New Ducks

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One-eyed brown duck in the foreground

My lonely, one-eyed brown duck now has a nice little family! Recently I traded a rabbit for this nice young pair, a black barred drake and a brown barred duck. Research says that once they mature the barring will probably only be visible on their chests. I think it’s a nice feature that gives them a wild look.

Once these little friends arrived I invested in a large livestock tank for everyone to swim in, since I know they came from a home with a pond and I didn’t want them to be too disappointed in their new digs. The tank doubles as a mosquito hatchery which the ducks harvest daily.

These new ducks are very well-behaved, but all Muscovies are nice when young. It’s when the hormones kick in that the real personality comes out. My last drake needed to be culled because he became incredibly aggressive with my chickens, he was obsessed with trying to rape them and I was afraid he’d kill one before long. (He was also not the first Muscovy drake I’ve had who thought chickens were fair game.) Once he was removed, my Black Copper Maran head hen decided to get her revenge by poking out one of brown duck’s eyes. Thankfully she healed up ok and there have been no further incidents, but I think it’s absolutely time to get the ducks and chickens separated.

So, I’m in the beginning stages of figuring out where the new duck pen will go. Now that I have a very tall security fence around my property I am considering having an open top pen with 5 foot high fencing. The only thing I can imagine getting in would be a raccoon, but with six cats and two dogs on the property I doubt any raccoon would be foolish enough to try. I’d also like to set up their new tank under a downspout so they can enjoy fresh rainwater from time to time. You know, if it ever rains again, ever.

Introducing My New Rex Herd Sire

DSC_0003Up until now my Standard Rex herd sire has been Timmy. I got Timmy a year or so ago from a couple that had him as a pet rabbit and couldn’t care for him anymore. He didn’t like being handled and they wanted to concentrate on their friendlier bunnies. While he is a very nice rabbit, type-wise he is terrible. He also has no pedigree and no tattoo. Since there are only a few Rex breeders on the Island, and most of their stock came from the USA, I think it’s safe to assume that Timmy was someone’s cull and it’s easy to see why.

It was time for me to get a proper Rex herd sire. After one debacle with a disreputable local rabbit breeder (who has since had all her rabbits seized by the SPCA), I located a breeder who seemed to be doing everything right. She was extremely kind and helpful and has a herd of the most beautiful and happy rabbits.

Yesterday I drove to her little farm and picked up the most gorgeous 13 week old Broken Castor buck: Moonstruck’s MR16. Once we get to know each other a little better I’ll give him a proper name. A big thank you to Jody Mitchell and Moonstruck Meadows!

DSC_0005This little guy is just the most handsome little buck I have ever seen. He has beautiful fur and body type and a full pedigree. This means that with Tuna’s full pedigree, I am on my way to producing fully pedigreed Rexes. Since he is a broken, this also means that I can start producing broken kits, which is a very fun prospect. Timmy will be retired and probably Bluefin will be also, as she is Timmy’s daughter and not very easy to work with. Unfortunately with limited space and cages I have to trim my herd aggressively.

DSC_0007Just look at that cute little face!