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.