Much has changed since I first started raising ducks and chronicled my experiences here in 2002. To close it out — for now, at least — I stage a brief interview with myself about the experience of raising ducks. There’s also a movie.
At the age of eight, Francie the Duck (Ret.) began turning into a drake. For eight years she had unquestionably been a hen, brown-feathered, egg-laying, but then she went through the change and now, two years later, her head feathers have a greenish tinge, her neck is thicker, her tail feather curls, her feet have turned orange. She has all the secondary sex characteristics of a drake.
What’s odder: her behavior has changed as well, and dramatically. Over the last year she took to watching over the two other remaining ducks when I let them out in the yard. While they grazed and hunted bugs, she kept an eye out. As a hen she had never shown a lick of interest in watching out for anything; she was the most devoted bug-hunter of the flock, but now she thought it more important to stand guard.
There once was a farmer from Durham
Who had this to say to a worm:
Though you may now be happy
In your duck straw so crappy
When the ducks come a-running, you’ll squirm!