Sunday, May 15, 2011
My granddaughter gave me a trio of unknown ducklings for Easter - falling for their cuteness as the feed store so hoped. They have turned out to be three boys of a white, "Peking" type.
As with all the fowl in our little micro-farm, they started life out in my bath tub.
In the picture below, their feathers are just starting to come in. Their wings are so tiny compared to their bodies. I don't recall the chickies' wings appearing so small. They are starting to lose their yellow coloring here, too. Their beaks are also turning from a pale peach color to the more yellow-orange color that we associate with duck bills.
Once their feathers started coming in, we set up a little wire enclosure in the garden. They share a woven wire fence with the chickens, so they can see each other. Eventually, the ducks will move into the chicken run/coop with the chickies. We put duct tape over the ventilation holes in one of our dog crates for a shelter; however, they still prefer to sleep in the open if it is not windy. I guess that's why they have more fat than chickens - at the first hint of the possibility of coolness, the chickies head for home.
They currently use their water tub for bathing. As soon as I put fresh water in it, they rush to see who will be the first one to get in. Whomever gets there first defends their right to the water with much to do. When the little kiddie pools start showing up at the store, I shall have to get them one. They muddy up the water pretty good, though, so for sanitation, it will need to be rinsed at least daily. The chickens hate water, so there won't be any competition there.
Favorite duckie food right now is chopped up spinach leaves floated in their water. They get the leaves that are too tough for people or that are bug-eaten. They are also getting all of the immature seed stalks as the spinach that overwintered is trying its best to bolt now.