IntroDUCKtions – Meet Ronja the Black Beauty

Last updated on May 10th, 2024 at 07:38 pm

My Name

My Name is Ronja, after the Children’s book Ronja the Robbers Daughter. I have stolen Dad’s heart, this is why I have this name. As a duckling, they always called me Darkwing Duck.

My Breed

I am also a Cayuga duck, like Simon. But I am very small in comparison. Since I am so small and also have a little bit of a different posture, Mom thinks that I might actually be a cross-breed between Cayuga and Mallard. Looking closely, you can see that I have brownish stripes over my eyes and at my secondary wing feathers.

cayuga duck
Ronja the Cayuga Duck

My Journey

My Journey started at a local farm store. I was purchased by a family together with three siblings to become a toy for their three-year-old kid. That was in the Spring of 2022. After three weeks or so, they realized that we were no good toys or pets. We grew very fast, and we were quite messy. They kept us in a cardboard box and were not treated very well. After these people decided that they didn’t want us anymore, they reached out to people who they knew had a farm to load them off. Well, they didn’t want us either but asked my new parents instead. They agreed to take us and foster us for a while until we were large and strong enough to be adopted out.

We arrived in a very small box inside the trunk of the car on April 30th, 2022, at our new, temporary home You need to know that it was already pretty warm in Texas at this time, so Dad was pretty mad that they were transporting us that way with over 90F outside. We were in very bad shape, you could tell that we were neglected and traumatized. We were terrified of humans and didn’t want to be touched at all. No wonder after a three-year-old was playing with us like we were toys. Luckily, our new parents still had the brooder setup from Hertha, Emma, and Schnatterinchen and knew immediately what to do with us. We were sooooo thirsty and would stop to drink and play with the water. Our plumage was dirty, filthy, and crusty. We needed a bath very desperately. We also received extra niacin because two of my fellows (Pinky and Brain) already had bad feet. They were bowed, and they could barely walk. The next few days, you could see how we started to recover, and we looked better and healthier daily.

group of four ducklings
Ronja (left) and her siblings as ducklings

We later moved into an old kiddie pool where we had more space. We could go outside every day for a couple of hours into our own small run. And we could swim in a small pool as well. We enjoyed that very much.

Ronja and her siblings

As we became older, it turned out that I was the only girl and that Pinky (Pekin), Brain (white-crested), and Zorro (Rouen) were all boys. At the age of about eight weeks old, they tried to find new homes for the boys. Dad fell in love with me because I was so tiny and all black that he convinced Mom to keep me. They didn’t want any more ducks at this point, but they couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, they could not find a new family for the boys, so Christin from the Duckling Hotel picked them up one day to bring them to Rodgers Wildlife Center, where they had a big flock of domestic ducks that they joined. It was a tough day for me to say goodbye to my three brothers. But the same day, I was introduced to my new flock. And it was surprisingly easy to get integrated into this group. Soon I forgot the boys and became friends with Penny and the other ducks. By the way, Penny is my best friend.

Ronja meets the flock

What is my character like?

I am a very shy duck. I still don’t want to be handled by Mom and Dad. It is always fun to catch me as I am small and fast and always escape ๐Ÿ™‚ But no wonder with my history. I still have a hard time trusting humans. In the beginning, I was screaming when they were holding me. But I have learned that Mom and dad are nice people and don’t want to harm me. I am getting more and more tame. I am even eating out of their hands now.

Cute little Ronja

I am also a very talkative little lady. And I can be loud! When I am foraging in the yard or new straw, I constantly make happy duck noises. And I love muddy puddles. I am the queen of digging holes and putting my beak deep into the mud. And I also make mud dances to get the rainworms out.

Ronja loves muddy puddles

I can be very jealous when Simon is mating with any of the other girls. When I see this, I would always jump into the pool and join the fun for a threesome ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh…and I just started to lay eggs. I am super late as I am almost ten months old. I probably started that late because it was already becoming winter when I was at the usual age, so my body just decided to postpone until the days got longer and warmer again.

My favorite food

I don’t really have a favorite food and just eat what the others eat. I like lettuce, corn, cucumber, and peas. And I like grubs and mealworms.

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