I had thought my favourite farm animal/bird/white noise was the chicken. I adore their soft clucking. I enjoy the versatilityof their eggs and the meals I can create with the central theme of 'egg'. I love to carry one under my arm and feel that I am not just talking to myself about the minutae that happens in my day. I think it's genius that not only do I get food from these creatures, but I get fabulous compost material from them as well. Watching their daily activities is calming and peaceful.
Although I still have such large affection for my chickens that it verges on 'odd', I have found a new obsessive love. Ducks.
The only time I have ever had ducks/ducklings in our home was the short span of time that our poor ducklings were hatched from their shells before 'Freckles the Duck-Killer' broke into the warm, seemingly safe haven that was their incubator and annihilated them all before they had even a chance to dry off after the tedious chore of hatching. "Welcome to the world, Duckies!! Chomp! Chomp!"
Ducks are certainly cuter when they're dry.
I have noticed that the chicks find any morsel of difference between them and peck at it. Although they aren't doing it maliciously, they have been known to kill each other just by obsessing over a piece of shell stuck to another chick's back....or possibly by 'gang-pecking' the man-made orthorpedic shoes on one of their nestmates. In fact, the reason that a brooder lamp is red is to discourage the chicks from noticing bits of blood or slime on their sibling's bodies after hatching.
But ducks? No, they are so much more community minded. As you add another newly hatched sibling to the brooder, the small flock welcomes them in, absorbs them into the fold and allows for differences and individuality in their goo-patterns. Immediately they are all part of the clan. With chickens, you often have to slowly introduce new flock-mates to ensure that no one is harmed. But I suspect that with ducks, it's all good.
I have never attempted putting a chick in a bathtub of warm water but I can bet it wouldn't end well. But add a duckling to the bath and you have reason to never regret disconnecting cable. Although a beak sort of hinders their ability to smile, you can tell they are giggling and grinning as they frolic in the tub. They dive under like mini feathered submarines. They duck their heads into the water and then throw their heads back with glee. They paddle around with their tiny webbed feet fluttering beneath the water.
Although we had planned to give away all our little ducklings once they were big enough to not have to be kept warm under the brooder lamp....I have to say that we are now keeping 2....maybe 4 of our new little buddies.
I LOVE me my duckies!!!!!!!