A reader reframes the question:
Would you rather fight 100 hoarse ducks or a horse that ducks?
Another disagrees with 71% of readers who participated in our Urtak poll (snapshot seen above):
From a physics standpoint, pick the horse-sized duck. The square-cube law would certainly render it incapable of flight and more than likely incapable of much locomotion. There is a reason why most birds aren’t the size of horses: they quickly become too heavy to fly. A duck is already at, or very close to, its optimal size.
Horses reduced in size don’t fare much better, losing much of their strength with their reduced size. But they will still have agility, locomotion and numbers to aid them in the fight.
Another would take on the tiny horses:
As having raised/butchered ducks for a few years, I feel uniquely qualified to chime in on this one. I have a favorite story I tell my friends when they ask me about butchering ducks, and the first full-sized male I attempted beat the shit out of me with its wings and claws (yes, some duck breeds have nails). It is 10x more difficult than a chicken and seems to have a strong instinct to survive when it’s time for the dinner plate. When my wife came out to check on me after being gone so long to prep the duck, she found me covered in blood, sweating, exhausted, and my clothes ripped. I fought this damn duck for 20 minutes and was only able to finally put him down with a tire iron, smashing it to death in a fit of rage. I wish I could have given it a more humane death, but I learned to never underestimate a duck’s unusual strength and will to live.
Another reader with first-hand experience agrees:
Let me just say that anyone who chooses a horse-sized duck is fooling themselves.
Fowl may seem calm and pretty, but they can be mean, nasty, and aggressive. I have much experience fighting fowl from my days doing research on Guinea Fowl, basically small chicken-like birds (long story). Let me tell you, even the tiny Guinea Fowl were nasty fighters. They are smart, assessing you and watching for a moment of weakness. They use their wings to burst and lunge, and fight with their beaks, feet, and wings. The Guinea Fowl had a favorite move which I can only describe as a two-foot flying dropkick with a simultaneous bite. If you want to get an idea, take a look at this video.
A horse-sized duck simply won’t be defeated. It will not back down. And how do you think you can get to it? Birds are fast and agile and as soon as you try to get to the body or head it will use its wings to keep you at bay or dodge. They have quick and powerful necks which can make the beak a deadly weapon, and the feet and wings would be nasty secondary weapons.
On the flip side, a hundred duck-sized horses is a daunting task. However, horses are not nearly as multi-faceted as birds, generally relying on backwards kicks or rearing that has a limit of a second or so or else they lose their balance. They are not able to turn as quickly and even though they are good jumpers, a jumping horse is not the same as a bird with wings. If you fought a hundred duck-sized horses you may be able to defeat them one by one as long as you are able to keep your balance and stay on your feet. It would end up being an endurance task as long as you stay upright. A horse-sized duck? You would go down in a minute, is my guess. And if you were able to dodge and weave, you will never outlast a bird’s endurance.
In fact, I would say with strong conviction that I would rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses than a hundred normal ducks. Fowl are not to be messed with.
Another considers the spoils:
I discussed the duck/horse question with my wife, who is French, and our kids, who are half-French. They unanimously favor fighting the horse-sized duck, pointing out that the White House staff and your commentators (so far) appear to be ignoring the all-important culinary considerations. Fighting a horse-sized duck may be more difficult than a hundred duck-sized horses, but the rewards for success are much greater. Yes, you can eat horsemeat, but duck is much tastier and works with a wider variety of preparations.
For best results, try to fight a horse-sized duck with an artifically enlarged liver. (But not in California.)