Starting about a month ago our drake (that’s the boy duck), regrew his penis in expectation of spectacular spring-time twitterpation. Oh, you didn’t know ducks lose their penis every year and regrow them? Yeah, duck-keeping is an education like that.
Go ahead and watch this. I’ll wait.
Okay, are you back?
Holy crap, am I right?
Anyway, when the drake’s penis grew back for the spring mate, he went from mild-mannered good poultry citizen to would-be-serial-chicken-rapist.
The female ducks have the capacity to handle his advances. They get all head bobby with him, and even seem to enjoy their morning mountings in the pond. (Well, they don’t swim away and they groom themselves after, which is probably as much as a drake can hope for.)
The hens? Not so much. First of all, there’s the size difference. The ducks don’t look that much larger than the chickens until you see one atop the other. The 30% to 40% weight difference becomes quite apparent.
Then there’s the aggression. The hens have no interest in being mounted by a boy duck, but the “any hole is a good hole” drake doesn’t care. If he can nab them, grab them and hold them down, he’ll mate them.
Most concerning is old fashioned anatomy. If a drake starts getting all chicken-humpy he can actually kill a hen. You see, roosters don’t have penis parts, so hens have no place to…um…receive a penetrating poultry organ.
I feel uncomfortable now. I’m sorry if you do too.
This is awkward.
But if you’re a chicken, it’s more than awkward, it’s potentially fatal. A drake’s advances can result in severe internal organ damage to a chicken because his fun-sausage has nowhere to go except up her vent. And that vent is supposed to be a one-way street.
When the first hen-pinning was noticed, we scrambled to separate the ducks from the chickens and I’m glad to say, so far we’ve been successful at maintaining our poultry barriers.
In the morning, the ducks get let out of the run and the chickens stay in, much to their chagrin. The drake will hump the ducks, fly a victory lap around the mini pond, eat slugs for awhile, and then wander back to the chicken coop and circle menacingly, trying to nab a lady chicken through the fence.
It’s all very icky, to be frank. We adore our ducks, but there’s no denying that the drake’s natural male urges are throwing off the poultry mojo around here.
There comes a learning curve in every naive urban homesteader’s life when a sissy, girly-drink cocktail isn’t gonna cut it. That’s when you reach for whiskey.
Whiskey is the drink to have when you aren’t quite sure if you are celebrating or commiserating.
When your achievement for the week is keeping your chickens from getting penis shivved, but the drake is still out there, you drink whiskey. When your laptop completely dies 36 hours before your book manuscript is due, but you still get it in on time, you drink whiskey. When your kid decides 1:00 am is his new normal wake up time, but you’re fully stocked on coffee, you drink coffee. And then, later, you drink whiskey.
For all these reasons and a few more, this Friday, friends, I drink whiskey.
- Ice or Water (optional)
- Good music, good friends and good judgement
You know what to do.4