Woman Herds 6,000 Ducks by Herself

Drove her ducklings to the water—6,000 ducklings.
April 17, 2019 Updated: April 23, 2019

While walking the dog is typical for many pet owners, a woman in China is taking this routine to a whole new level: every morning she takes a walk with her ducks—all 6,000 of them, at once.

Videos of the woman’s endeavors were shared on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, by Chinese state-backed media The Beijing News on April 15.

The woman, Long Shangyan, said her family works in agriculture, raising ducks in the southern Chinese province of Jiangxi, according to the news outlet.

“I wake up every day at 5 a.m., and then we go about 10 kilometers [6 miles] or more every day,” Long told The Beijing News.

“We now have over 10,000 ducks—we raise them for about 70 to 75 days, then sell them.”

Long guides her ducks around the country side of Nanchang City, going from field to field, allowing them to feed and grow.

Flock of ducks
A flock of ducks on a canal. (HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

“Half of them stay in the pond [at home], and the other half go outside,” Long said.

“They have things to eat outside, there’s grass and seeds in the fields.”

The ducks go out with Long even when they are very young. Before the ducklings lose their yellow feathers, she takes them to wherever there is available food.

“We go to fields that aren’t growing any crops, the fields that are just unused,” Long said.

“The grass, little fish, snails, they can eat all of that.”

She even talks about the ideal places to feed.

“If the grass is thick, a 5 acre field of grass is about enough for one day,” Long said.

“When we go somewhere, it’s full of grass, and then when they leave, there’s no grass left.

“They’re quick eaters.”

Farmer and ducks
A farmer eats his lunch while following his flock of ducks along a country road. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The trips from place to place are sometimes long for the flock of ducks.

“When we go far away, we can walk for more than half an hour, sometimes an hour,” Long said.

“If there’s a field somewhere, I just go to that place. … We move every day.”

“If the grass is thick, a 5 acre field of grass is about enough for one day. If the grass isn’t thick, even 11 to 13 acres isn’t enough for a day.”

Long did not share her specific methods for herding the enormous flock of ducks.

Weibo users reacted to the videos with affection and humor.

“That’s too adorable, too cute. Counting must be a problem, to ensure none are lost?” wrote user “Snowy-Wind Stranger Rain.”

The most popular comment, however, was simply, “Going to Beijing for a barbecue,” by user Polite_Germany, which refers to the popular Chinese dish Peking roast duck.

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