The Chivalry of Ducks: Can Men Learn a Lesson? Can Women?

I live on the north side of Dallas, Texas. Those of you who are familiar with that part of the city know there’s a lake called Bachman Lake by Love Field airport. It’s awesome. It’s three miles in circumference and a lot of fun to walk, run, or bike around. Well, this evening I walked around the lake watching the ducks. I love watching the ducks. I’m a little obsessed with the ducks. But, hey, they make the journey more exciting. There are a ton of them. Well, a ton of birds, really. I’m not a bird expert or a duck expert so I can’t really tell you what types live there, you’ll just have to trust me that there are ducks at Bachman Lake…that much I do know.

This evening as I strolled, I noticed the cutest thing. It’s been raining a lot here lately and there were plenty of places around the lake where water stood in the middle of the track. One flooded place in particular covered quite a stretch of track. I refused to go to higher ground (that wet track wasn’t gonna lick me, by golly), so I chose instead to walk on the narrow concrete ledge flanking the track. Not the smartest thing, but it felt like being back in grade school again when the teacher made you walk a straight line on something that looked like a beam in the ground so she could test your balance. Anyway, so I was walking on the beam, minding my own business, when I happened upon a group of ducks. School? Herd? Flock? Whatever, there were more than two of them. In fact, there were two males, two females, and five babies. And, yes, I might not know what type of ducks they were, but I could tell by their markings which ones were male and which were female. (No, sicko, I looked at the markings on their heads and backs! Geez, what do you think I do at that lake?) As I watched, they came upon a place where they wanted to cross the track to the other side. (Why did the ducks cross the track?) To my amazement, the male ducks stood on top of the concrete and watched as the female ducks and the babies crossed in front of them. Out of deference for their chivalry, I stopped some feet back and waited until the females and babies crossed and, finally, the males followed.

Wow, I couldn’t help but think about this as I continued along my journey. And then, because I’m an observer of behavior – animal and human – I couldn’t help but compare the duck way of life to what I saw from the humans at the lake. I can tell you, I didn’t see much chivalry. In fact, my favorite human male move is the let-your-girlfriend/wife/lover/wanna-have-her-as-your-lover/whatever-walk-in-front-of-you-while-you-check-out-every-other-woman move. Love it! Talk about disrespectful. Or the have-your-arm-around-your-whatever-and-while-she’s-looking-down/away/at your chest-check-out-every-other-woman-over-her-head move. That’s right, ladies, I figured out why men like to date shorter women. It has nothing to do with dancing or doing the hibidy-bibidy, it’s so they can incorporate move number two.

So, I continued on my own silent rant about men and how there are no good ones left and where did all the cowboys go, when it hit me. One thing I didn’t see the female ducks do was turn around and yell at their mates. I didn’t hear them say, “What makes you think I need you to stand there while I walk across this track. I walked across tracks long before you came into my life and I’ll walk across tracks long after you’re out of my life. I am a DUCK, a FEMALE DUCK, hear me QUACK. I don’t need you to watch my back or be my guardian. I had one father in my life (God rest his soul) – I certainly don’t need another one. Besides, you really think you’re duck enough to watch over me? Puhleaze… What have you done in your life anyway? You’re certainly not the BIGGEST duck, you’re not even as big as the last duck I was with. Now that was a DUCK. That duck was fine, he treated me so good. He wouldn’t have disrespected me by pretending to watch my back when he really just wanted to watch my ass. You think you’re so tough, you should try being female. I didn’t see you squeeze out any eggs…quack, quack, quack.” Nope, I didn’t hear any of that – maybe because it wasn’t said or maybe because I don’t understand duckese. I don’t know.

So, I continued my jaunt around Bachman Lake, pondering my little conundrum. I came to the conclusion that this was much like the duck-egg theory. Which came first? Did men stop being chivalrous before or after women started emasculating them for it? I’m sure a duck’s life isn’t perfect (that whole laying eggs thing seems kind of like a drag), but I wonder if we can’t learn a small lesson from Duckville…all of us.

TonyaDawn.com

How Ducks Hold Meetings – In Case You Were Curious

Careful research has uncovered a surprising activity. Ducks hold meetings in the park. And these meetings have remarkable similarities to business meetings (such as the ones held in conference rooms, for example).

Here’s what they do.

1) No one pays attention to anyone.

Every duck is looking in a different direction. Most don’t even appear to be part of the meeting. And none of them are watching the duck who is quacking. But they are all there because ducks have to know about everything that is happening in the park.

2) Ducks deliver lengthy monologues.

One duck will deliver a long string of heartfelt quacks.

This may last only half a minute but that’s a long time for a bird with an attention span of three seconds. It’s useful, however, because during this monologue the other ducks forget what they were going to say. So they begin quacking about something else.

Of course, if no one is listening, it doesn’t matter what you say.

3) More than one duck quacks at the same time.

Research on duck social dynamics has shown that this occurs because none of the ducks care about what the anyone else is saying. So everyone talks (or quacks) about whatever comes to mind in the moment.

4) The meeting seems to lack organization.

This may take some careful study because of the similarities to meetings held by people. Nevertheless, it’s true. The ducks started this meeting without a goal or an an agenda. As a result, ducks never know when a meeting has ended.

5) Ducks come and go throughout the meeting.

Since nothing is being accomplished, it doesn’t matter when you arrive or leave. Some ducks simply walk through a meeting while offering a few thoughtful quacks.

6) No one seems to be in control.

Without a goal or an agenda, any duck can run the meeting. And they do. Sometimes the duck who started the meeting has left to attend another meeting. But the rest of the ducks remain, quacking away.

7) There are no minutes.

Here the ducks show unexpected wisdom. Since they accomplish nothing, there is no reason to write about it.

Second News Flash. People can hold more effective meetings than ducks. Visit my web site to find out how.

Feeding Baby Ducks Properly – This Has a Direct Influence to the Overall Health of Your Ducks

Books on raising ducks have stressed the importance of a judicious feeding system in the overall health of poultry. If you’re raising ducks for profit, know that your ducks’ overall health has a direct influence on the profitability of your business. This means that if you want to rake in the profits, you’ll have to learn about feeding baby ducks properly.

Basic Feeding

In feeding baby ducks, you have to take into consideration the quantity as well as the quality of the food. You have to give what has the power to produce the largest amount of flesh and the leanest kind of meat. When these are attained, you can bet on your fowl business – no pun intended – to become ludicrous in no time at all. It’s not hard to find duck foods that can be bought in bulk and are of the highest quality. However, after you have accomplished this, you have to take into account the consequences that follow.

Common Problems

Fat hens are at high risk for a variety of diseases. Aside from this, they also cease to lay, prompting production to come to a halt – and your money to go down the drain. Fat drakes, meanwhile, usually become lazy enough to mate and do anything else. They are known to get apoplexy attacks and drop dead. These problems in feeding baby ducks can cause you your entire business. So, how do you avoid them?

Tried and Tested Solutions

It is imperative that you include unmedicated chick starter as well as unmedicated chicken grower feed when you’re in the early stage of feeding baby ducks. This way, they can get the nutrition they need without growing fat to the point of becoming useless, and stay safe from potentially fatal diseases. You must also include lots of water into their diet. Just make sure that the brooder litter stays dry and that the ducklings have no way of falling into the water container.

Weaning Means

When they mature, you’ll have to go about feeding baby ducks using chicken grower pellet feed, corn-grain scratch feed, and insoluble poultry feed. Customize your feeding schedule according to the habits of your ducklings, and switch to more protein-rich feeds once they turn into ducks.