate. If any reader would like them and can collect them, I’ll be happy to give them away, but be warned – they are not a great garden bird, so lots of room is required.

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