I have a pervert, sex offender duck. I thought humans were the only species capable of such behavior.
We keep chickens on our small farm, and also have two ducks. The chickens and ducks each have separate coop areas in the barn where they’re closed up at night, but during the day they all free range in a small fenced pasture that the coop area opens into. Our oldest hen, who is named Bard (she’s a Plymouth Barred Rock), doesn’t come out of the chicken coop much anymore, though. Most of her generation of chickens, our first ones, are gone now, and she’s pretty slow moving and often just looks tired.
This afternoon I was in our garden—a fenced area next to the bird’s pasture—washing a head of lettuce I’d just harvested, when I heard a horrible, prolonged distressed squawking coming from the coop area of the barn. I rushed in and saw that the sound was coming from our rooster, Goldie, who was outside of the chicken coop looking in, acting very distressed and absolutely screaming about something inside. I stepped in and saw it. We keep a foot-high board across the open doorway of the chicken coop during the day to keep the ducks out, but the male duck had gotten over it somehow, and was on Bard’s back, pinning her to the ground and raping her, holding the feathers on the back of her head tightly in his beak so she couldn’t move.
It was disturbing and upsetting, almost like coming upon someone’s grandmother being raped.
I grabbed him around the neck—none too gently—dragged him off, carried him outside flapping and gasping for air, and flung him out into the pasture.
Sigrid, our Border Collie, loves the chickens. She likes to follow them around and watch them, and sometimes will just lay down among them while they scratch and forage around her. She knows she’s forbidden to do anything that might hurt them, and shows no inclination to (she does have a game she invented that we call Rooster Tag, where she pokes the rooster in the butt or chest with her nose, then quickly jumps or spins out of reach when he tries to attack her. It’s all in fun—on her part, at least). But when she saw me throw the duck, she realized something unusual must be going on, and promptly ran over and tackled him, which sent him running squawking away down the pasture.
Poor old Bard came out of the coop and all of the other hens and the rooster gathered around her, almost as if they were trying to comfort her. She stayed outside with them for a long time—very unusual for her—and they all stayed close around her.
Eventually the male duck made his way back to the barn, where his mate, looking worried, joined him. What did the damn thing do? He charged into the chickens, scattering them, and jumped on Bard again. Apparently for him she is some kind of very enticing object of sexual desire which he can no longer resist. Both Sigrid and I rushed in and he ran away. For the rest of the afternoon, Sigrid kept the ducks under close guard, safely away from the barn and the hens, until we shut them up in their pen for the night.
The female duck stopped laying eggs over a year ago, and the two of them eat a lot of food, are noisy and messy, and in general give nothing back for the amount of trouble and work they require. My wife, Jeanette, and I have been planning, at some as yet undetermined point in the future, to relocate them from the barn to the freezer. It was very tempting today, while I had his neck in my hand, to go ahead and do the deed. But plucking and cleaning a duck is a time-consuming and tedious process, and it’s best prepared for in advance. However, I can see a duck-pluck party coming very soon. Sentence has been adjudged, and is awaiting execution—as is the duck.