And it's name is Craigslist!
I'm always checking it out: jobs, farm and garden, materials, general, arts and crafts, free - you get the picture.
So yesterday, I was looking at F & G, and saw 2 free ducks. Like I need more poultry, but they're free! They were in Crooked River Ranch (kind of the back of beyond, as it turned out, but I was in Madras today for the Fall Wool Gathering, and was in the (sorta) neighborhood.
They are Muscovies - the ugliest bird next to a California Condor... However, they're very quiet - they hiss instead of quacking - and they're a pair, a drake and a duck. So I went to pick them up, and a very pregnant young lady came out of the house, and said there was a gate, and all I had to do was catch them.
I'm an experienced poultry wrangler. They had a hen house, so I herded them in there, blocked the door, and without too much trouble, caught the duck. After depositing her in the dog crate in the truck, I went back for the drake. He was a little more feisty... A few scratches and a wicked looking cut on my thumb later, he was also caught and placed in the containment vessel.
Once home, I dragged the dog crate into the poultry pen, where I put them in Jail with the buff chickens. Oh man, they were terrified. All of the turkeys and some of the other chickens went into the coop, which shares a wall with Jail, and were talking trash to the newbies.
I'm sure they will settle in just fine; the buffs leave in a little less than 2 weeks to go to Michelle. I've revised my housing plan - the small coop will now be the duck shelter with a small yard just for them.
So, with the warning about ugliness having been given, here they are:
Their feathers look horrible - they didn't have a "pond," a lack that will be remedied shortly. They're also moulting, but I think it's more that they haven't had access to water. Duck poop water makes a great garden additive!
I have actually had Muscovies before, and found them to be good birds. The ducks laid well, the drake was protective of his girls, and they hatched young without much trouble.
I'm looking forward to them looking a little less flea-bitten and more like healthy, happy ducks!