A few months ago we welcomed a pair of ducks into our veggie garden, whom I named Hoisin and Pancake. Isn’t it obvious? The BEST two things to go with duck! My son’s duck, Hoisin, was renamed Sweetie because he was adamant: “she is so sweet”. What can we say…Sweetie she became.
Being new to livestock in general, we rapidly built an enclosure and pond and had to learn all about feed, the art of clapping ducks back into their hut at night and the new rhythm of another two beaks to feed. We discovered that we seemed to have acquired the only two agoraphobic ducks in South Africa – they would rarely venture far from their hut and were terrified of everything.
Alas their fears came to pass. This past Saturday, while we were out, a mongoose snuck in and wholly removed Pancake, leaving behind a few feathers as a clue. The circle of life is complete and nature has done its thing. Sad but true. What now with the traumatised Sweetie? Our neighbour has kindly taken her into her flock so she is not alone, and my son can visit her anytime.
We will attempt ducks again another day. When winter descends in the next few months, the Cape Clawless Otter emerges from the river and will take a shot at all feathery livestock. Our hastily erected hut will just not survive this killing machine. We loved having the ducks in the veggie garden, although the petunias were not so pleased. The quest for duck eggs continues!