Quacker of a duck at Bundanoon
LITTLE duck, Lucky, from Bundanoon made good his name by taking out a champion harlequin ribbon in the big smoke at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
He did have a little help from his owner, Julie Peacock; after all, she has created the bloodline from which he came, from ducks that she bought five years ago.
Lucky is a Welsh harlequin, a breed of domestic duck originating in Wales. It is known for its vibrant plumage.
Julie, who owns Morvern Valley Farm Cottages, said she saw the Welsh harlequin at a poultry auction about seven years ago.
“I didn’t buy them that day, but I thought about them because they were just so pretty,” she said.
“Normally ducks are quite plain and only a drake is beautiful. Why have one beautiful creature and a crowd of daggy ones following it. Why not have a whole clan of beautiful looking ducks?”
By breeding her own ducks she has been able to change some characteristics such as yellow beaks in females to a slate grey. She would then pick two more ducks to breed the next generation.
Not to worry about the ducks that don’t make the cut, they get to live out a long and happy life on the farm. The ones that do get selected travel to the shows.
Julie’s interest in poultry started at an early age with the purchase of an 80 cent chick from Paddy’s market. She has always entered at local shows but never up in Sydney.
Mrs Peacock said she was always scared of entering of the Sydney Royal Easter Show because it is the pinnacle.
“When I won the Moss Vale Show, not only the champion but the reserve champion, someone said to me ‘I don’t think you know how good your ducks are’,” she said.
“I had a very good poultry mentor, Cec Denney, who died last year and he wanted me to go in the Easter show. He really wanted me to go in the show.
“So I entered and, lo and behold, champion first time”.
Lucky won over the female and the male section to be overall champion.
“If they don’t think any duck is superb, they won’t award it at all,” Julie said.
She still pinches herself about the win and plans to get Lucky’s ribbon framed.
Although he is a champion duck, he isn’t the only Lucky on the farm as Julie’s children, Braedon and Alecia, always call all the winning ducks, Lucky.