An Introduction to Cherry Valley Ducks
Cherry Valley Ducks
The only Cherry Valley Duck Chris has that I know about is the lovely white duck that joined the farm with noisy Call Duck Issy, and her yet unnamed Call Duck friend. They are currently living in the animal rescue area. There may be other ones among the Caenhill team but none that I have spotted.
This duck, officially nameless as far as know, always stands out to me. Although not often featured I always look for her during the 'lives'. I don't in fact know if she is male or female but I have used the term she as in my head I always think of her as being called 'Jemima'. (She reminds me of Jemima Puddleduck in the Beatrix Potter book.) Apparently one way to tell the sex of these ducks is from the sound they make. The females make a loud honk and the males have a quieter quack. I shall listen out when I spot 'Jemima' but with all the noise that goes on it the barn it may be difficult to hear.
I have learnt that Cherry Valley is actually the commercial name for ducks bred by Cherry Valley Farms Ltd. Ducklings are sold round the world for meat and egg production. Jemima is obviously lucky to have gone to live at Caenhill CC.
Cherry Valley Ducks are in fact Pekin Ducks. They originated in China and were imported into the United Kingdom and USA in about 1870. Along with their soft white creamy feathers they have dark blue eyes, orange beaks and orange legs. Their plumage is very thick, especially around their necks, which means they are unable to fly. It also means they sleep stretched out flat instead of putting their head under their wing like a lot of ducks and geese.
Pekin ducks are known to be a friendly hardy duck so the lucky ones, which are not bred commercially, make good pets and are fairly easy to keep. They lay relatively large white eggs but apparently the females rarely go broody so there are unlikely to be Pekin ducklings running around in the future.
I hope anyone reading this will keep an eye out for 'Jemima' – I thick she/he is a lovely duck.
I have copied the photo of 'Jemima', Issy and their friend from the KC and the Chatty farmer Facebook page so hopefully whoever took it (possibly Chris or Kara) will not mind me reusing it.
The other breeds I have been finding out about are Warren Chickens and Khaki Campbell Ducks. More posts soon.
Illustrated Guide to Ducks and Geese by Celia Lewis ISBN 978-1-4081-5264-5