December 11th, 2009
At this time of the year it is nice to look back. Think about how far we have come. This time last year we had just added two new additions to our little family. We named them Waddles and Hazel. I was just today looking over some of the photos of when they were young.
Here is a picture from that very day. The day our ducks were hatched and we headed out to collect them and bring them home to our garden. They are Khaki Campbell ducks, and for the next few weeks a heap of work. But they made up for it by being cute and fluffy. What more could you ask for? Here is a picture of them in the back of the car on their trip home. They were pretty tired from being hatched and all, but they still made a lot of noise for such little creatures.
The Khaki is a breed developed in the early years of the twentieth century by a Mrs Campbell from Gloucestershire in England. She wanted a more conventional looking and better layer than the Runner, so bred the latter with Rouen and then introduced Mallard into resulting offspring several years later. They are very reliable layers and we now have 2 eggs most days. In fact we all enjoyed scrambled eggs today for lunch.
I like the idea of Mrs Campbell with her ducks. She did a good job and I love the results! Hazel and Waddles make perfect garden pets. The term ‘khaki’ was used for her breed because of the dull yellow-brown colour of the plumage, but it was also a patriotic way to acknowledge the brave men going off to the First World War. The Khaki Campbell is a great little duck. Now my two girls are much bigger, but I think they are just as cute. They sure make a heap more noise!
We have certainly come a long way from last year. We built a house and pen because they need a safe and quiet environment, in fact this is essential for layer breeds as they are very easily frightened or upset. They just love to come out into the backyard to forage in the garden and they cannot be equalled for their enthusiastic and active slug and snail control. They are not like the Muscovy who works a few hours and whiles away the rest; they like to keep busy. And they like nothing better than to be helping when I am weeding. It is true that their help is not as productive when I am trying to plant anything esp. bulbs. Unfortunately bulbs look a lot like very big snails and in Autumn last year I spent a great deal of time replanting the bulbs and Hazel & Waddles kept digging them up again.
Anyway that is the story of the ducks