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Becoming 'duck call' experts

Becoming 'duck call' experts

Now the Reskovacs know why farms have so many ducks -- clearance sales on ducklings. Sheilah is the duck-calling leader of the brood.

 Mike: "How many do you want? Two or three?"

Sheilah: "Well, definitely more than two. Maybe six? Do you think that’s too many?"

Mike: "Six? That would probably be ok. Do you think we should start thinking of names?"

Sheilah: "Hhmmm. No. I don’t want to name them until they're ours, and I can hold them and see them."

Mike: That was the conversation the night before we bought ducks. Yes, ducks!

Sheilah went to the Rural King to pick up supplies and came home with the notion that our barns were empty and we needed to fill them up – with ducks.

WHO'S WHO? New feathered brood adds a new dimension to the Reskovacs' farm life.

She had a point. We weren’t ready for calves yet. We still need to finish cleaning out the barns and build pens. But that didn’t mean we didn’t have room for a few smaller animals. But ducks?

Next morning, it was raining so we loaded up in the truck and went back to the Rural King to get our six ducks.

Sheilah: We came home with 18 of them! They were on clearance!

They weren’t old enough to put on the pond yet, so we took them back to the farm and made a home for them in a stock tank. I knew it wouldn’t be big enough for long. But it would do for a couple days.

Mike:  A few days later, I was bringing a tractor over to the farm and saw Sheilah’s car there. I figured she was just feeding the ducks.

Boy, was I wrong. She almost had the whole milk house cleaned out. The ducks need more room, she said. They were getting a makeshift pen out of straw and plywood.

I helped her finish. Then we decided to go for a walk to look at some of the crops. The next thing I knew she had three of the ducks out of the pen and outside in the grass.

I had to ask: “What are you going to do with those?”

Sheilah: I thought they might want some exercise. "Come on, ducks."

Mike: I have to admit I was a bit shocked. Those ducks started to follow her.
“Is that the official way to call a duck?” I asked.

Sheilah: “Well, how else would you call a duck? It seems like it worked to me. Come on ducks lets go.”

Mike: Our conversation naturally progressed to: “You have names for these ducks yet?”

Sheilah: “Well, yes and no. I can’t tell them all apart yet, other than the different breeds. I have group names though.”

Mike: Group names?

Sheilah: “Yup. Each breed of duck has a set of names.
The Khaki ducks are Sam, Sami, Samantha, Samuel and Sam. The Rowan ducks are Peanut, Butter, Fluffer, Nutter and Twist. The Runner ducks are Jog, Sprint and Dash. I don’t have names for the Pekin ducks yet.”

Mike: I had to help name those – Marshmallow, Feathers, Bubbles, Waddles and Wings.

I can’t wait to see what else lies ahead of us!  

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist. This opinion is not necessarily that of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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