Imagine waking up every morning and rushing to work. There’s absolutely no joy in it. You wait forever for the metro/bus/train and like a horde of people clamber in and out, you too are one among them. You’re running, rushing, tripping – but no, not because you’re excited and just want to get there but because you’re afraid that if you miss this bus/metro/train, you’ll get late and then have to face the boss’ wrath! The early morning rush is something we are all familiar with and honestly, it doesn’t bring back happy memories. But just one look at these ducks and you’ll begin laughing think that is exactly how you must look every morning! These cute little birds are sure to bring a huge grin on your face!
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The ducks belong to a vineyard in South Africa. The ducks are reared and cared for at the farm – not as a part of animal husbandry but as labourers! That’s right! The birds actually work at the vineyard. And they work all 7 days of the week! From 9.45 AM to 3.30 PM! But the one difference between you and them? They love their work and the rush is because they’re happy! They absolutely enjoy their time in the vineyard and can’t wait for the doors to open daily! There’s a mad rush to get out and begin working, earning their daily bread (well, literally) and then once the gong strikes again at 3.30, the rush to get back is just as great because hey! Duckies get tired too!
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So then, what exactly do they do you ask? They care for the vineyard and see to it that the plants are free of pests! They eat the snails and other pests that harm the grapes and ensure that the vineyard is bug free. but the best part is, they only eat those bugs that are harmful and not the ones that are beneficial to the vines! This means that fewer pesticides and chemicals are used to prevent the crop and the quality of the wines also improves. The ducks are of the Indian Runner variety and they were brought to Africa from Asia decades ago. Since then, the vineyard also breeds these ducks and cares for them like their regular workers. It’s a win win situation. The ducks get their treat and the vineyard is safe!
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The ducks racing out of their pens to their “jobs” is quite a spectacular phenomena and the sight often attracts multiple tourists from all over the world. However, the ducks are pretty moody and do not really like guests or do not take kindly to them. Apart from these ducks, there are also other animals on the vineyard that are just as fun, though perhaps not as useful. What’s more, these ducks even have a wine label named after them – the Runner Duck Label! Quite fun and quite innovative for the Vergenoegd Wine Estate, don’t you think! One look at the adorable ducks running and you can’t stop going gaga over them!