Everyone at Kilby works hard to ensure our stock, and grounds, look the best at all times. The great thing is, some of our workers we don’t even pay. But, this isn’t some tawdry expose of worker exploitation. Our willing slaves choose to spend their days cropping grass, getting rid of bugs and slugs, and generally keeping an eye on things.
Let me introduce you to our resident duck family. I believe they are Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata), a wide-spread species in Australia. They feed mostly on grass, clover and the occasional insects. They form monogamous pairs that stay together year-round, and breed in Spring. The ducklings stay with the parents for a month or so after fledging. They nest in tree holes near water (I assume our pair use one of the Poplar trees near Grass Creek). Though we have two dams at Kilby, they rarely spend time in these. We usually find them cropping the ‘dinosaur’ lawn, or in the lawned paddocks.
Each year our resident ducks hatch about a dozen ducklings. In most years, few, if any, of the ducklings grow to adulthood. Most likely foxes or cats get them. This year though has been a great year, with all twelve ducklings surviving, and they are now fledged, so hopefully they will go on to raise their own families.