Today is your chance to get up close and personal with one of the biggest characters that lives on our homestead, Mr. Bill. He has one of the biggest personalities I have ever seen in a critter and his life here has been an interesting roller coaster of a ride. You see, Bill is one of the few critters here who wasn’t raised here from a baby. And let me tell you, that has made a world of difference in his behavior!
We got Bill because our little female duck Betty was starting to get to the age of needing more “attention” if ya know what I mean, then I was able to give her. It was time to find her a man!! So, sight unseen, knowing nothing about him, Bill was dropped off by a Facebook follower of our page who had waaaay to many drakes, aka boy ducks. By adopting Bill, we gave him the opportunity to skip the oven, and find happiness, or so we thought.
When Bill first got here he was very shy and very drab looking. He had NO idea what he was supposed to do as a drake. I mean NO idea. Being a “low drake” at his former home, he was not allowed by the more manly ducks to spend time with the girls. I figured with time and realizing he was the only boy, he would figure it out. Instead, it took him all of a few hours to jump our fence and run away. We found him down the road at the hardware store, heading in the direction he came from! Really Bill? We saved you from being dinner and you run away!?!?!
We returned Bill to the backyard and I tried very hard to make him feel at home. While he did stop trying to leave, he developed a big attitude. He was never handled in his two years of living, and we are a hands on kind of family. We like our critters to be friendly. It was going to take some tough love on our part to gentle him.
The joke on us was, that Bill thought we needed some tough love too to learn to leave him alone. One morning when I went out to let the critters out for the day, he flew out of his pen, straight into my face, and then ran up and over my head! A hairstyles Mr. Bill is not! But I wouldn’t give up on him, despite his attitude.
I must admit, I never say it coming….. Bill figured out how to be a drake, what a female duck was for, and that he could, ummm, start a family. Our little Betty was in heaven! So much so, she hid a nest of eggs and she and Bill became proud parents that first summer he joined us. And let me tell ya, Bill’s attitude changed again. He became the perfect mate and an amazing father!
Yes, this is Mr. Bill in both photos! It is amazing what just 6 months can do for a guy!!! He went from a drab looking drake who never got to hang out with the ladies, to a handsome fella with an amazing family. Their little herd of babies became teenagers and it was time to say goodbye. No one needs that much duck poo in their yard.
But even after being attacked, repeatedly, the littlest country kid still thinks it is all a game and wants to be Mr. Bill’s best friend. Poor Mr. Bill……
I am hoping once spring passes, and Betty stops trying to hide nests, that Mr. Bill will calm down a bit. He really has become quite a crazy duck lately going after anything that moves! He and I have had to have a heart to heart about the fact the bills are used for eating, not biting. And the littlest country kid and I have had to have a heart to heart that the ducks don’t like him and to leave them be.
It is hard to believe that Mr. Bill with his big personality and ever changing attitude has only been with us a year. And what a year it has been! From shy guy, to kicking butt, all while being a dad. And that guy who used to be totally scared of humans? Yeah, I have him literally eating out of my hand these days!