“Duck Fat” by our Guest Blogger


Our 13yo daughter graces us with another blog post today.

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Established fact: Grown Muscovy Duck drakes are usually too heavy to get very far off the ground. Obviously, this goes for flying down, too. Doc, our drake, has problems with understanding this.

Doc, aka "Garfield."

While our 4 duck hens get to party on the barn roof, Doc is left all alone, on the ground. He’s too fat to get anywhere. This has earned him the nickname of “Garfield”. Then, oh joy, we got Sunset and Saphira, two younger Muscovy girls who have not yet gotten their flight feathers. Now Doc has someone to play with.
Unfortunately, the duo is learning to fly. Doc watches wistfully as they get farther and farther off the ground. They are soaring high above his golden record of 3 feet.

Sunset (front) and Saphira (back)

Then Doc discovered a secret. By hopping to the lower roost, and flying clumsily the rest of the way, he could get to the wall where his girls spend the night. It was only a matter of time before he discovered the ladder.
And then, he did.
We were making applesauce. After putting the mixture into the food strainer, we are left with warm skins and cores. A little mushy, but wonderful smelling. The horses absolutely love this. We have figured out the safe way to give it to them is being on the other side of the fence, preferably with the apple mush in a bucket. At least, if you’re the type of person who values all five fingers.

I don't have a picture of Jasper chasing apple peels, but he looks something like this.

For the daredevil, the unsafe way to give it to them is when they are in the pasture, or you are actually in their stall, and you are giving it on the palm of your hand. This results in getting chased back to the gate. A horse in full gallop is probably going to beat a person on foot.
So we walked into the barn. I shined my light on the ladder to the loft to see if the barn cat would favor us with a visit. Instead of a large black cat, I saw a large white and gray duck. You guessed it, Doc.
He had apparently hopped up the ladder, one rung at a time, and was on one of the highest rungs. He had forgotten about how when he lands he falls on his face most of the time. At this hight, he might break his beak.
I climbed up the ladder thinking, Hey, I’ll just carry him down. No big deal. I climbed up the ladder, and reached for the chest. At a startled hiss, I decided that carrying a 25-pound flailing duck down a ladder is most likely not the best idea. So, I sent my sister back to the house while I held one hand on Doc’s chest and the other on his wings to keep him from flying, or as Woody from “Toy Story” would say it, “Falling, with style!”
Dad came in, reached up, grabbed the unsuspecting duck’s legs, flipped him upside down, and set him in the duck stall. Doc hated the flip-upside-down-thing. He was helpless at the time, and I don’t think he will be climbing up the ladder anytime soon.
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3 responses to this post.

  1. What a great sense of humor and story-telling style. Your daughter is a very good writer. I was hooked from first sentence to last. I read this just now, on a dreary, cold and damp New England November afternoon. It restored my energy. This is a little gem. Tell her to write some more.

    Reply

  2. […] “Established fact: Grown Muscovy Duck drakes are usually too heavy to get very far off the ground. Obviously, this goes for flying down, too. Doc, our drake, has problems with understanding this… Then Doc discovered a secret. By hopping to the lower roost, and flying clumsily the rest of the way, he could get to the wall where his girls spend the night. It was only a matter of time before he discovered the ladder… I shined my light on the ladder to the loft to see if the barn cat would favor us with a visit. Instead of a large black cat, I saw a large white and gray duck. You guessed it, Doc. [Read full article] […]

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