Today’s the big day: I removed a panel of the duckling run and opened the pop door, letting the ducklings into the pond. Which I consider their graduation to calling them just “ducks”.
I said yesterday that I wasn’t sure when I’d do that. One reason I decided to proceed was that one of the Rouens got out of the duck house last night. She pushed open the cupboard door from inside the nesting box, and hopped out:
(The cupboard doors are held shut with roller catches, so require a little force to open.)
Here you can see her outside the gate on the left, watched by others inside:
Here’s a picture of her when I went out there and discovered her outside; I opened the gate and encouraged her back in:
I felt that was a sign that they were antsy to explore more of their world, and since they’re old enough, decided it was time.
I started this morning the same as ever, with fresh straw and leafy treats:
Then I removed the run fence side by the pond, letting them into it; Betty came over to say hi, as she often does:
The new ducks on the edge of pond:
And entering the pond for the first time:
Sassa was the second one in:
Some pictures of the new ducks in the pond:
The two groups kept mostly separate, though interacted a bit:
Betty seemed concerned about Sassa; at one point I saw her nudge Sassa when she was having a little difficulty in getting onto the pond edge (something she got better at with practice):
Sassa still looks messy, but that should improve with more swimming. As expected, her gimpy leg wasn’t so much of a problem when in the water:
The new ducks spent a while hanging out in the shallow end by the waterfall (which is currently off):
And on the bank by the waterfall:
This is by the duck house:
Betty spent some time hanging out with the new ducks on the edge of the pond by the waterfall:
After a while, Sassa went back in the duck house for a rest and preening session:
A couple of hours later, looking much better:
Some new ducks and older ducks hanging out by the waterfall:
Here is a big GIF summary of 72 pictures from today (it might take a while to load); some of these will probably appear in next week’s Flock Friday:
We now have 13 ducks on our pond; Bert from the first batch, six from the second batch, and six more from the latest ones.
As before, I’ll probably continue the daily “More Ducklings” posts for a few days, then save up pictures for the next Flock Friday.