The Personality Series: Emily Doodle

Emily is a black Indian runner pullet. She is a pullet because she's less than one year old. After her first year she will be called a hen. Emily hatched on July 8, 2009 at Nature's Hatchery 50 miles south of Chicago in Will County. She is a member of The Quack Squad, a group of seven ducklings shipped together to my home in eastern Washington state, all hatched on July 8th, arriving at the post office on July 9th.
     Emily has always stood out from the rest of The Quack Squad. She was the runt, so tiny and fragile in appearance. At first I was concerned about her well being as she would hang out on the fringes of the group, always lying down after brief periods of standing (which indicated that she had weak legs), and failing to thrive. When the other ducklings crowded together to dabble in chopped greens in their water dish, Emily would stand, as if confused or concentrating on the very act of standing, and then give up and go to a far corner of the enclosure so she could rest. I began holding her and coaxing her to eat while she was alone, without the competition of the others. Sometimes Emily would be resting in one of the corners and another duckling would approach and act as if there was something extremely interesting right on the other side of Emily. It seemed they would do this just so they could step on her and make her move. I watched this happen again and again--they acted like little kids who harass their siblings just for the pleasure of it.

     I didn't have to worry about Emily for very long, though, because the more I watched her, the more it became a apparent that she was just different. She didn't like to be in the midst of the crowd, but off by herself. She didn't enjoy taking a swim when surrounded by her peers, but had a great time when in the bath alone. She was also calm, spending time relaxing in my lap.
     As Emily grew I noticed an assertive side to her. She would often sneak up behind Augie and pull his tail feathers in her bill. By the time he turned around, she was gone. I watched her do this a lot. At the time the drakes were much older and potentially dangerous to The Quack Squad, but Emily seemed to get a thrill out of doing this.
     Emily has also been the easiest pullet to talk to. She will be lying down in the yard or going about her Doot-Doot business and I can easily get her attention by saying, "Emily! Emily!" and bobbing my head. Emily has always stopped what she'd doing and looked right at me. She then bobs her head as I repeat her name to her, "Emily! Little Emily!"

     Emily has grown into fine lady. She is a deep black with green iridescence all over her body. She is petite and stands more upright than the other girls. I think Emily and Ming would have nice babies.
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