Vegenoegd Wine Estate in South Africa believes that although dogs may be a man’s best friend, ducks are a man’s “best assistant”.
At Vergenoegd their “highly skilled” team of Indian Runner Ducks serve a double purpose – not only do they keep the farm free from pests and snails and therefore help keep the farm’s use chemicals in the vines to a minimum… they also create a wonderful tourist attraction for visitors that come from far and wide to view the enthusiastic and dedicated team!
ALAN RUDNICKI filmed the famous ‘Duck Parade’ on Thursday during a visit from Cape Town.
According to Vergenoegd, “Indian runner ducks are an unusual breed. They stand upright like penguins and instead of waddling, they run. The Indian Runner Ducks don’t lie fly and instead of making nests, they normally lay their eggs as they walk.
They hardly make any noise, with only the females quacking. They are the perfect breed to use in the vines, since they are mostly preoccupied with foraging snails and slugs and love to spend their days snacking away. One man’s pest is another duck’s snack.”
The farm has a large flock of ducks – ranging from 700 to 900, depending on the season.
“Our resident duck expert, Denzil, looks after them as if they were his own children and takes particularly dedicated care of our hatchlings, which he looks after in their own nursery,” says Vergenoegd.
If you’d like to view the ducks yourself, there’s a daily Duck Parade where you can watch them run to work (see below). Guests are also fere to roam around and visit the ducklings in their heat-controlled nursery.