Hello from the HillTop!
Since having this blog, I have tried to have a handful of highlights of our flock members. Our eggs are sold to local community members and while a few have come to see our animals, many of them have not. By highlighting our flock, our clients are able to see the animals their eggs are coming from.
Each of our chickens and ducks have varying personalities. It is quite comical actually, but enjoyable. I have never done a highlight on one of our ducks. However, our duck eggs are starting to become more popular. So without further ado, this HillTop Highlight is on our very sweet, yet sassy duck, Oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a breed of duck known as a Saxony duck. She is a beautiful tan, or oatmeal, in color. Saxony ducks are a German breed, cross breed in the 1930s. They are currently considered a “threatened” breed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The Saxony ducks are known to be a heavy breed, fairly large.
One of our favorite aspects of our Oatmeal, because of her breed, she is a wonderful forager. She loves to eat bugs as often as she can. While she is not our best layer, she does pull her wait in offering us eggs as often as she can.
Oatmeal is part of our “Breakfast Club.” Each time we add a new set of chickens, or ducks, that group has a themed name. It helps us to keep straight when we got the animal. Our ducks, our only set, all have names of breakfast food: Oatmeal, Pancake, Bacon, Quiche, Pop-Tart, Muffin, Waffles and French Toast.
While I know you should never have your favorites, Oatmeal is one of two of my favorite ducks. We tried to have our ducks imprint on us (basically the act of it knowing and following its mother), but it typically happens within 24-48 hours. Our ducks shipped from a hatchery in California. They took four days to come to us. They are by no means cruel to us, they are not overly fond of being close to us. I cannot just pick them up like I can with our chicken flock.
Oatmeal though is one of the three I can occasionally pick up. It is rare, so much I had to document it, but nonetheless I appreciate it when I can.
Oatmeal is definitely friendlier than most of our ducks. Most of our ducks move away from me as I do my work throughout the coop and run. She on the other hand will still waddle up to me to get a drink and eat while I’m around. Occasionally she will go into a full on conversation with me. She will quack and quack as I move around, come to think of it, she could be just flat out yelling at me. But who knows for sure.
Having ducks added to our flock has been a wonderful addition. They add a lot of antics to our life and Oatmeal is no exception. She tends to be less leery of us and is not afraid to be a little more removed from her duck family. Our ducks typically move as group, truly giving meaning to ducks in a row. Oatmeal will move around a bit more on her own though, and I think that is what allows her to be willing to come to us.
Oatmeal stole the highlight for sure as our first HillTop Highlight on our ducks. We are so happy to have her and hope you say hello the next time you stop to pick up your eggs.