The Search For Peas

Supply chain issues! First it was toilet paper. Next it was baby formula. Now it’s green peas!

We learned early on that ducks love green peas – no, that’s too mild. They ADORE green peas. It’s like crack for ducks. They will waddle over burning coals to get peas. So it became part of our routine each evening to bring a pound of peas out as their treat as we put them away in their pen. They are pretty good about coming home as it gets dark, but once in a while one of theme will be off down the creek looking for worms, and won’t come – until they hear the call, “Anyone want some peas?” Then they come quacking.

And they can be picky! One duck would only eat whole peas – she would spit out half peas or pea skins. We named her “Marie,” after Marie Antoinette. W e soon found that Food Lion peas were the best, and the price was right.  Once a week I’d stop there and buy four 2-pound bags.  Once in a while the checkout person would raise an eyebrow and say, “Boy, you really like peas!”  I figure that over the years we have gone through a little more than two tons of peas.  Two TONS.  No joke!

Empty freezer shelf at Walmart!

The Tragic Pea Shortage

But lately we’ve had a hard time finding these green globes of deliciousness! Week after week, I would make my regular stop at Food Lion to buy four two-pound bags for the week – and they wouldn’t have any! The freezer shelf would be empty. I spoke to the manager, who said “Well, I guess they didn’t have any on the truck.” Another shrugged his shoulders: “Supply chain issues!”

So I’d have to scramble and go to Lowes’ Foods, and generally they’d have them. All was fine – until last month, when a sign showed up on their freezer shelf: “Item temporarily out of stock.” I jumped in the Jag and drove five miles to Harris Teeter. You know what happened next! No peas there, either. The final straw came last week when there were no peas at Walmart! WALMART was out of peas! Supply chain issues had completely disrupted my babies’ favorite evening snack!

Carrots left on the bottom of the duck pool.

The Carrot Experiment

What was odd is that all the stores had frozen peas and carrots. So I though maybe the ducks would go for that. After all, even Forrest Gump thought they went together.   No such luck. They would snarf down the mixture, swallow the peas, and every carrot would fall out of the side of their beaks. Every. Single. Carrot. I don’t know how they do it.  Pretty sure that every pea was swallowed, but not a single cube of carrot.

So the ducks had to make do with mealworms, their second favorite thing, or cat kibble, their third favorite thing. I know, get out the tiny violins. They still have it better than 99.9% of ducks anywhere, spoiled silly. But I wanted to take care of our duckies, so The Search for Peas continued.

I found some! Aldi had tiny bags (12 oz) and I found that Super Compare, a local Latino grocery chain, had two pound bags frozen peas. So we’ve found a supply! But don’t hold your breath — we’ll see how long that lasts.

The Ultimate First World Problem

Isn’t this the ultimate First World Problem? “I can’t find my spoiled pet’s favorite snack!” Whine, whine. Meanwhile people starve in Somalia, are bombed by Russian rockets in Ukraine, and go homeless and hungry right here in Forsyth County.

But here at Duck Manor, I want to take care of the babies!

The current Duck Squad: Marie, Esther, Annie, Groose, Vegita, and Sybil.

Posted by John Jackman