We've been keeping ducks for a number of years. In our time here in this house and garden we've had three different drakes. This is our Indian Runner drake from February 2007. He was given to us in 2006 by a fellow Charnwood community gardener. This would have been his first progeny in the bathtub. He was brought in to join our flock of ducks, which had come from a woman selling all four of her ducks. She currently runs a hatching chicks program for schools and child care - both our schools and our preschool did this activity. We were tempted to get chicks from the hatching all three times we participated in it. It was so much fun. Here's a link to her site - Hatching chicks. At one stage in her poultry keeping, she decided to only keep chickens and so offered to sell us her ducks.
We kept the Indian Runner drake for quite a few years but when he died in 2009 we replaced him with a new drake from a fellow who sells poultry at Jamison Trash and Treasure.
Drake on 15 January 2010. We had ducklings hatch in early January 2010 and he was locked out because he was harrassing the mother and babies.
Here's the drake on 30 January 2010. By this stage, the babies are fairly big and we had let him back in with the flock. He proved to be quite an aggressive drake though, and I was always on edge with him. He was often separated from mothers and babies.
Mid-2010, when these little fellows grew up, we managed to find homes for them on a friend's farm on the Murrumbidgee river, just outside Hall. They took all the ducks from this hatching and one of the drakes, leaving us with one baby drake. Then suddenly the Father drake died and we had just the adolescent drake left. This ended up working out quite well.
So, in the photo below, this is our current drake, as of 2011. He fathered one flock last year. We kept his daughters but his son was given away to someone from my work who lives in the same suburb as us. We gave them a drake and one of the older ducks, so that they could start their flock. We like to keep a flock of 4-6 ducks, which would only include one adult drake. Baby drakes are OK until they grow up and then fighting starts between the males so new homes must be found fairly promptly. At least, that's what we've learnt over years of keeping ducks and drakes in the back garden.
What kind of drake do I have?
I wonder what kind of mixes of duck breed he is? Suggestions are: Abacot ranger duck, silver appleyard, buff orpington, overberg. See this link Silver Appleyard or Backyard Poultry's link to Silver appleyard.
Here's a link with lots of duck breeds Domestic Waterfowl of Great Britain and finally another good one is the Poultry Keeper link. I've never really been interested in being terribly rigorous or scientific about keeping ducks. I just love them for their quirky habits, their eggs, the little barnyard dramas that develop, their sounds and the job they do ridding our garden of snails and slugs. I can't imagine a garden without feathered friends. However, if you are interested in being true to a breed, and live in the local area, you may be interested in the Canberra and Queanbeyan Poultry club.
Nesting ducks (October 2011)
I was wrong - not once, but twice (December 2007)
Duckling arrived (November 2007)
Sitting ducks (November 2007)