Lukas and the Rafters Settled in their New Home

Lukas keeps a suspicious eye on C. as she collects eggs
from the new duck house.
My friend C. has anticipated for two years being reunited with her rescued Pekin drake Lukas who was flown all the way from Santa Barbara, CA to Spokane, WA to be with C. after her beloved Fritz passed on at the young age of two from a sudden egg stroke in 2012.

Lukas is a big boy. I kept him for two years and during that time I didn't weigh him, but he was all muscle and heavy. He fell in love with my Pekin, Sofiya, which wasn't a surprise since Lukas had never met another duck and had only seen himself in the mirror. Sofiya, also being a Pekin, is white-feathered like Lukas, so this was fitting. Soon, however, it became evident that the fighting between King Augie and Lukas was severe. They could not be kept together.

Sofiya decided she wanted to be with Lukas. I don't blame her given the big, protective drake that he is. I'm sure he and Aug would have continued to hurt each other had I not separated them, Lukas being the bigger boy--who knows the outcome?

Could Augie have been de-throned?

Shhhhh...we can never tell him that.

Lukas and the Rafters all settled into their
predator-proof fortress having safely made
the journey from Spokane to Tacoma, WA.
A few times Lukas tried to fly from his nighttime stall in the garage into the Augie's territory. This ended badly as I'd find Lukas covered in a blood and distraught as he'd been cornered and beaten up by who knows how many of Augie's flock (there were two other drakes at the time). I'd bathe Lukas and he'd look better right away.

Something had to be done, also, because Sofiya's head was bald and scabbed from Lukas over-mating her. That's when I went to Idaho and took three young Pekin mix girls home to complete Lukas's flock: Nora Luka (Pekin/Blue Swedish), Mallaidh (Pekin/Blue Swedish) and Bee (now named Betsy, Pekin/Buff). Nora Luka is by far the largest of these three--even bigger than Lukas.

C. decided to take Lukas and his entire harem to their new home during Thanksgiving weekend. She'd been working for months building the duck house--a fortress, really--into the most predator-proof facility possible: layered wire mesh, predator-proof edges, electric fencing, security lights.

The whole shebang!

Lukas and the Rafters taking an afternoon siesta.
C. knows I miss them, but I know they are in a wonderful home and I couldn't be happier. I am content having cared for Lukas and kept him safe while C. made life changes. There's nothing better than seeing a close friend smile. We animal (duck) lovers know the meaning brought to our lives by our beloved feathered friends. This shared interest only helps bring us closer, I think.

Since it hardly ever snows on the coastal side of Washington state, Lukas and the Rafters enjoy grass even though it's winter, although ducks are excellent destroyers of lawns. Haha! C. is thinking of ways to keep the grass green, no doubt. She and her husband have constructed an electric fence which can be relocated. From her window she can see the ducks enjoying their beautiful space. Notice in the photo how the ducks are divided into two groups: Lukas and Sofiya (a drake and his #1 wife) and the three younger ducks from Idaho. There is also a flock hierarchy with Lukas in charge, Sofiya his mate of choice (she is also older than everyone else), Nora Luka and Mallaidh somewhere in the middle, and poor little Betsy-Bee at the bottom of the ladder. This means Betsy-Bee is the go-to when Lukas gets an urge to pick on someone. Mr. Lukas tends to be rough, and since he finds Sofiya most physically attractive, she is often a little bit bald from his holding onto the back of her wee head during mating.

They are doing so well. Who could ask for a better outcome?

I'm thrilled. And I love my friend C.

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