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Farm Photo of the Week

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December 18, 2007

Photos by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Month-old Indian Runner Ducklings at Duck Run Farm (at Perry-winkle Pond) 

Keenan McDonald and Jackie Cope are raising 15 Indian Runner ducklings – Blue, Fawn & White, Chocolate and Black Runners as layers and breeders. Cathy Jones and Michael Perry of Perry-winkle Farm have allowed Keenan and Jackie to use some of their land to raise the ducks. Indian Runners are excellent egg layers and foragers, and are unique in their particular upright carriage and long bodies. This group is quite entertaining already.The Runners will soon be joined in the duck village by another new flock of ducklings this week – 10 Pekins and 10 Khaki Campbell hybrids, also being raised for egg production and breeding.

Keenan and duck pen

Month-old Indian Runners in their indoor/outdoor brooder; in warmer weather they get to indulge in short dips in their sink “swimming pool”  that’s currently under their waterer. The house part of their brooder offers them a warm spot to sleep at night or nap after a big meal of fresh cabbage leaves. The brooder will next house the new batch of 20 ducklings  – Pekins and Khaki Campbell hybrids.

Keenan and "Dottie"

Keenan with the very famous & beloved “Dottie”. She is named for the charming dot on her head (Dottie, I mean, not Keenan!).

ducklings

Black Runners – Chaco & Bali; Fawn & White Runners – Daisy, Nanner, and Turbo; Blue Runner – Stretch; Chocolate Runners- Dottie & Einstein

They are quickly showing signs of feather development – and growing like crazy!

Indian Runner ducklings

Everybody is in their teenage “on the lookout” stage – they love being out of the brooder and in real grass, though they keep almost as watchful an eye as their caretakers.

kenan and ducklings

Always eager to sit down and talk to each other, the ducklings are very content to pause in a group.

Kenan and Cathy hang with the ducklings

Indian Runners are often used for training herding dogs; this crew shows off their synchronized waddling skills for Keenan and Cathy Jones.

ducklings

The ducks stop for a moment to indulge in some delicious grass!

ducklings

The ducks are getting some practice on their herding skills in preparation for the move to their permanent house closer to the pond.

kenan and ducklings

Ducks begin developing their “quack” around four weeks; only the female ducks actually quack. This group of runners was a “straight run” and Keenan and Jackie are eagerly anticipating the discovery of who quacks and who doesn’t!
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