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 and ducks watching each other:
This morning I gave them some leafy treats as usual:
Then after lunch I gave them some partially-frozen peas; ducks love all sorts of green treats:
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):
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:
Finally, some ducks coming around the side of the duck house to say hi to the ducklings:
We are home again now. Currently getting unpacked, and throwing out thousands of dollars of food from our fridges and freezers that spoiled while the power was out (for several days). That hurts. At least we have eggs for dinner! Three dozen waiting for us in the coop.
But it’s good to be home (and have a home to come back to), though we’re still at evacuation level 1 (“be ready”), so this isn’t over yet. Things seem to be improving, though.
Here’s one last picture of the ducklings in the trailer pen:
Mucking out the trailer pen, after putting the ducklings back in the vented containers:
Here are the ducklings in the containers after getting home; I only stacked them to carry them to the duck house:
Back in their run; they were keen to have a bath after that three hour trip:
I’ll set up the bigger pool tomorrow.
Heading back into the duck house, with some fresh straw:
Ducklings and ducks:
The ducks were very happy to see me; they’d eaten all of the food I’d dumped out for them, as expected.
It’s raining a bit today, which is helping to clear out some of the smoke. Depending on how things look in the morning, we’re thinking we’ll probably head home tomorrow. So this might be the last duckling update from the excellent trailer pen that Mom and her partner provided for the ducklings.
The ducklings won’t enjoy the three hour drive home (and neither will my ears, now that some of them are quacking loudly), and they probably won’t like being back in the duck house and run, being a bit smaller than the trailer. But they need a couple more weeks before they’ll be old enough to go in the pond. It’ll be good for the older ducks and the ducklings to get used to each other again through the fence, too, before they merge.
Today, as I have each day, starting the day by adding more water to the kiddie pool, and refilling their food and paint tray pool:
I also added some fresh straw, including some further back, added by sprinkling on top of the wire, which left a few bits as fun things for them to snag:
Treats in the pool:
Only a couple of them wanted to swim while I was there; the others reached for the treats from outside:
Today I increased the depth of the duckling kiddie pool by another few inches, to the point where they can no longer touch the bottom — so they are actually swimming for the first time.
But first, I refilled their paint tray pool and food:
Really swimming; they took to it like ducks to water, unsurprisingly (female ducks seem more comfortable in water; previous male ducklings were more hesitant to swim at all, or made a big production of it):
Today marks the start of the sixth week of these ducklings, which is when they are officially old enough to swim, plus no longer need heat (though they’ve been without that for the past week anyway). Still a couple of weeks before they are ready to go into the pond, though… not that that is an option while we’re evacuated, anyway.
So, now that they have the kiddie pool, I’m slowing increasing the water level. They can still touch the bottom, but in a day or two they’ll be actually swimming; that’ll be fun.
A couple slow motion clips of a Rouen duckling spreading her waterproofing oils and dunking her head, then a normal speed (though seems sped up after the slow-mo) clip of three ducklings enjoying the pool.