We’ve discovered that one of the new ducks is very likely a giant pekin – a meat duck that Beth says is equivalent to a Cornish cross chicken. At 3 weeks it’s already favoring sitting over standing, and seems pretty ungainly on its feet. It also seems significantly larger than Ducky Duddle (who we think is a regular pekin).
We’ve spoken to Jesse about this and told him we’ll have to butcher this one at 8 weeks. He was pretty upset and initially wanted to sell the duck to someone else who would kill it, rather than us killing it ourselves as he’s really bonded with all of the ducks. Ultimately he decided it would be ok if we go somewhere else while Beth does the butchering. I told him that he didn’t have to eat it when it got to the table, but he surprised me by saying that he thought he’d like to, as he doesn’t know what duck tastes like.
Overall that’s a lot of maturity for a seven year old who really just wanted to have some pet ducks around. We’ll be getting another duckling in a couple weeks so that our duck flock will stay at 5 – our biggest concern is that Ducky Duddle may turn out to be a giant pekin too. Ducky Duddle is both of the kids’ favorite duck, and the only one named so far… so that could be a lot harder to deal with than any of the others.
Yesterday Beth spent some time working on housing for the ducks, and last night we got them moved to their new shelter. It’s not in the permanent location (we still need to level the area and get it set up nicely), but at least they’re out of the house. The smell was getting worse in there, and I think we’re all relieved to have them out… well all except Jasmine. She loved watching the ducks (although they didn’t love seeing her watching them) and now will have to do it from a much larger distance.