I said previously on Facebook that ducks love melon rinds. And at least as far as our ducks are concerned, it is true.
We have a cantaloupe for breakfast, take the rinds and throw them into the back yard and then chuckle as the ducks run around trying to steal from each other. The duck that got it first tries to nibble at it while waddling and, inevitably, drops it, leading to a new duck to hold the prize.
It is better than television. By far.
It is, actually, quiet easy for the ducks to be funny – because you really do not have to do anything. You could just sit back in a chair and watch. Eventually, something silly will happen. A duckling will go too fast for its own legs and somersault, a duck will spot a bug a few feet away, run for it and then look around as though to say “Where did it go?”
However, you can also condition your ducks to do something funny – even if you did not mean to.
That is what happened one afternoon when the children where outside enjoying the new autumn air. They were rolling a softball from one to another when a new player came to the game that nobody expected.
A flock of ducks.
Food For Ducks
You see, we can go around the property and call “Duck, duck, duck” and get the ducks to follow us just about anywhere. Of course, that was conditioned over time as we used cracked corn to reward them the first several times we had them do this.
But, much like your house cat, they get conditioned to other things as well. Your cat might respond to the can opener, for instance. Our ducks respond to the back sliding glass door being opened. For them, it pretty much is a guarantee that an apple core, melon rind, or something similar is about to be tossed out.
But these are way we expect. What I did not expect was for them to make an association. In this case: Something being tossed = Something I can eat.
Which, is how we end up with ducks playing softball. A softball looks suspiciously like a small melon to a duck, it seems. And, for ducks that normally get the leftovers from the dining room table, seeing a whole melon go rolling across the yard is apparently much more than they can handle. They simply must attack it.
It was the laughing of children that brought me to check what was going on, as I see the ducks chase a softball across the ground, I laugh too.
By the time I got my camera, most of the ducks had given up on this melon, finding the rind too hard to crack with their bills. Others, however, where willing to keep trying – in hopes that the last roll of the melon would have cracked it open. Or so, I presume.
Watch our video of Ducks Playing Softball by clicking the link or by watching below: