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My husband and I had a conversation about ducks this week. Well, in the spirit of full disclosure I talked about ducks while he grimaced. Our duck talk centered around the theme of urban farming. Columbus has a small group of crazies (and I say crazies with the dearest feelings of kinship) dedicated to suburban chicken rearing. I like eating chicken, but it would not be the bird of choice for raising. This leads us into ducks. Both my husband and I were raised outside of town, he in the “real country”, rural community, and myself on a small hobby acreage. We have the practical experience needed to raise ducks. With Easter on its way every pet shop and tractor supply store in and around town is gearing up for the bunny, chick and duckling season and I want to let my son pick out a duckling or two…or five.

Yeah, my hubz had the same face most of you have right now too. Hear me out. You don’t need any special license to raise ducks in an urban setting, they can be leash trained, they keep the bug count down in the yard and they are cleaner, quieter, healthier and lower maintenance than chickens. These wouldn’t be purely pets though, we’d collect eggs and if you’ve never had duck meat I think your missing out, it’s good stuff.

One of the points my hubz brought up was our German Shepherd possibly trying to kill the ducks. I wasn’t worried. As a herding dog odds were good that she would take to them with a work ethic in mind as long as they were introduced properly (slowly and at a distance, working up to a supervised mingle.) My theory is backed by the best dog ever. We had a Great Pyrenees Mountain dog when I was growing up. Basically a pure white 100 lb rock of fluff. This dogs herding instincts were so strong that she would adopted anything. She took her job very seriously (we didn’t, we just bought her because the sign on the side of the road said “puppies for sale”) and spent ever waking hour circling the property and making sure every living thing on it stayed that way. My parents always knew where my sisters and I were because the dog was always there with us. In fact this dog was so good at her job that we would tease her by randomly collapsing to the ground and freezing. She was come up to us, snuff at us and then plant herself by our sides for as long as it took for us to either get up on our own, or for mom to come outside and yell at us to stop teasing the dog. When we got the ducks it was no far stretch from children and barn cats to include them on her list of “things to keep alive.” We never lost a single duck, despite the ducks very quick and multiplicative breeding. (Four ducks magically turned into 27, no joke.)

She was better than a good dog, she was a great dog. Even to her last day she never gave up guarding us nor ceased in her endless vigil against her nemesis…the train. We had an invisible fence (disclaimer: those fences are not for every kind of dog and circumstance. *glares at the suburban yorkie owner who’s never home to walk their fat broom bottom of a dog.* Just saying.) which she sort of sighed over and tolerated for most of the day save when the train would come by the fence line of the bottom pasture. Then she would run straight through it like it wasn’t there and it was no light tap either, my dad tested the collar, I saw him do it. Funny for me though he was twitching for awhile.

I’m not sure what it was about the train. It’s not like it was going to jump off the track and eat us…though to the dogs credit maybe that’s because she was there every day to chase it away. Maybe the human race only exist because dogs were here to safe guard us while we built steam powered machines that secretly gained sentience over time and mechanical evolution bent on devouring us, if only those dratted dogs weren’t in the way keeping us safe.

My point being that I should be allowed to raise ducks in our back yard.

R.I.P. Alaska- The greatest dog ever.

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One Comment

  1. I am completely with you on this one. Get a duck. Or 5 🙂


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