Friday, September 19, 2008

Immature Muscovy Ducks

It's amazing how quickly these little guys can grow. These 3 Muscovy Ducks were just hatched about 2 months ago and already they're nearly as big as their mother.

Every time one of the hens has another brood I'm excited and sad at the same time. This brood started out as 17 hatchlings. These 3 are the only ones left that the 'gators didn't eat. It sure is a cruel world out there. Thank goodness we're at the top of the food chain. As a mother, it makes me sad, but every creature on earth is here for a reason, and to quote another cliche, only the strong survive.

The hens are so proud when these little guys are hatched. They bring them right over to my yard to show them off. They know no one here is going to hurt them. The duckling in the middle with the white chest was the only all yellow duckling in the brood. Actually, it's the only all yellow Muscovy duckling I've ever seen. He got his dark feathers as quickly as his brothers and sisters, but I never expected a white chest. Maybe mom met a traveling salesman just passing through. :)

If you've never seen a Muscovy, they're not very pretty ducks, but they make up for it by being so friendly. They show absolutely no fear of humans. Maybe it's because of their size. I don't really know for sure. They don't quack or make any noise, either. The drakes have this very low air sound, while the hens sound a lot like a hatchling; just a soft whistling sound. They're really quiet.

I've watched them communicate with one another and they seem to have conversations with their head, tails and neck. They face one another and move their necks in and out while bobbing their heads and wiggling their tales. It's pretty interesting and funny to watch them.

Another hen just hatched a small brood of 5 in my Amaryllis bed. So far, they're all together but I don't know for how long. I know those 'gators are just waiting around the corner for a nice duckling dinner. :(

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