Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Ironing Ducks

Just to let you know that the ewe is recovering from her nasty experience with the flies and all the rest are okay at the moment, so fingers crossed.

Now to something funny as requested by Sylvie from the Ile de Re.

Having successfully kept Hens and Turkeys we decided to keep some ducks, for the table of course, so off to the local market where we bought 6 ducklings. Oh they were so sweet, little yellow fluffy things, to die for. How would I ever let the OH kill them? I had the feeling that we would have those ducklings for life.

To start with they were in an outbuilding with straw in one corner and a little tray of water, then as soon as they had settled in we began to let them out into a courtyard during the day. While they were small everything was fine but as they grew, which was very quickly, they were like naughty children,making as much mess as possible.They had graduated from a small tray of water to a large bowl and they paddled the water and other unmentionables everywhere!!!!!!!. Wherever they went a trail of smelly mud followed them. It was impossible to keep the area clean.
I began to count the days to when they would be big enough to slaughter, so much for keeping them forever, I couldn't wait to be rid of them!!!
The day finally arrived for the little dears to meet their maker and as usual we had a book to tell us what to do, "Poultry Keeping for Peasants" or something like that!!

The OH ignored the method given to dispatch the ducks because it looked too awful, instead he used his tried and trusted method[no I won't go into details but it's quick and painless].
Then we did the plucking, we had a duck each and quickly got rid of the feathers,or so we thought. Ducks being water birds have a layer of very fine down to protect them from the cold, and these fine feathers were resisting our efforts . I went back to the book to see if there were any hints on removing these feathers.

This was going to be another occasion when I was glad we had no neighbours. I read with disbelief the instructions for removing down feathers, but felt I had to give it a try.

I followed the instructions to the letter: take the duck and lay it on a flat surface, cover it with a clean cloth, take a moderately hot iron and IRON your DUCK!!!!!!

Yes I know what you're thinking, did she really do that? YES I DID. And I ended up with a duck with perfect CREASES and nicely ironed DOWN FEATHERS!!!!! Of course it didn't work, how could I have thought it would?

I always meant to write to the Author of that book to ask him if he had ever IRONED A DUCK but I suppose I didn't want to admit that I had tried it.

The moral of this tale is don't believe everything you read in books!! And to prevent any of you from trying the above method a blow torch quickly and easily singes off the down feathers!!!!

We haven't kept ducks since!


Anonymous said...

We kept ducks and they are so messy, but could never kill them. Steamed duck?!! I normally duck out of the ironing. Keep up the amazing stories.

Jackie Neale

David said...

Perhaps you misread the instructions and they actually said, 'DUCK! Flying iron!'

Ok, poor joke. However, you might be interested in visiting a mate's blog who moved to France a couple of years ago. Stuart and his partner, Gabrielle, have 11 hectares, are interested in permaculture and hope to acquire a sheep or two soon. I am sure they would be interested in your thoughts.

They are here: http://permacultureinbrittany.blogspot.com/


JJ said...

Oh fantastic Sheepish: laugh out loud. We had geese when I was a child, they also left a trail of greeny white, stinky poo wherever they went. Lovely. Eggs were good though.

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

A great tale and we shall look forward to reading more of your blog over the next few days. We kept ten geese last year and well know the problems of plucking water birds as compared to chickens.
Morbid though it may seem, I would like to hear of your method of despatching them as you felt it was quick, humane and better than the method recommended. We have chickens, guineafowl, geese (again) and a rabbit to breed from and I've done quite a bit of research trying to find the best methods for a humane despatch. If you don't want to post the details on your blog, please email me (via "view my complete profile" on our blog.
I'm carrying on with fencing today, prior to taking delivery of five Ouessants, little black Breton sheep. Do you know of them. We shall be scouring your blog for helpful tips.

Jen said...

God, that is SUCH a good story to go into your book... am chortling into my tea :)

Caroline said...

Laugh out loud funny x
I soooo want to read your book.

david santos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
liz fenwick said...

The image it creates is brilliant :-)

rivergirlie said...

i'm so glad to hear that only the most elegant ducks will ever make it onto your table!