Don't let this seemingly smiling face fool you.
Mama Duck has it in for me. Of course she is going to be protective of her ducklings, but I never considered myself a threat. I like ducks.
The first incident occurred after a goatling escape. One of the little girls saw her chance and made a dash through the open gate.
I honestly did not see any ducks or ducklings around when I made a grab for her. But Mama Duck was suddenly there. I stood up with a little goat in my arms just in time to see Mama flying straight into my face. Muscovies have claws on their webbed feet and I got a huge scratch on my wrist.
The second incident was a day or so later. It was morning chore time, and Mama Duck and her babies were sitting in the middle of the path to the goat shed. I was a little leery of her after what had happened before, so I stopped to consider entering the shed from another direction. Mama got up and moved her brood off to the left. I stepped to the right to make a curving detour around her and her brood. Within seconds she was hissing and flying for my face. I fended her off with my sandal, but made it safely to the barn.
So now if Mama Duck is anywhere in the vicinity of where I need to go, I stop about fifteen feet away and wave her to another direction, saying, "Shoo! Shoo!" She herds her ducklings off away from me, but we both keep an eye on one another all the same.
How are Mama Buff's ducklings doing? They are getting big and venturing out on their own as a little group. She still calls them if she finds a treat, and if something scares them they run to her for protection. Other than that they are pretty much on their own.
In other poultry news...
One of my Black Australorps hatched three chicks. This lays to rest the question of whether or not 'Lorps go broody and make good mothers. They do. In fact, I have another 'Lorp hen on a nest, so we'll see what she produces. Also I have two more ducks on nests, so we may be overrun with barnyard birds soon!