Thursday, April 5, 2012

SWD ISO SWD to share SMD affections

We started the week off on a duck hunt.  We let out four ducks and when we went to put them back in their pen there were only three...  They have been wandering lately, but they always travel as a flock.  The kids and I searched all over the yard, the neighbor's yard, the pen, the stream with no luck.  I had to put two worried children on the bus while I called in late to work to make a final sweep of the perimeter.

I let the rest of the ducks back out of the pen to see if they offered any clues.  They did not seem particularly agitated.  All two males were accounted for which means that either they were not doing their job of protecting the females or that duck was around here someplace...  I finally found her in the old shed crammed in behind the hay bales.  I had to move the bales so she could squeeze out.  Apparently this is normal adult female duck spring behavior.  They go "broody" and look for someplace to make a nest to hatch their eggs.

Still, we are a little worried about this duck.  The two boy ducks have been very amorous (T has had to give them several time-outs) and she is not particularly fond of all their affections.  She is refusing to go into the pool with them and has become quite scraggly and dirty.  She is also missing a few neck feathers.  I actually took out a personal ad for her today on craigslist.  It goes something like this:
SWD (single white duck) ISO SWD to share SMD (single male duck) affections.  Wanted, a large female duck (color, breed not important) willing to endure the constant attentions of two young males and give me some peace.

We have found the ratio of two boy ducks to two girl ducks to be inadequate.  We went to Tractor Supply Company and ogled the baby chicks and ducklings.  The trouble with the ducklings is that the adult ducks will bother them (they need a mother to protect them) and we need a full-grown female NOW.  The store also had this weird MA policy that you had to buy a minimum of 24 ducklings at $4.29 each.    Last year at Klem's we only had to buy a minimum of four ducklings...

After some Internet scouring I found this: MA General Laws: Chapter 272, PartIV, TitleI, Chapter272, Section80D - Ducklings
Section 80D. No person shall sell, offer for sale, barter or give away as premiums living baby chickens, ducklings or other fowl under two months of age.

No person shall sell, offer for sale, barter, display or give away living rabbits, chickens, ducklings or other fowl which have been dyed, colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sale or display of baby chickens, ducklings or other fowl under two months of age by breeders or stores engaged in the business of selling for purposes of commercial breeding and raising; provided, however, that prior to May first in any year, such ducklings may be sold or purchased only in quantities of twenty-four or more.

This section shall not prohibit, however, the sale or donation of such chickens, ducklings or fowl to schools for use in classroom instruction.

Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Maybe since we bought our ducklings after May 1st we only had to purchase four.  I guess it makes sense, prevent people from succumbing to Easter cuteness.  But still, who is going in and dropping $117 on 24 ducklings?  You only have to buy SIX chicks by the way and honestly they are less messy and will sit contentedly in your hand.  My son's poultry obsession however only extends to ducks.

I will keep you posted on our female duck search...  I never thought I would be arranging a duck escort service.