June 10, 2010

Dog Hill Ducks

Yesterday we added three ducklings to our menagerie.  For those counting, that's in addition to our three dogs, two cats, and a turtle--though the turtle is just visiting until we get our pond dug.  We've been talking about getting poultry since we started planning our move up north and John and I have been made even more jealous by the chicken phenomenon going around Traverse City.  After mulling it over, we ultimately felt ducks might be a better fit for us, at least to start.  We know they will end up being more pets than livestock and really for us pets = members of the family.  You should see how spoiled rotten the Dog Hill dogs are!

After reading up on ducks and duck breeds I really wanted to try Indian Runners.  They are known as great foragers and good egg layers--perfect for our plans by which I mean my garden and baking.  Indian Runners come in many different colors.  Ours are fawn and white (Pixie), chocolate (Coco) and black (Charlotte) with an additional blue duckling coming soon.  They have a very distinctive shape and stature: upright and skinny.  You might remember Ferdinand the duck from the movie Babe, he was an Indian Runner.   And wasn't he the cutest thing ever?!!!

My son Alex is thoroughly enthralled with the ducks as are John and myself but the most enthusiastic response comes from Fritz our Dachshund.  He'd jump right in the box with them if we didn't hold him back!  The silly, fearless ducklings don't seem to mind and even peck at his nose.  We're going to keep a very close eye on him with them until they are big enough to fend him off. 

If you are in the area this Saturday check out the Traverse City Coop Loop, a tour set up by some of the city's chicken owners.  The link will take you to a map and more information.  Or take a look at some of the coop blogs from our area: Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City, Traverse City Urban Chickens, and The Homestead Co-op.

Our new ducklings, from the left: Charlotte, Pixie and Coco
Roxy with the ducklings
Alex holding Coco
Fritz getting a peck from Coco
From the left: Pixie, Charlotte and Coco
And what does Penny think? She couldn't care less.