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:

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:

Droplets

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:

Swimming

A Rouen showing off her wings again:

Wings

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:

Ducklings

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

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

Swimming:

Swimming

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

Ducklings

Splashes:

Splashes

Looking at me from the tray pool:

Looking at me

Flock Friday for September 25

A big Flock Friday today, with 33 photos of ducks and chickens, plus a GIF with those and 31 more at the end, as if 33 weren’t enough. But I took lots of nice shots of the ducks, so wanted to share them.

Firstly, via the pond cam from while we were evacuated, a wild duck visitor:

Wild duck visitor

Our ducks with the wild duck visitor (left); much smaller than ours:

Ducks with wild duck visitor

The ducks discovered the other upturned pot islands in the pond:

Ducks on islands

Ducks eating:

Ducks eating

When we got home from our evacuation, I collected eggs. Several under broody Martha:

Broody chicken with eggs

And a bunch in another box:

Eggs

That would be about one day’s worth in the peak of summer, but they are slowing down for fall, so are from several days. Currently they’re down to about 5 eggs per day.

Chickens waiting for treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Yay, rice treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

We let them into the veggie garden while evacuated (after our mid-evac visit), and they denuded the kale, except for the high leaves out of their reach, though left most of the pumpkins and tomatoes:

Veggie garden

I’ve continued to have issues with the ChickenGuard pop door opener on the new chicken coop:

ChickenGuard opener

So have had to go out to the coop each night to manually close the door. Here are the four chickens that prefer the new coop at night:

Chickens at night

From outside (on another night):

Chickens at night

Back to the ducks, with a bunch of pictures; the males are putting on their colorful feathers now, so they’ve changed a bit since you last saw them:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

GIF of ducks during a rainy night:

GIF of night ducks

Betty has been hanging out in the grasses, maybe thinking of nesting, though a bit young for that:

Betty in the grasses

Here’s a GIF summary of 64 photos from this week, including the above and a bunch more:

GIF summary

More ducklings day 44

Yesterday was the first day of week 7 for the ducklings, which means they are in their last week in the duck house and run. I normally (in as much as having done so twice) let them into the pond in week 8. Basically I wait for them to be fully feathered, which they aren’t quite yet, but should be in a week.

It’s leafy treat time, with Betty outside the run enjoying one too:

Ducklings

A Rouen eyeing me before hopping in the pool:

Ducklings

You can see the growth of the feathers on the brown Khaki Campbell; it’s fascinating how the feathers grow as white pins then sprout from their tips:

Ducklings

Here, let me zoom in on her so you can see better:

Duckling zoom

Betty is often fascinated by the ducklings:

Duck

Swimming duckling and ducks:

Ducklings

Four Rouens:

Ducklings

More ducklings day 42

A focus on food today for the ducklings.

But first, I opened up the duck house and topped up water (the paint tray pool goes in the duck house while it is closed up overnight):

Ducklings

Ducklings and ducks watching each other:

Ducklings and ducks

This morning I gave them some leafy treats as usual:

Leafy treats

Then after lunch I gave them some partially-frozen peas; ducks love all sorts of green treats:

Peas

Peas

I also refilled their food jug. They are fed a mix of brewer’s yeast (for niacin), raw rolled oats (to reduce the protein ratio), and non-medicated start & grow feed (until they start laying eggs, then will be switched to layer feed like the chickens):

Food

Adding some oats and yeast to the jug; I add a couple of large scoops of feed, then oats and yeast, then more feed, and so on, to mix them together. This jug normally goes into the top of the feeder tube, though I’m also using it to dispense food into a dish for the older ducks until they can all eat from the duck house again:

Food

Finally, some ducks coming around the side of the duck house to say hi to the ducklings:

Ducks and ducklings

More ducklings day 41

Today for the ducklings, some stretching of wings, fun splashes, and a GIF.

A Rouen stretching her wings; still some feather growth to go, but getting there (with the older ducks visible in the pond):

Wings

Like water off a duck’s back:

Like water off a duck's back

Water again

A Rouen stepping on up to the pool, and Betty stepping up to the fence from the pond:

Stepping on up

Splashes:

Splashes

The Khaki Campbell flapping her wings too; a little behind in growth, but also getting there:

Wings

An animated GIF of three ducks swimming in circles:

GIF

More ducklings day 40

The first day back in the duck house and run for the ducklings, with the kiddie pool.

Good morning:

Ducklings

Today I set up the kiddie pool again for them:

Filling kiddie pool

Treats to encourage them to investigate it:

Treats

Treats

I tweaked the steps to be easier on their short legs:

Steps

It didn’t take long for them to hop in and start swimming:

Swimming

Some preferred a more direct serving of treats, though:

Treats

Three ducklings swimming, plus ducks in the pond:

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming for treats:

Swimming

Swimming

Dunking:

Swimming

Four in the pool:

Swimming

Shaking her head after getting out:

Swimming

(Did you see the video of swimming?)