I am learning that farming is sometimes a lot of trial and error, and sometimes compromise.
On the whole, i am a proponent of keeping my animals in as natural a condition as possible. Thus, i am uncomfortable with situations such as rabbits in cages, birds with clipped wings to keep them from flying, and naturally foraging animals who eat nothing but store-bought feed inside roofed buildings.
As it turns out, however, i am not the owner of hundreds of acres many miles from modern traffic, and it seems that it is dangerous for ducks who can fly and are not fenced in to live too near a highway. Because, ducks seem to be completely oblivious to the danger of moving automobiles. And thus, i found my Wally, far from home and much much too far gone to return home, if you get my drift.
R.I.P., Wally, you were one excellent duck.
The very next day, one of my female ducks disappeared, only to return whole and happy, nearly a week later. Apparently she had a great time while she was gone because she told the other girls about it, and they went to check out whatever awesome duck spa she discovered, for several more days. I don't mind telling you i'm uncomfortable with this arrangement. I like my ducks where i can find them.
And also, when the ducks are actually home, there's way too much duck poop on the top of my car in the morning.
This list of predicaments sent me researching and asking questions, and we have decided to purchase an interesting and much praised product, called electro-netting. Plastic, mobile, electrified fencing. I don't know how it works, but it's supposed to be wonderful. And then we will learn how to clip a duck's wing. I'm sorry girls, already. But it has to be done. And then they will cease to fly so far and so high.
And then i will find another beautiful drake to replace (yet poorly) my beloved Wally. And i will keep him home where he will be safe and sound and flightless, and he will not take walks down the highway.