Ducks and How to Make Them Pay Species in Babikiye | World Anvil

Ducks and How to Make Them Pay

Ducks are a species of waterfowl that are known for their colorful plumages and personalities. There are native species of ducks found across the entirety planet of Araki. After an experiment gone awry, the planet of Aravu also has ducks: you can find them in two ponds on the Kotuye Continent. These invasive ducks gleefully race each other between the pond in front of Chamu's house to the pond behind their house every day, entirely unaware that they aren't supposed to be there in the first place.  
Red-Faced Racer Duckling by AsterVela (AI)
Heyir and Chamu sink to the ground in exhaustion.   "How can a few ducks make so many babies?"   Beyond words, Heyir shakes their head.   "There's no way we can trap them all, Hey! They broke our nets! ...My pond...!"   "Let's call Areta," Heyir says with a sigh, patting Chamu's sopping wet shoulder. "Ve's the expert on Arakin stuff. Ve will know how to make them pay."   "Make them... pay?"

How to Make Them Pay

"So, um, Areta, do you know what Heyir meant by making them pay?"   "Sure do!" Areta chirps with undue confidence. "Don't worry, Chamu, we'll make these ducks pay for years to come."
In order to make ducks pay, it is necessary to pay close attention to their physical and social needs, such as providing them with:

Clean Water

Orange Sherbert Duckling by AsterVela (AI)
Water is essential in order to own happy and healthy ducks. They love water. They play in it almost constantly while they search for bugs and other critters in the water. The most important reason that water is essential for them, however, is that they require clean, safe water to drink and to clean themselves appropriately. The best set up for most ducks is a clean water bowl made for waterfowl and a well maintained pond that is the right size for the flock.

Nutritious Food

Ducks require nutritious food in order to live. Ideally, your ducks should be given the freedom to roam and forage for themselves as well as given food specificially formulated for ducks.   Treats are absolutely welcome, and even encouraged! They love peas and other greens, and will likely try to devour your hand in exchange for mealworms. There are two main types of food that should NEVER be given to ducks: bread and citrus. Citrus fruits like oranges inhibits their ability to absorb calcium effectively, which can cause health issues. No matter how much they beg you for bread, do not under any circumstances feed bread to ducks. The moment you give it to them once, they'll never stop begging for it. It fills them up, but much like potato chips for us, does not offer any nutritional value.

Safe Shelter

Provide your ducks with a safe place to sleep at night in order to protect them from potential predators and thus harm. Add a nesting box into the shelter so that they can lay their eggs there, if they desire. Study the type of duck (Do they sleep on the ground? In the trees? Can they fly or not?) and the size of your future flock (ducks need space!) to determine how large this shelter should be to best accomodate them.


Ducks require friends. You cannot own only one duck; you must have three or more ducks for a content flock. The preferred ratio of drakes to ducks is one drake to six ducks.  
Black Sand Duckling by AsterVela (AI)
Personally speaking, one of the best ways to get ducks to like you is via their stomach, but the next best way is to simply spend time with them. Sit on the edge of the pond and quietly watch them. Do not follow behind them or attempt to pick them up, at least not at first, because you may scare them away and have to start the process of gaining their trust all over again. Let them get used to you, and if you combine your efforts wtih food, they will even begin to like you.   Additionally, if you set up a nest in their secure shelter, you may attempt to spend time with the resulting ducklings from the time they are hatched to adulthood in order to train them to be used to your presence.   Should you achieve all of the above prerequisites, you now have the right to ask for payment in kind from your now contained but still invasive ducks.

Duck Currency

"Chamu!" Heyir calls. "Get your ass out here!"   "Heyir?! Are you ok?!" Chamu rushes out from their house, running.   "Why do you still have ducks?! I thought Areta helped you get rid of them all!"   "Uh." Chamu freezes.   "They're supposed to be back on Araki, not in your ponds still!"   "I, uh..." Chamu backs slowly towards their front door.   "Oh, no you don't! Get out here and explain yourself!"   "They've grown on me, ok?! And it's not like they can escape now!"   "You've got to be kidding me... Chamu, after all we've been through? The laws we've passed to protect our waterways?"   Chamu crosses their arms anxiously, and tries in a desperate bid for their avian companions: "But they taste good...?"   Heyir narrows their eyes at them. "Prove it, then. Prove it and I'll pretend this is above water."   To Heyir's credit, they don't gag immediately when Chamu cracks open an egg and cooks it. Only when they start eating it.

Meat & Eggs

I Made This by Aster Vela
  Ducks are a potential valuable source of food for those who have decided to care for these birds. Some ducks lay more eggs than others. Black Sand Ducks, for example, lay approximately 150 eggs that are double the size of a chicken egg per year per duck.   Different breeds are also better suited for meat than others. For example, you wouldn't want to raise a Lover's Duck for meat if you have a Red-Faced Racer Duck available, since the former weighs a maximum of two pounds and the latter can reach 25 pounds! It is critical that you glean an understanding of the common usages of each duck breed and compare them to your needs before you choose which type of duck to raise.   A word of warning: domesticated ducks often do not have a strong maternal instinct. Even with a nice nesting box, some ducks will lay their eggs wherever they feel like it.

Companionship & Shenanigans

Gimme Your Sandwich by Aster Vela
  Some ducks prefer to keep their distance. Others may perch on your shoulder. Sometimes you can judge shyness by breed, but ducks are, at the end of the day, individuals. You may acquire a Lover's Duck that hates people and an Orange Sherbert Duck that wants to sleep in bed with you, all breed-based evidence to the contrary.   Regardless of their distance, all ducks have the ability to pay you back in companionship much like many other types of pets. These silly birds are a delight to watch in your yard, and will quite possibly provide hours of screen-free entertainment while you relax on your front porch... Just don't take out any food, unless you want to be the center of their entertainment in kind.  

Notable Duck Breeds


I am Like a Duck to Water by Maran

In ripples gentle, I find my heart's delight,
It is water! Pure and bright.
Enchanted, before the water I preen,
Then with feathers sleek, I glide upon its sheen.   Beneath the sky's expanse, so vast and blue,
I waddle, quack, and paddle, feeling true,
My spirit takes flight upon each wave,
A gift of joy and freedom, water gave.   Oh, water's touch, a tender, cool embrace,
Reflecting the skies above upon its face,
In ponds and lakes, in rivers flowing free,
I find sweet love, even in the sea.   With every ripple's kiss, a tale unfolds,
Of a playful love, yet still of depth untold,
From dawn's first light to twilight's soft embrace,
I'll linger by the water's edge, forget my purpose and find my place.   I'm bound to you, dear water, evermore,
I will love you during every storm and downpour,
For love's own whirlpool pull me close to thee,
My heart forever bound, yet in your current I am free.

Red-Faced Racer Duck

Red-Faced Drake by Aster Vela (AI)
Meat: 3/5
Eggs: 4/5
Companionship: 5/5
Shenanigans: 5/5
  Red-Faced Racer Ducks are a breed of duck found only on the planet of Aravu. They are named for their red colored feathers, which primarily concentrates on their faces, and their propensity to race each other at full speed back and forth between Chamu's two ponds every day. Over the years, this spunky breed has adjusted to a cushy life on Chamu's lawn, growing much larger than their Arakin ancestors at around 25 pounds on average per bird. Despite their weight, they're just as fast and rambunctious as normal ducks. They lay approximately 250 eggs per year per duck. Their meat is apparently delicious, but Chamu only butchers one if the flock grows too large for the ponds.  
Red-Faced Duck by Aster Vela (AI)
Should these large ducks ever escape from Chamu's enclosure, no one is exactly sure of the impact they would have on the local environment, but if a case study of two ponds, a small garden, and a grassy yard are to be believed, these creatures might accidentally decimate the populations of local animals that depend on the same bugs they eat to survive. As it stands, no duck has ever escaped Duck Fort Knox, and they continue to live happily within these confines.  
"At least he's not all alone in the Green Canyon at night anymore..." -Heyir, trying to convince Zadoki to write a special clause for Chamu's ducks

Black Sand Ducks

Cayuga Ducks by AsterVela
  Meat: 0/5
Eggs: 5/5
Companionship: 3/5
Shenanigans: 5/5
Black Sand Duck by Aster Vela (AI)
  The Black Sand Duck is a species of waterfowl that is native to the black sands and sparkling white waters of the Bes Island Chain and its host ocean. These curious creatures mainly feast on bugs and small fish, but they are opportunistic eaters at heart. Their prowess in breaking into trash cans is the only cute reason why the nation of Bes has the most regulated and robust garbage disposal systems in the world.   Although Black Sand Ducks were considered wild in the past, the people of Bes have accepted that these friendly and overly intelligent birds have changed their minds in favor of the warm nests and delicious snacks that most of the residents are either happy to provide or are too superstitious to do anything but protect them.  
Black Sand Duck by Aster Vela (AI)
Many other nations would have regarded these birds as nuisances or even pests. The native Bes peoples and the then newcomers escaping genocide both revered these birds for their prowess at controlling the pest population on the islands and their cunning in outsmarting their predators. Predators, including them! While their eggs make up an important part of a Besan's diet, eating their meat is taboo because people believe that they are Vanora's pets and it will get revenge for the hunted duck. As such, the Black Sand Duck features prominently on their flag.  

Meridian (Orange Sherbert) Duck

Orange Sherbert Duck by AsterVela (AI)
  Meat: 5/5
Eggs: 2/5
Companionship: 2/5
Shenanigans: 5/5
  Meridian ducks are a breed of migratory duck which flourish in the marshlands surrounding the city of Oseka in the winter and in the lakes further inland during the summer. The name Meridian Ducks hails from their reputation as the number one pests of the Meridian Academy campus (and the rest of the city), where they regularly harass and chase everyone around for their food only slightly less frightfully and less aggressively than a goose or a seagull.  
Orange Sherbert Drake by AsterVela (AI)
After the destruction of Oseka proper and the resulting discontinuation of the Meridian educational system, the namesake remains, but it is slowly being replaced by a new, much more cheerful name: Orange Sherbert Ducks, owing to their orange and white coloration. They are, by far, the most common, or at least the most well-known, wild duck. Orange Sherbert Duck meat is a major feature of the cuisine in the areas in which they are native, a fine reprieve from seafood. Sofrya, a small resort town along one of the lakes, now holds a Orange Sherbert Duck festival every year on the last day of the duck hunting season.

Lover's Duck

Lover's Drake by AsterVela (AI)
  Meat: 1/5
Eggs: 1/5
Companionship: 5/5
Shenanigans: 5/5
  Lover's Ducks are a miniature breed of duck believed to originate from the crossing the rarest duck breed, a Bamansano White Duck, with a common Meridian Duck. They are regarded as the cats of the Anatidae family due to their friendly demeanor... and awareness of their own majesty. The jury is out on whether they domesticated themselves, as well, but nowadays, they couldn't be further from their wild ancestors: they can't fly and they only lay around 50 eggs per year! They are kept as pond ornaments by the wealthy and as pets by comfortably middle class folk. No one is quite sure where the name Lover's Duck came from.
F. Lover's Duck by AsterVela (AI)
Uri takes a deep breath, or tries to given the pathetic atmosphere of Araki.   "You wanted to show me something, Aret?" Uri asks Areta, cutting off ver veritable tidal wave of information about the local plantlife of Bantow, impatient already to leave.   Areta blushes a bright scarlet. Ver green and gold wings shyly raise to hide ver face, but Uri lowers one back down via the weight of aer own white and gold feathered ones.   "Stop it!"   "Only if you promise to show me right now, love."
Bamansano Duck by AsterVela (AI)

Cover image: Lover's Drake, Expanded by Aster Vela via Midjourney


Please Login in order to comment!
17 Aug, 2023 17:57

What does Duck Dodgers of the 24th and a half century have to say about this?

17 Aug, 2023 18:03

I've never watched the show! Somehow I missed it, even though I would've loved it as a kid... Now I want to watch it so I can know. What /does/ Duck Dodgers of the 24th and a half century have to say?

17 Aug, 2023 18:40

You really had me in the first half there.

"What you know is the stars in the sky; what you don't is the darkness between them."
- Ashley Naftule
17 Aug, 2023 18:54

Shout out to William Cook in 1894 for publishing a book on duck husbandry with the best title ever. Unfortunately we will never be able to make them truly pay for their fowl play.

18 Aug, 2023 04:47

What an excellent source of inspiration for worldbuilding!   I must also say that I more or less subscribe to the belief that a person's final "death" takes place when there's no one left to remember who that person is. Seems like Cook is doing rather well for himself in this regard.

"What you know is the stars in the sky; what you don't is the darkness between them."
- Ashley Naftule
18 Aug, 2023 13:47

Absolutely, and what a fine way to be remembered!

20 Aug, 2023 20:49

I like the duck facts! Especially the note about what to feed them, since so much of us grow up feeding them bread (I learned some time ago that this wasn't healthy for them.) I take it you own ducks?

Check out Natural Magic : a coming of age fantasy novel, because life is hard enough when you're fourteen, even without saving the world. Or listen to it in podcast form .
20 Aug, 2023 23:16

Thank you! I grew up assuming that bread was what you fed birds, too, but those poor ducks really get health issues from it. :( And yes, I do own ducks. I raised the black ducks in the photos. :D

23 Aug, 2023 16:00

What in blazes did I just read?

Life is too short to be squandering on things you don’t enjoy or things that do nothing to benefit those around you.
23 Aug, 2023 23:18

How to make ducks pay. In Babikiye, in any case.

Master Madame Vera
Verita Raizel
23 Aug, 2023 17:30

Oh! I know that reference! ngl, I was disappointed when I found out what that book was really about XD   I love the descriptions of your duck species. I think I like te Orange Sherbert and Black Sand ones the best. The quotes are funny too.   Are they used in duck racing games, or are there too many shenanigans to bother?

23 Aug, 2023 17:59

Thank you so much!   I never considered duck racing, but now that you mention... Duck racing games are definitely a part of the Orange Sherbert Duck Festival. Just another opportunity for more shenanigans. :D

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