Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose!

The ducks and geese waiting for their water to be refilled.
When I was a little girl growing up in Phoenix, I used to beg my parents to take me to the "Duck Park". I can't recall the actual name of it; all I knew is that there were ducks, real, live ducks and geese there that I could feed right from my hand. I used to spend a lot of time on the bank patiently waiting for them to swim up to me.

After I moved to Tucson, there was Reid Park with its two lakes and gaggles of geese and various ducks in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Even after I grew up and moved out of the house, I still loved to visit the ducks and geese. One goose in particluar was my favorite. She had something very wrong with her wings and she was the meanest bird I've ever met, attacking anyone that came close enough to offer a nasty beak bite to. Whenever I had a lunch break and stopped in at the park I'd look for that goose and be sure to feed her. I always thought she must have had a rough life to end up that way. She'd take my peace offering and bite my hand when I ran out of goodies, but it didn't really hurt. They don't have teeth after all.

Ducks in the mud
So after all those love bites years ago, when I was getting my second round of test chickens at the feedstore last week, and had been doubly lured by the cuteness of the ducks and geese, I caved and bought two of each. The ducks are Pekin and the geese are most likely Chinese Brown Geese although the guy at the feed store said they were too young to tell for sure. They might be African Something or Others. I guess I'll have to wait and see when their feathers come in to be sure.

Ducks are often raised for their eggs. Geese well, they lay eggs as well...but they're also great guard animals. They know their size is intimidating and aren't too proud to rush a stranger and honk loudly at them...and bite of course. One of my geese bites my hair when I hold her, a guard goose in the making.

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