August 4, 2016

Mama Duck

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!

Mama Duck  © August 2016 by Leigh

29 comments:

  1. I guess I understand Mama Duck's protectiveness of her brood, but I sure can't blame you for being wary of her!

    Very interesting to hear of your Black Australorps being broody. We've had them for years and really like them . . . except we've never had one go broody. And that was one of the characteristics that drew us to them in the first place. Hmmm. I'm wonder if one of your Australorp mamas could send ours an e-mail and clue them in to the fact that it's okay to be broody?

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    1. We're real happy about the Australorps. We like the breed and it saves me from having to find ways to self-sustain our chickens. :)

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  2. so sorry that you got attacked by that mama. I was just telling my daughter to do something and if they give her any grief, I'll go all mama duck with claws on them. ;)

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    1. in case you're wondering what my daughter could possibly get in trouble for?... finishing her costume.

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    2. Now you know what a fierce Mama Duck is! And I'm sure your daughter never gets in trouble. :p

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  3. Omgosh Leigh...not the face!!! I hope Mamma Duck lightens up a little and realizes you're not the enemy!

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    1. As long as I toss out food before me, it seems to be okay. She still warns me off but she also wants to feed her ducklings. It's a wary truce.

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  4. Ouch! Hope Mamaduck will settle back down again once the babies are a little more grown.
    And at least she's not sneaking up on you when your back is turned. I had a rooster that would do that, sneak up and go for my legs, and the only reason he lived as long as he did was because the protective trait also worked in regards to protecting the hens from hawks. But the evening when I was putting the flock to bed, everyone was perfectly calm and quiet, and I suddenly felt like I'd been hit between the shoulderblades with a ten-pound sack of flour was the last straw.

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    1. Roosters can be so mean! I'm surprised you tolerated yours as long as you did. Any time a rooster gets aggressive with me he's stew.

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  5. That's just wonderful! You have some GOOD mamas on your farm. I'm still waiting for my first EGG, much less a broody mama with chicks :)

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    1. Oh, it seems to take forever to get those first eggs! And then waiting to see if any of them go broody! All good times with good memories.

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  6. I don't know Leigh, you have much more patience than me but I've always maintained fowl are foul. As one of neighbors says anytime someone is miffed with a critter of just about any stripe, "They make good eatin' !". ;-) I suppose a super soaker water gun wouldn't work for a duck huh?

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    1. Well, I've decided that once autumn gets here, we're going to harvest a lot of duck. And if every one of them raises ducklings every year, I think one duck with one drake is more than enough. On the other hand, they lay good eggs and are excellent fly catchers and weed seed eaters. I hope the trade off is worth it in the long run.

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  7. It's a fine line sometimes. We want the mamas to be protective, but not when it's aimed at us.

    I currently have 4 more ducks on nests, so I may soon be up to my arm pits in ducklings. I have replaced a great deal of the beef in my diet with Muscovy, but it does get expensive feeding them to the weight I prefer.

    Stay safe Leigh! Hopefully she will mellow a bit as the ducklings get a bit bigger.

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    1. Thanks Susan! We've heard that Muscovy meat is excellent. Can't wait to try it, although it will be awhile yet.

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  8. Many moons ago we had a neighbor a dear older gentleman who raised Muscovy. He gave us one all butchered and ready to cook promising we would note a great similarity to beef in flavor and texture. It was delicious and he was correct on both counts. I do remember the ducks being pretty aggressive in nature though. Be safe and yippie for ducklings.

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    1. Except for this one, they've pretty much stayed out of our way. The drake keeps our rooster in line (which is kinda nice).

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  9. Betcha Mama Buffs babies are going to be a lot friendlier than Mama Ducks babies! Claws coming at my face doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Be careful!

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    1. They all run away from the humans, LOL

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  10. We have Australorpe's, Buff's and Buckeyes, we got them from Meter Hatchery, they said the Australorpe's are "sometimes" broody. So far one "lorpe" went broody hatched one egg and was a scatter brain mother, however we just had two more Australorpe go broody. The Buff's are awesome and the Buckeyes okay in the broody department.
    We plan on Muscovey's next year. Running free range we need good mothers! Do take care though!

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    1. I guess we've been lucky. I have two Lorp mamas at the moment (I'll tell all about the second one soon). We really like the Muscoveys and this one is an excellent mother even though her concern is somewhat misplaced. None of our four cats goes anywhere near the ducklings!

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  11. Wow, your mama duck looks so sweet and innocent! Well, I guess we would all do the same if we felt a threat to our young, right? Can't blame her, she's just being a good mama!

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    1. We almost had another run-in this morning. I went to the garden shed to get something and she was nearby with her ducklings. She did not like my being there and let me know it. At least she didn't attack.

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  12. WOW! I am sorry about your attack, but I bet she will keep the fox and other bad guys away!

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    1. I think she'll keep anything away!

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  13. In college I took a photography class and one of our assignments was things in 3s. the Muscoveys were hanging out near the river but none grouped in 3. So I attempted to guide one duck near two others...I was unsuccessful in my attempt as the duck would have none of it. I was hissed at and chased off. Instead I had to turn in humans, much more cooperative. :-/

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  14. YIKES!!! Attack Ducks! The ducklings at my house attacked my son when he was helping me wire up their pen for our impending vacation. They all have long nails and are to be avoided. Ours only use them when we are picking them up.

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  15. When those other ducks hatch their eggs, you may have the opportunity to put that attack duck on the dinner list(because the other duck mamas will be nice to the keeper/dinner list maker) ;-)

    First pullet from this years batch just started laying!

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