You Can Lead a Duck to Water…

We have roughly 50 chickens living on applewood farm at the moment. Two of these chickens are ducks.

The chicken-ducks look like regular ducks, but they hang out with the chickens all day, eat chicken feed, and don’t have any instinct for finding water.


Chicken-Ducks in not-water

While we don’t have a great deal of natural water nearby, we do have a tiny pond-like situation just beyond the back garden.

The ducks have been there; they know where it is. But, like the chickens, they simply will not go there on their own.


The Great Chase

Because normal ducks are water birds, and because we do have a tiny pond, I feel strongly that these creatures should swim in the pond.

So, I chase them there.

I follow them around the farm, shooing them away from the trees and the bushes and the roaming gangs of chickens until they have no choice but to follow the path to the pond.

Once there, they will waddle down into the water and swim and bathe.

For about a minute and a half.


The chicken-ducks reluctantly pretending to be real ducks

And then, presumably because they are actually chickens and not ducks, they leave the pond and head back over to wherever they were before I came along.

Now, because there is no other natural water source, we keep a restaurant bus tub of fresh water near the house for the chickens and barn cats to drink. The tub gets rinsed out and refilled almost every day because it gets pretty dirty pretty fast.

One day, I noticed that it got REALLY dirty REALLY fast and that this continued to happen day after day. That was right around the same time that I noticed the feathers.

Not long after that, I discovered this:


So, it turns out that the “ducks” prefer drinking from, and bathing in, a half-filled bus tub of marginally clean water blessed by chicken beaks and cat tongues over a reedy pond with delicious muck and plant life.

Maybe I’ll work on teaching the chickens to swim–there’s a perfectly good pond going to waste.



About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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7 Responses to You Can Lead a Duck to Water…

  1. Claudette says:

    Oh how I have missed you! Was thrilled to see your post!

  2. Llyn Towner says:

    Ah but you can clean the tub but your pond will be too dirty to use in short time if the ducks take to it regularly….from experience.

  3. Susan traub says:

    Love your writing.

  4. Charming!! Love the photo of the duck in his/her cramped tub.

  5. Bill says:

    When I was growing up we had a rooster who thought he was a dog. He slept laying (lying?) on the ground, as the dogs did. He, along with the dogs, followed us to catch the school bus, and came with them to greet us when we came home. His preference for the dog life meant he never had any tail feathers, as his canine companions couldn’t resist pulling them out.

    Now we have a deer who thinks he’s a goat. And a lawyer who seems to think he’s a farmer.

  6. Selka says:

    Hilarious! Is she still looking? Yep, taking a picture. Act natural. Keep it up another few minutes. Geez, I can’t wait to dry off my feet.

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