For those of you who know me, you know that I have two Border Collies, one of whom is a young male. Although bred for herding, Simmer is a soft dog and not naturally confident on stock. My sheep aren't particularly dog-broke which makes them difficult for a young dog like Simmer to learn on. So! I decided that I would get him some Indian Runner ducks to play with this year in the hopes that he would gain some confidence on stock. I've been regularly scanning online classifieds such as Kijiji and UsedOttawa but to no avail. My friend (and often co-conspirator) Donna, suggested that we attend the spring Eastern Bird Breeders Association (EBBA) auction as I would likely find Runners there. The auction was last Saturday, in Vernon, ON. Only a short 45 minute drive from home.
The good news is that this is a "cash only" sale and I went with limited cash in my pocket. The bad news? So many birds, I didn't know where to start! Never mind that I don't have a coop, enclosure or any other kind of bird or duck house on the farm. I was surrounded by an endless sea of birds that were calling my name! I was completely mesmerized. How could I resist? Chickens, ducks, peacocks, swans (yes, swans!) and varieties of birds that I didn't even know existed. Oh my! Where had they been all my life?!
I slapped myself upside the head to bring myself back to reality. I was on a mission! I *would* be strong. I *would* resist temptation and only look for my dearly sought after Runners. Well, maybe not *just* my Runners...
At the end of the day, I can home with six Pencilled Runners (two drakes, four hens) and one Red Silkie rooster who has been dubbed "Charlie Sheen". We won't say how many new birds Donna bought. Let's just say that she came home with more birds than I did.
For now, my ducks and my roo are living at Donna's. As soon as the ground thaws, contruction will begin on my duck house and enclosure as well as my chicken coop. The plan is to have the birds home early May. In the meantime, I'm hunting for more Runner hens and maybe a Silkie hen or two (and a layer or two, or four).
Left: Charlie Sheen
Right: One of my new trios of ducks (still in the box at the auction)