Quiet when together but...

the young ones want the older ones to party!

You talking about me?

Back in the summer, the peaceful animal kingdom was broken by some unusual quacking. The new batch of ducks (now over four months), especially AnnaLee, would let off a “persistent” quack.

That was unusual, so we went down the list. Danger? No. Hungry? No. Water โ€“ check. So what the heck is the problem? It’s such a time as this, I wish animals could speak English!

Having raised two batches of Khaki Campbell ducks over the last eight years, we knew that this heritage line is a quiet breed. Ducks, of course, will pleasantly chatter. Amy, for instance, would let off an occasional quack that sounded much like a โ€œvaudeville laugh track” which was pretty cute.

After determining that the ducks were in want of nothing, Jordanne & I concluded three things that could be setting off the younger duck:

1) dynamics of three separate flocks

2) hormones of maturing ducks

3) “big sister, little sister” syndrome

It was observation time! So we watched and watched.

After an hour or so of watching the younger and older ducks interact, it was quite obvious that the newer, younger ducks had lots of energy. For instance, while the younger ducks are frolicking in the water, the older ducks were relaxing/snoozing. That’s when AnnaLee would go off quacking. Seemed as if the younger duckies wanted the old duckies to join in on the fun!

Jordanne gathered that if we took the new ducks out one at a time, it would show them that they donโ€™t have to see or be with the older ones all the time. You know how little sisters want to tag along with the older sis. Figured we help give the younger duckies the confidence that they donโ€™t need older sister ducks around to have fun.

Happy to say our observation and our little experiment paid off. For over a month now, the younger ducks now know they don’t need older ducks to have fun and all is well with “ducky-dom.”


  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    So now little homestead in the city has practicing duck psychiatry, or would it be duck whispering, or maybe duck social working since there was intervention involved. In any case I like it. I so enjoy reading about how your little eco-system in the big city functions. Thank you so much for sharing all your daily activities.

    Have a great duck social day.

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: I had to giggle… yes, yes you are right. Indeed it was something like that. Yep, you never know what hat you’ll be wearing here on the urban homestead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Heather H :) :) :) says:

    Oh…that was just a cute story!!! I’m glad all is well in the duck kingdom!!! There’s a duck pond where I work…and lots of ducks hang out there. They’re mostly quiet until people walk aro und…then they quack. It sounds like annoyed quacking like “Why are you in our playground. Get out!”..but they just waddle away or go for a swim in the pond!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs from Oregon, Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anais says:

      @Heather H ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ :): Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for saying so.

  3. Radhika says:

    Cheeky ducks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lisa polzien says:

      oh those pics are priceless, the last one made me laugh out loud!!!

      • Anais says:

        @lisa polzien: I know, that last picture cracks me up every time! Glad to have made you laugh.

    • Anais says:

      @Radhika: Cheeky duckies indeed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Susan says:

    How fascinating! There’s always something new to learn.

  5. JP says:

    I was just wondering, how do you keep your ducks confined so that they don’t wander or fly into someone else’s yard?

    Joe in Greenville, NC

    • Anais says:

      @JP: We choose a heritage breed (Khaki Campbell) that’s basically a “land duck” which doesn’t fly.

  6. Jen says:

    We had 3 Khaki Campbell ducks, but one passed away about a month ago. However, all 3 of them are always LOUD. They quack LOUDLY in the morning, in the afternoon – usually when its time to be fed, but sometimes they just quack because they want to. And, dude, did I mention its LOUD? We had heard they were a quiet breed, too, which is part of the reason we chose Khakis… but now I’m wishing we’d gone with Muscovys! I like our Khakis, but I don’t think our neighbors do so much. (Also, ours are all the same age – they are about 3 years old. They are fed twice a day, but have forage and water all day long. They also have shelters to hide in and shade.)

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