On February 20th, we got these little cuties. We only wanted to keep 2 at first and decided that if any of them were boys, they would become dinner. Well as it turns out, we have 3 girls and 1 boy and we are keeping them all. * sigh *
These ducks have always been super skittish. We have handled them a lot from the beginning, just like we did for the chickens but they still run from us. I hope they will outgrow it. Our chickens were a little hesitant even after being old enough to be outside but after a few weeks, they were fine. We can pet them and pick them up without any issues. These guys, however, are very leery of us.
Weren’t they just the cutest??
We put them in a small animal cage as a brooder, with a heat lamp. We had a food bowl and a tuperware with the lid on and a hole cut in it to limit spillage. They will got water everywhere. Ducks are so much dirtier than chickens, by far! We had 8 chicks in each of our chicken brooders and it was nothing compared to these ducklings. We had to change everything daily.
The 4th duckling is hiding behind there.
After a very short while, we realized that wasn’t going to work so we made a makeshift pen in the garage. 4 peg boards and 2 heat lamps. We had a food bowl, a water bowl and a painted tin thing so they could get in the water if they wanted but not drown. Did you know baby ducklings can drown? You have to watch them while they swim at first. I had no idea!
At first, I only had to clean it out every other day but it didn’t take long before I had to clean it out every day. All the hay and duck poop went onto the compost pile.
On March 5th, they had their first swim. It was a beautiful day and we let them swim, dried them off, and then they soaked the sun in the pen that we moved outside for the afternoon.
We also took them outside to where their pen would be. They grow so much quicker than chickens!!
This is March 15th, just 10 days later. Huge difference and feathers everywhere.
Now they are all grown up. Aren’t they beautiful. Their pen was built using things we had laying around. We still need to figure out what to put on the ground for drainage. They do have a small house for shelter. We haven’t put a nesting box yet but we will soon. They will probably start laying in August or September. I can’t wait to taste the difference in eggs! I have never had duck eggs before.