I’ve been taking so many pictures of the chicks and ducklings each day, I can’t save them up for #FlockFriday. So here’s a bonus post to help your Monday!
The ducklings are very messy (as expected), so I’ll need to muck out the duck house probably weekly, at least until they are able to go outside. I use a plastic container to collect the old straw using a small rake:
Mostly cleared out; once they can go outside, I’ll probably hose it out. The duck house was designed to be fairly waterproof for a reason:
The two buff (light-colored) ducklings can be told apart by the color of their bill. One has a more brown bill, the other is more pink. Their description says “The female has a brownish orange bill with a dark bean and the male has a yellow bill.” I’m not sure that clarifies it for me; is “brownish orange” what I think of as pink, or brown? “Yellow” seems more like brown to me. Perhaps time will tell; certainly once their feathers come in it should be more obvious.
Anyway, I’ve noticed that the brown-billed duckling doesn’t seem to be as much of a fan of swimming; I’ve seen it drinking from the water, and wade in to the shallow end, but not actually immersing itself like the others do, or at least not as enthusiastically:
Here’s the pink-billed duckling in the water:
Intermission for a chick on top of the waterer:
Back to the ducklings:
There’s an expression “like water off a duck’s back” for a reason! Their waterproofing oils seem to be getting nicely established:
Ducklings waiting for swim time, as I fill the paint tray from a water jug:
The jug is then refilled from the tap by the chicken coop, and stored in the duck house cupboard to come to room temperature for next time. Wouldn’t want them swimming in water directly from the tap, as it’s quite cold as it comes out of the well.
Once they get closer to being able to swim in the pond, I’ll mix in pond water, so they can get used to that.
A duckling stretching their wings:
Sleepy chicks; it amuses me how they fall asleep on the roosting bars and go limp:
A couple of chicks roosting on the grit dispenser (grit is sand-sized chunks of granite, which they store in their crop to help eat treats, since chickens don’t have teeth… another expression):
The chicks are getting better at flying; I recently saw them on the nesting box bar (the nesting boxes are temporarily blocked off, until they are old enough to start laying, since I don’t want them sleeping in there):
Fortunately, the ducklings can’t fly (or even jump very high), so the half door is plenty to contain them. Good thing, or they’d jump out to get to the treats:
I’ll try to save subsequent pictures for Flock Friday. Or do I need a Flock Wednesday too?! They’re just so cute and fun to watch.