More ducklings day 49

The ducklings are seven weeks old today, which means they could be eligible to go in the pond any time now. But I think I’ll give them another few days; they aren’t all fully feathered yet.

Let’s start a little differently this time: with a GIF time-lapse of overnight in the duck house. It is only showing times with activity, so if you notice big jumps in the clock, that’s when they’re sleeping. It’s fun to watch the water level drop in the waterer and tray — ducks drink a lot of water — I fill both when I close up the house, and they’re almost empty in the morning:

GIF summary

You probably saw the post earlier today with their names. Here’s me peeking through a nesting box at the formerly mystery duckling, Silver Swedish Sassa (aka Gimpy):

Silver Swedish Sassa

All of the ducklings… really ducks now:


Colorful Rouen… Rosa, Roxy, Riva, or Ruby… yep, one of them:

Colorful Rouen

I tried giving them bits of tomato as a treat… they weren’t too sure about that. It’s not green!


That’s more like it… though my fingers aren’t included in the meal:

Fingery treats

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming — I tossed her in the pool again, for more reluctant swimming practice:

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming

She’s much more clean than she was before; amazing what a short dunk or two will do. Though still got more preening and bathing to fully clean up:

Silver Swedish Sassa

Khaki Campbell Clara, still a bit of feather growth to do:

Khaki Campbell Clara

Clara swimming:

Khaki Campbell Clara swimming



Raising out of the water:

Raising out of the water

Two Rouens:

Two Rouens

Two Rouens

Two Rouens

Once again, let’s finish with a GIF summary of all 38 pictures taken today:

GIF summary

Thanks for the feedback from several people. Seems that one second per picture is a good pace, and including all of the pictures provides interesting context. I’m glad you enjoy these, those that do — and if you don’t, easy to skip them at the end.


The Jays love their peanuts

I put a handful of raw whole peanuts in a tray for the wild birds every day. The Steller’s Jays and Scrub Jays love them, hardly waiting for me to leave before diving down and grabbing one or two. They take them elsewhere to open and eat; we find peanut shells under trees all over the homestead.

More duck(ling) names

Back in July I did a post titled “Duck(ling) names”, where I included one picture of the previous batch of ducklings, soon before they went into the pond for the first time, and gave information about their breeds and the names we chose for them.

I’ve been meaning to do that for the six new female ducklings too. So here we go.

As you may recall, there was a mystery about the breed of the duck in the foreground of the following picture. Turns out, she is a “Silver / Splashed Swedish” duck, a less common variation. (Information from the hatchery, and replies to a Reddit post I made; see that for more info.) Not what was expected, but these things happen. I mentioned before that one of the followers of this blog called her Sassa; we like that name, so that is what we’re going with. She will join the Blue Swedish Sven and Sonja.

The other duck unlike the others is the Khaki Campbell, the little brown duck in the center. Our older Khaki Campbells are named Clyde and Cora, again following the convention of naming with an initial letter for the breed, and name from the region of origin. So the new one is named Clara.

Finally, we have four Rouens, which we are naming Rosa, Roxy, Riva, and Ruby. Their male counterpart is Rémy. Though we’ll probably continue to just call them the Rouen girls, since we can’t tell them apart (yet, at least).


More ducklings day 48

Since Jean mentioned it, here’s a GIF of me shoving Gimpy yesterday. Or more charitably, gently introducing a reluctant duckling to the concept of swimming, in a safe environment. Yeah, that sounds better:

Shoving duckling

The ducklings this morning:



Today I introduced them to mealworm treats; they weren’t too sure about them at first, but I know they will go crazy for them in short order:

Mealworm treats

Hanging out in the duck house:


Rouen close-up:


And the Khaki Campbell:



ChickenGuard pop door opener demo

I recorded this video to show ChickenGuard’s customer support the issue I’m having with the opener on my new chicken coop (three years old, to be fair). It is having a door jam error when closing, requiring recalibration, but works once done, until nighttime when it is supposed to close.

I thought others might find it interesting too, to see how the coop pop door opener works, and the innovative way I have it mounted on a door so I can access it from inside the coop, and have the cord go straight down from the opener to the pop door.

More ducklings day 47

Today: a mystery, shoving a duckling, showing off feathers, and another GIF summary of 75 pictures. Yep, I took a lot today. But first, here are 13 pictures of note.

A Rouen showing off her wings:


This duckling, who we nickname Gimpy after her dodgy leg, but one of my blog readers more charitably calls Sassa, I thought was a Blue Swedish when I got her. But as she grew her feathers I had my doubts about that — she doesn’t look like the other two Blue Swedish, Sven and Sonja:

Mystery duckling

For one thing, she has yellow feet, when theirs are black… and her feathers are mostly white, though rather grimy, since she has never gone for a swim as far as I’m aware:

Mystery duckling

So if she isn’t a Blue Swedish, what is she? Based her coloring, I think maybe Pekin? If you have more experience with ducks than me, please let me know! I have queried the hatchery I got them from to see if they can help.

A dusty Rouen having just chomped part of a leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Another leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Water droplets, and more feather growth:


Green feathers:

Green feathers

The mystery duckling having a drink from the edge of the pool:

Mystery duckling

Since she hasn’t shown any inclination to swim, and I was sitting right there, I took advantage of that opportunity to introduce her to the concept in a less graceful way: I shoved her in. Not nice, perhaps, but she’s going to be in the pond in a few days, so I wanted her first swim to be somewhere she can easily get out:

Mystery duckling

She flailed around and complained, unsurprisingly, but did fine:

Mystery duckling

After about 30 seconds she hopped out, and spent ages preening, which will be great for spreading her waterproofing oils. Maybe she won’t be quite so grimy now, though probably needs more than one swim to get cleaned up:

Mystery duckling

The Rouens showed her how much they enjoy swimming:


A Rouen showing off her wings again:


The GIF of all 75 pictures taken today, if you want more duckling pictures in your life:

GIF summary

(A question: do you watch these summary GIFs? If you do, would you prefer I include all photos, including the ones highlighted above, or just the ones I don’t include above? And is the speed of one picture per second good?)

More ducklings day 46

Not sure exactly which day I’ll let the ducklings out into the pond, but it’ll be coming up soon; maybe Wednesday?

Here they all are:


Leafy treats, watched by Betty (and she snuck one out of the pool, too):

Leafy treats

Trying to reach a leaf under the gate:

Trying to reach treat under gate

Snagged by Betty:

Snagged by Betty

A view of the run and older duck food dish from outside:

From outside

Feathers growing; her feather growth is my main indicator of readiness, being the least mature of the ducklings:

Feathers growing

Hanging out on the steps:

Hanging out on the steps

In the doorway:

In the doorway

Sleeping on the edge; not sure she’s actually asleep, but that’s the posture they take when sleeping:

Sleeping on the edge

Cat update for week ending September 26

It’s now fall, and the trees got a head start. The rainy weather over the past week was most welcome, to help tamp down the nearby wildfires (which are getting under control, but still not completely out; I’ll do an update about them some other day).

This rainy weather makes the feral cats want to stay home, snuggly and warm in their heated cat house and cabins. So brace for some snuggly cuteness. I am including a summary GIF of 45 pictures captured this week at the end, like I did for yesterday’s Flock Friday. But here are 17 I particularly liked.

Poppy looking happy in a sunbeam on the cat house deck, while another eats:

Cat in sunbeam

Porcini and Poppy snuggling inside the cat house:


Porcini watching me while I attend to the small pond:


As mentioned in my flock post, I’ve been going out around dusk to close up the chicken coop; one day I went after dark, and saw some eyes on the driveway, which was a cat watching me (I often see the cats watching me from a distance):

Cat at night

Pansy in the back of the shop:



Poppy and Porcini in their house again:

Two cats in their house

Porcini, a twin, and Poppy:

Three cats

Cabin twins (Pommie on the left, Spud on the right):

Cabin twins

Poppy, Bella, and Porcini (I always list them left-to-right):

Three cats



Porcini having a bath:


More Porcini and Poppy snuggles:

Two cats in their house

Screenshot of cams with five cats; two in the cabins, three in the house:

Screenshot with five cats

Porcini looking out the window:


Can you stand more snuggles of this level of cuteness?




The aforementioned GIF of all 45 pictures captured this week:

GIF summary

More ducklings day 45

Last night the maintenance door of the duck house didn’t latch securely, and a duckling pushed it open when squeezing past the waterer.

Here’s a GIF:

GIF of duckling pushing open door

They quickly took advantage of the opportunity to head out for more swimming:

Duckling pushed open door

I saw them on the camera, and went out again to close them up properly when I closed up the chicken coop.

This morning (and all day) has been rainy, which is fine with them:

Damp morning

Damp morning



A Rouen playing with the bungee that holds the door open (in addition to the brick, which stops it banging in the wind):




Looking at me from the tray pool:

Looking at me