August’s Duck of the Month
My Name was Aflack
Momma Duck was planning to write about Lady Waddletail this month when a tragedy happened. Since I’m now in duck heaven, I’m not too sure if it’s a tragedy but it was to Momma Duck.
My name was Aflack and I was Momma Duck’s first duck child.
Two years ago the neighbors brought me over to Momma & Poppa’s home in a box with a brother and sister. A week later she brought another sister named Winchester. I remember the other brother and sister but they went to a friend whose duck needed company. The other three ducks the neighbors brought weren’t really my brother and sisters because we are different breeds but we all came out of the incubator at the same time … except Winchester, who as always, came along in her own time. Winchester is still with Momma and Poppa Duck and is their favorite. Just don’t tell the other ducks or they might get jealous.
I was with Momma Duck until a couple days ago. Momma Duck was sitting on the ground feeding us treats. I had been climbing in her lap to get all those little pieces of dry cat food … yum! I turned away from her and after walking about two feet, my right side collapsed. Momma Duck thought it was my leg and reached to help. At that time, my neck drooped over. Momma Duck told me to get up. I tried to lift my head I then just drooped over and went to duck heaven. I’ll miss the goodies. My very favorites were tomatoes, frozen peas and watermelon. The others won’t know for some time but the treats in duck heaven taste even better except that Momma Duck isn’t here to feed them to me yet.
Aflack was a Pekin duck who was well loved by her Momma & Poppa Duck. She will truly be missed. Her little friend Winchester misses her and does look for her. It is a very sad thing to see. They were BFFs and the forever ended far too soon for Winchester.
Pekin ducks are the most common domesticated duck and the one most commonly thought of when people mention a duck. The famous Aflac of TV commercials is a Pekin duck. The Pekin has been raised as a farm duck since at least 2500 BC in the area of Beijing, formerly known as Pekin China. They were introduced to America around the 1870s. I read that a fellow saw the Pekin duck in Beijing, hatched 13 eggs under a chicken and had a friend bring them to America for him with the stipulation that the gentleman taking the ducks would get half the flock. It is a good thing since the half hatched out by the first gentleman never made it further than someone’s dinner plate. The other man took care of his ducks and he had the first Pekin flock in the US. The Pekin are most commonly used as a meat duck. However, the are wonderful pets who can be friends with their humans.
Pekin ducks begin their life as little yellow ducklings with bright orange legs and bills. As they get older they turn white with orange legs and bills. Laying females will get lighter bills and legs as they get older. The bill will sometimes get quite dark with what I call “freckles.” The freckle patterns do help me figure our who’s who in the duck pens.