SPROUTIN’ FEATHERS N’ TAILS

Splish splash we love our water baths!

Hi peoples!

Getting fancy with their water tricks

The ducks help "clear out" an old chard bed

Yummy!

Me love greens

Sprouting tail feathers

Can you spot them? The fluff is giving way to shiny dark brown feathers

The baby ducky episode is quickly coming to a close.  Pretty soon, these “quacker doodles” won’t want to be seen in public and there’ll be less and less pics of them here at LHITC. Well, they haven’t exactly told me, but I can say enjoy all these pics while you can because, pretty soon, they’ll be just ordinary grown ducks — their downy fluff will give way to feathers. Actually, you can already spot the sheaths of khaki brown feathers poking out from under the greenish brown fluff and, pretty soon, they will look rather funky with feathers sprouting up every which way.

Has it already been over three weeks since we got the baby ducklings? Boy, have they certainly grown in such a short time! These ducklings are “Big Girls” now – no more 24 brooder lights and warmth for them. They’ve already graduated to spending days out doors in natural sunlight and sleeping when the sun sets. Yep, we wean them off pretty fast. We like to have them adjusted to natural light and temperature in just a little over two weeks. By three weeks they are completely weaned off artificial light and warmth. The next steps is to introduce them to the other duck clan and we’ve been slowing doing that by bringing them into the animal enclosure under supervision, of course. Our other ducks could care less – rather, they seem bored with the lot; however, a few of the bantie chickens (talk about small chicken syndrome) are a little more curious – even a bit territorial. Lucie, our Belgian bantie, had to come over and make sure the duckies knew she wasn’t going to be dethroned and, to make the point, she gave one of the ducks a little peck on the back. We’ve integrated new babies before, so such jealous behavior is to be expected from some. It won’t be long now till the four new ducklings join the happy menagerie!

Opal , AnnaLee , Lulabelle & Beulah already are trying out their quacking voices – though not quite there yet. Sounds more like they have a frog in their froats. Of course, everyone who comes to the front porch farm stand is inquiring about the babies and sometimes, if they are lucky and I have time, I even bring them out, especially if they bring their kids with them. Where else can you pick up your veggies and get to pet a baby duck at the same time!

Since we are at the four year mark on both the ducks and chickens (1/2 way point, figuring 8 years is about an average lifespan) now that we have a new batch of ducks, we are looking forward to raising another batch of chickens come spring. The problem is : What heritage breed to choose to bring to our ever growing flock?   Hmmmm, choices, choices.

Comments(8)

  1. Jeni says:

    I have to say although I love the ducklings so much! And miss my gals being so young and fluffy I kinda love them being grown up too…they do the funniest things in their pool while swimming:) In fact the other day one did a full looptie loop under water…lol it was adorable and they love splashing the chickens too! hahaha

    How do Fairligth and Blackberry like the new additions?

    • Anais says:

      @Jeni: They could care less. 😉

      • Jeni says:

        @Anais, I have to admit I was worried about putting my little darlings in with the hens. Some of our hens can get a bit territorial. After some careful observation it is actually the ducks that rule the coop…lol they flap those big wings and hens know its time to move! 🙂

  2. Crystal says:

    I have a chicken-related question for you. I’m new to all of this animal-raising. We are raising our first flock of chickens this year. We have five Americaunas and six Rhode Island Reds. My question is how do I know if I have any roosters? I don’t mean to sound ignorant, I just can’t believe my luck if I ended up with a whole flock of hens when they were just straight run chickens! They are approximately five months old. We are collecting about 6-7 eggs a day (more on some days when we’ve found a hidden nest!) None of our birds are noticeably larger, the combs and wattles are similar in size, none have larger or more decorative tail feathers than any others, and there is still no crowing going on! Do I really only have hens?

    P.S. I *love* your blog! What you do is so incredible and inspiring! Keep up the good work! :O)

    • Anais says:

      @Crystal: Think this would be a perfect question for sis at BarnyardsandBackyards.org

    • Kerstin Ehry says:

      @Crystal,

      Hey, I see you have chicks and ducks together. How does this go? Do you keep them together?
      We have chicks (Ameraucanas) but would love to add some Campbell Khakis to our flock. Any advise?

  3. Roberta says:

    I have to say, I’m really not a duck person. Chickens yes, but ducks…not so much. BUT….the ducks in your photos? BEAUTIFUL!

    • Anais says:

      @Roberta: Thank you! I like chickens too but ducks, well ducks are quirky and just down right funny.

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