I once had a friend, who used to let her favourite chook sleep in her bed whilst her partner was away...no joke! She let this story slip one night over a few wines and she desperately tried to explain that it was ok because she put a large sock over the hen's bottom so there was no pooping in the bed. I asked if she had considered a dog instead and hinted that she probably shouldn't share this story with anyone else. Now and again, when I'm in the chook pen cleaning out or collecting eggs, I imagine that chook in her bed with a sock on its behind and gives me a giggle.
I am a HUGE fan of my feathery friends - chooks, ducks and the beautiful birds that visit my backyard - but in the chooks versus ducks debate, I come down firmly on the side of ducks. Whilst my loyal band of chooks have judiciously pumped out eggs for the household for many years now they just can't wait to get into my vegie patch and do their best ruin it. They delight in tearing up roots, eating my greens and ripping through my mulch. It can be quite frustrating but I do always forgive them as they are generous egg layers, recycling pretty much all of our household scraps and providing endless entertainment with their silly antics.
You'll be pleased to know that Reg - the greedy rooster that ate my diamond earring the year before last - is still going strong but I give him a very wide berth as I really can't afford to lose any more of my favourite jewellery.
My ducks, on the other hand, are always a pleasure. Cute as they are, they help decimate the bad bugs around the patch, taking much joy in munching on slaters, moths and other unfriendly critters. They love hanging out and follow me around the orchard and the vegie patch, spreading their natural 'poop' fertiliser as they go. If they haven't seen me for a while they'll come to the back door and say hello (well, that's what I like to think they're saying). They often humour me with some quacky conversation and are never shy to let me know what they want or to have a nag, if something's not to their liking. There's a variety of quacks for 'open that gate!' or 'don't go that way' and even...'are you coming out today?' usually when I've not been to visit them in the morning.
But I can guarantee, however fond I am of my pet chooks and ducks, they have the run across many acres and will never be keeping me company inside the house! Thankfully, my friend with the chook in the bed has two beautiful children now to keep her company rather than her feathered friends.
These three quacks are my latest flock - they're Silver Appleyards, the nieces and nephews of last year's ducklings - and fantastic all round ducks for the backyard. I stopped giving the chooks and ducks names some time ago but the favourites still cop a nickname or two. These three scamps remain nameless though as I've run out of naming puff and have resorted a generic 'duck duck'. So putting it out there…any ideas for naming these three handsome fluffs?
Enjoy your easter break from the ladies at Ecolosophy
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