Ducks are funny creatures. By funny I mean awkward. To start, I don’t think I have met a single species of bird that is more helpless on the ground that spends as much time there as a duck does. Geese have a stately grace as they walk. Chickens move with a spritely jog. Ducks just waddle, I think the word was invented for them, and start to stagger like runners two seconds away from a heart attack if forced to move fast.
They also fall down a fair bit. Solid belly flops.
They really were not made for dirt.
In the water they move better, at least as gracefully as geese or swans. I think they probably dive better than those other two, but ducks are the only ones I have observed diving in clear water, so I don’t know.
The clear water was my bathtub. One of those ducks in the picture is named Goofus and I raised him by hand. He used to follow me pretty closely, but now that he has a girlfriend he doesn’t seem to know me anymore. It’s pretty sad.
Oh well. He’s still not on the menu.
As far as their other traits go, there is no bird on the farm, probably on any farm, that can make more of a mess faster than a duck. Chicken waterers really only need a light spritz of water when they are refilled and a solid cleaning maybe once a season.
Put one duck in the stall with those chickens and expect to scrub that waterer daily.
It will also run out of water twice as fast. Ducks are not good on water conservation. California pet shoppers take note.
Ducks also require feed, like chickens, which makes them expensive to raise for the table, and are much harder to defeather prior to cooking.
They’re also clumsy. I know I said that already, but it becomes really important when a fox shows up. Loose ducks are the first to disappear when there are predators. They’re just helpless, and they and everybody else know it.
Pick a chicken up and they might tear your arm up or scream your ear out.
A goose will clock you in the head with a wing if you aren’t careful. Hard.
A duck might give you a nibble and then quack.
Yeah, they know the game is up as soon as you catch them. They’re just hoping you might respond to a polite request not to eat them.
So why do I have a whole bunch of them?
Hard to prep for cooking, remember?
And they’re also adorable, goofy walk and all.