Friday, July 17, 2009

Duck Daddy and His Five Girls 8th week: Urban Farming and Quacking Ducks

Well, we purchased Indian Runner Ducks because they lay lots of eggs - maybe 300 a year, which is like a 6 day work week. We also liked them, because they were funny and seemed to be the clowns of the duck world. Furthermore they are highly sociable, and this is nice for someone who wants to pick their ducks up, and cuddle with them - okay "cuddle" is not quite the term for a duck, but you know what I mean. Last of all, we heard that they were quieter than other breeds - right.

First thing in the morning when we let them out they run around the yard quacking up a storm of noise. Now, this is not a tight urban neighborhood with no yard space. We have a quarter of an acre, but we have one of the largest yards in the neighborhood. So abutted to our yard is 6 to 7 other homes which all look down from their second and third story windows into our yard. Salem is really the northern edge of Boston urban, and we live just outside the downtown area.

So, the other day Bev was inviting neighbors with kids to our duck party. (Yes, we are having a duck party tomorrow.) One of the neighbors, whom we do not know well, said to Bev, "Oh yeah, everybody's talking about the ducks."

"Uh-oh," thought Bev.

In the last couple weeks this has been one of a few interactions with the neighbors which has caused us to wonder if the ducks might be disturbing our little sub-urban neighborhood.

The people across the street mentioned that they could hear the ducks, and that their girls run to the windows to see the ducks when they hear them quacking. Mark loves the sound of ducks. (+1 ducks)

The next door neighbor on our street came over to see the ducks, because she heard them. We apologized for their noise, and she said that she enjoyed hearing them. "Oh no, we love the sound of the ducks. I wanted to get my own chickens, but my husband won't have it." (+2 ducks)

A second person who abuts our property and can look down on our yard stood on her tip-toes to speak over the fence and said, "do you have ducks?"

"Yes," we replied, "are they too loud?"

"Oh no, they are so cute." She replied. (+3 ducks)

A third abutting neighbor, whose back fence is directly next to the duck pen was outside painting his house. I came home in the afternoon, and the ducks always start quacking loudly when I arrive, because they know I will let them out to free range the yard for grubs, and worms, and bugs and the like. I will also throw them some lettuce in a little kiddie wading pool we have in the yard for them, and of course this gets them quacking wildly until the lettuce hits the water. Even then they make quacking noises while eating, and dunking their heads.

The Painting neighbor said, "the ducks are excited about something." I apologized and mentioned that they are noisy in the morning and late afternoon.

He said, "I don't mind it at all. I like the sound of the ducks. I'd get my own if I could." (+4 ducks)

Then a fourth neighbor who lives a block away had been walking past, and heard the ducks. She returned later with her grown sons, and they all came in to check out the ducks. They had seen bills, and heard quacking. They came over because they were excited about the idea of ducks in the neighborhood. (+5 ducks, 0 grumpy neighbors - so far.)

The moral of the story is this: Ducks are like pickles. Know what I mean?

If you don't understand you will have to check in tomorrow.

1 comment:

cern said...

COOL! :) The Duck party sounds like it will be a hoot too.... or is that a quack? :D