Muscovy Madness: Ellie Gets A Girlfriend

We have a special Muscovy drake here on the farm. His name is Ellie (short for Elliott), and he hatched a few years ago with a visual impairment. Other than the fact that he doesn’t see normally, he’s just like any other drake…and he needed a girlfriend. Badly. Meet his new companion: Fionnoula.

Fionn is a lovely, petite, blue and white Muscovy duck. She’s very friendly, too. We acquired her from a nice couple who responded to my plea on a MeWe livestock group for a mature duck to pair with Ellie. You see, when drakes’ hormones start up for breeding season (right about now), they fixate on romance…and if there are no appropriate potential partners in close proximity, then inappropriate partners (like my boots) can draw unwanted attention. It gets hairy trying to outrun him – he’s faster than he looks – and also avoid stepping on him because he’s constantly underfoot.

While Ellie is usually a personable drake, the unwanted attention starts to feel like harassment, quickly. I’d been trying to find him a mate for 3+ weeks and was about ready to put him in solitary confinement (a hoop tractor) until his hormones calmed down when a message finally appeared on the “ISO” post I kept bumping. Yes!!

Ellie, like the vast majority of animals, wants companionship. Unfortunately, the Pilgrim geese and Runner ducks merely tolerate him, as he doesn’t fit into either of those groups. It’s such a joy (and a relief) to have a friend of his own kind for him. And having duck eggs again is a wonderful added bonus!

Even better, we’re planning to pick up Fionn’s sister this weekend and then Ellie will have his very own harem. While Fionn’s been a good sport, Ellie is very, shall we say, attentive…so having another duck in his group will encourage him to spread his affections around.

Did I mention that I also set a dozen of Fionn’s eggs in the incubator? In about a month, there should be cute Muscovy ducklings of various colors running around here, too. I’ve had to restrain myself from adding her newly-laid eggs to the ready-and-waiting incubators that are sitting idle right now because duck math can be a real problem. 😄

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