Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: more ducklings!

Yesterday I posted some musings about getting more female ducklings, to address the current imbalance of five males and three females, and expected issues that will cause as the males mature.

After sleeping on it, we decided to go ahead with that idea.

So, we just ordered seven new ducklings, all female. (Hopefully there won’t be any errors this time!) To keep things simple, we got the same four breeds as before, so there will be two females for each male of each breed. Not that they care.

That includes one more female Buff, like Betty (adult duck pictures from MyPetChicken.com):

Buff Duck Pair

Plus one Blue Swedish:

Blue Swedish duck

One Khaki Campbell:

Khaki Campbell ducks

And four female Rouens, since we have two males:

Rouen ducks

(Click those links to learn more about each, if interested.)

So, just when I was thinking of winding down the daily duckling posts, I’ll be starting again! It’s good timing, though, since the ducks don’t need the duck house anymore (other than to eat, which they can do outside), but I still have duckling food, and can leave the temporary run in place for when the newer ducklings are old enough for it in a few weeks time.

You can look forward to lots more cute baby duckling pics again starting in about a week!

For a preview, you can review the earlier duckling posts; this link will show them all in chronological order. I’ll use a new tag, imaginatively titled “ducklings 2020 again”, for this second batch of ducklings.

Cleaning out the duck house and mounting the run gate

Welcome to season three of the Yellow Cottage Homestead Ducklings show!

We begin this season, like the previous one back in May, by cleaning out the duck house in preparation for the new ducklings, due around Thursday. [Update: probably Wednesday.]

Here’s a cam shot of the duck house before cleaning it out:

Duck house before cleaning out

I started by raking out the straw and spilt food (ducks are very messy eaters):

Removing straw

I then hosed it out; I designed the duck house to be fairly waterproof with this in mind:

Hosing out duck house

Wet duck house:

Wet duck house

More hosing out:

Hosing out duck house

I left the duck house empty for now, so it can dry out:

Empty duck house

I left the food in the tube, since that is still duckling food from the earlier batch (they get starter feed until 18 weeks old). The new ducklings won’t be able to reach it for a couple of weeks, but can eat from the tube when they can.

In a couple of days time I will finish setting it up for the new ducklings, with shelf liner on the floor, the duckling feeder and waterer, EcoGlow, and heat lamp. I’ll probably do a separate post about that, but it’ll be similar to last time[Update: nah, not much point posting about it; you’ll see the setup when you see me add the new ducklings.]

Next, I installed a proper gate pole. The duckling run is temporary, but since I’ll want it again for the second set of ducklings, I’ll be keeping it around for probably at least another ten or so weeks, so I figured I might as well install a proper pole to hinge the gate:

Gate pole

The pole is set in concrete, from when it was elsewhere in the garden, so I just dug a hole and poked it in. It’s pretty sturdy.

It’ll be easier to open the gate now. It has hinges on the left and a latch on the right, just like a real one:


The rest of the run fencing is still acting as a shade for the older ducks; I’ll restore the enclosure once the new ducklings are old enough to use it in about three or four weeks time:

Gate and fence

The ducks were supervising my work:


More ducklings day 1

Welcome to day one of the latest ducklings!

In case you missed it, the TL;DR is that we were concerned about having more boys than girls, which can lead to fighting and other issues, so decided to get seven more female ducklings, so we’ll have a total of five males and ten females — two girls for every boy (reminds me of a song).

Today those new ducklings arrived at our local post office, so I headed out to pick them up.

As usual, I secured them on the front seat in the truck:

Ducklings in the truck seat

The new ducklings in their box, with me about to remove them (photos by my wonderful wife, Jenn):

Ducklings in box

Notice the other setup in the duck house (since I decided not to do a followup to my previous prep post): the shelf liner flooring (to give traction to wobbly ducklings), the Brinsea EcoGlow heating panel, the lowered heat lamp, the thermometer, and the duckling-sized waterer and feeder. It won’t look as clean for long.

Ducklings in the box, with their gel food and heat pack:

Ducklings in box

Ducklings in box

Duck info:

Duck info

The first one out, the Blue Swedish:


The Buff. I’m not sure what’s on her head; I’ll have to take a closer look at that (I’d guess either gel or poop):


The Khaki Campbell, about to have her bill dipped in the water to introduce the concept of drinking:


One of the Rouens:


Another Rouen; there are four of them, so I’ll skip the other two:


Everyone out and exploring:




The temperature is too low in these pictures, as the pop door was open shortly beforehand. It should be 90°F initially; it raised later:






A couple of hours later, already starting to accumulate poop, and the temperature is at the ideal level under the lamp:


The Buff sitting under the EcoGlow (which could be a bit lower; I forgot how tiny day-old ducklings are!):

Duckling under EcoGlow

I hope you enjoyed seeing brand-new ducklings again! (And did you see and listen to the video?)

I currently plan to continue with the daily posts like I did for the earlier batch, though I may decide to reduce the frequency or simplify in some other way. It’s almost a rerun of the earlier ducklings, though no doubt there will be differences.

More ducklings day 2

It’s day two of the newest ducklings… but unfortunately not for the Buff one. She died overnight.

I was a little concerned about her yesterday, as I saw her apart from the others a few times, which is unusual for ducklings; a potential sign of health issues. I didn’t see anything obviously wrong with her yesterday, but this morning when I visited the duck house, I found her dead in the corner, unfortunately the corner that’s in the camera blind spot.

Reviewing the cam footage, this is one of the last shots of her, having a midnight snack with the others:

Midnight snack

I saw her go into the corner, then didn’t see her again until I found her in the morning.

It’s always sad to lose an animal, but it happens. I guess she was just too weak. I just hope we don’t lose any of the others.

Sleeping around the thermometer:


Cuteness in the morning:




Just now, I saw a Rouen on top of the EcoGlow; I seem to recall one of the previous batch liking that spot, too… yeah, as seen on day 5 of the previous batch:

Rouen on the EcoGlow

More ducklings day 3

The ducklings are all doing fine today, so enjoy the happy cuteness.

The Blue Swedish duckling under the EcoGlow, and others gathered near the waterer:

Blue Swedish under EcoGlow

In the corner:

In the corner

Drinking and eating:

Drinking and eating

The Blue Swedish and a Rouen look like they’re hugging while watching me:

They look like they're hugging

Eating and watching me:


I caught a Live Photo of a Rouen jumping off the EcoGlow; here is a GIF that:

GIF of jumping off the EcoGlow

Droplets of water on ducklings; they can’t help getting water everywhere:

Droplets of water on duckling

In a nesting box:

In a nesting box

More ducklings day 4

Today the high temperature reached 94° F (34° C) which is a bit warm even for brand-new ducklings.

Via the duck house cam, I spotted two Rouens on the EcoGlow in the early morning:

Two Rouens on the EcoGlow

Hey ducklings:


I feel like they’re watching me… because they are:


Standing on the over-full feeder:


Did you see the video of them eating?

Ducklings in nesting boxes:

Ducklings in nesting boxes

Since it’s so hot today, I turned off the heat lamp, and partially opened the vent, to maintain the optimal floor temperature of around 90°; with the vents closed, the duck house gets quite a bit warmer than the outside air, which is good overnight, but not so much with such a hot day:

Vent open

More ducklings day 7

Your daily dose of ducklings. Plus I went to the feed store to get more food for them, since I was almost out.






This is the non-medicated start & grow food I give both the newer ducklings and older ducks. They have this from day 1 until they’re old enough to start laying:

Duckling food

(As the name implies, there is a medicated variety, that I feed to baby chicks, but ducklings don’t need that medication.)

Yes, this is chick food, but suitable for ducklings too, supplemented with some brewer’s yeast for the niacin ducklings need, plus some rolled oats to cut down the protein:

Duckling food