Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wee ducks

Everybody knows that baby ducks are cute. With their fuzzy yellow heads, and their cute orange beaks, what's not to like?

The stink.

My experience with chickens and wee baby chicks did not prepare me for ducks.  I assumed that it would be the same in terms of care and upkeep.

Boy was I wrong!

So here are my learning's about ducks.

  1. They swim in their water dish.
  2. They like to eat their food wet, which means that their water is usually a murky colour as the food has been sitting in it all day.
  3. Their wood chips get wet, and combined with the daily poop they become a sticky brown mess.
  4. They are not cuddly, in fact they will wiggle out of your grasp like an oiled snake.
  5. They like to tip their water dish, which means changing the water frequently - see number 1.
  6. The wood chips become cement like after two days.
The ducklings are now living with Charlie out in the barn in an enclosed area, until they are old enough to free range. For now, we are using straw in their enclosure, but I am beginning to realize why the folks who keep ducks have earth enclosures -and have them open to the elements. I realize now it's so that the rain can wash away the stench!

Soon enough they will be free ranging, which will solve the issue for the summer months. However, I am not looking forward to the cold winter that smell will be indoors for the season.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog last week, and I'm loving it. My husband and I are still in the stage you were at back in Jan. '10, but hope springs eternal! To your duck dilemma... growing up we had a small coop that was shared by our chickens and our ducks and had attached outdoor runs. Eventually, we moved the ducks' water outside, rather than dealing with the wet shavings and straw inside. It can be a bit challenging in the winter, but the ducks seemed to do okay overall, and the mess (and stink) stayed outside.