From my Mandarins Spring hatch on July 1, 2017, I had 4 males and 1 female survive. Mandarins bond in pairs and remain true to their mate, so I had a dilemma as to how to solve the imbalance. I could keep one male and female and sell the extra 3 males, however there is the risk of inbreeding, which carries all sorts of possibilities of enhancing any negative traits or recessive illnesses. Another solution worth considering was to trade the female and buy 3 other females of unrelated heritage to mate with the four males.
I mulled these options over while looking for what was available within a reasonable distance from home, which led me to a breeder in Forney, TX, near Dallas. His ad had pictures of some of the most beautiful birds I’d seen. They included Wood ducks, Mandarins, White Face Mergansers, Golden Pheasants and others. The diversity was something I was lacking now in my duck community. And I had previously thought of looking for a pair of Wood ducks. So I called him.
He was very pleasant and listened as I told him I was wanting Wood ducks but I needed to sell some Mandarin males. I was thrilled when he suggested trading my 3 extra males and the female Mandarins for one of his female Mandarins and a male and two female Wood ducks. Problem solved!
I made the trip yesterday. When I arrived I found a storybook dwelling on almost 11 acres with a variety of livestock. Their 5 bedroom, 2-story rock home was stunning and perfectly framed with flower beds shaped in a river flow pattern around the front and well-matured pink and blue hydrangeas standing statuesque along the side of the house parallel to the drive. Beyond the house there were several stock pens which seemed to provide a dividing line between their backyard and pasture area which included a pond. Their were a few quaint cottage style outbuildings and behind them a continuous row of attached aviaries housing some gorgeous birds.
Of course, the trade was interesting. Mine were released with some spontaneous flight from the others sharing the same aviary. The fun came when he had to bring the net out to catch the ones I traded for. Birds flew everywhere, just as mine did earlier at home, but finally the last one was loaded into my tote and I headed home.
When I released them into my aviary, Jack and Jackie, the parents of the ones I traded, were very unappreciative that I’d brought strangers home in place of their children. They still show a little aggression toward the four new ones. But I believe they will return to their sweet selves soon (fingers crossed).
Below is video of the breeds:
© copyright 2017 Phyllis Rogers