Make Way For Ducklings!

Clockwise from top left: Welsh Harlequin, Black Swedish, Khaki Campbell, Cayuga

I am excited to report that we will officially be duck folk in early March!

While we really wanted to buy them locally, the nursery near our house won’t be getting their ducklings in until mid-April, and with our vacation coming up later in May, we wanted to make sure our girls are all full grown by the time we leave, so we ordered them online instead so we could get them in early March and get some good bonding time in, not to mention get them used to their new digs.

Why ducks? Well, we have some friends who have ducks who also let me duck-sit once a few years ago when they were out of town and, after comparing that to chicken-sitting I’d done for another neighbor, I knew immediately that I was much more of a duck person. Not that chickens aren’t nice, I just think ducks are, well, hella funnier. Plus they don’t have nearly the reputation for eating everything in the garden indiscriminately (we still have our raised beds as, come on, I’m not presenting my greens on a platter to them!), are known to be the best ever at ridding the garden of slugs and other pests, and don’t need a lot of specialization when building their housing! Oh and hey, who doesn’t love the children’s book Make Way for Ducklings? It was one of my favorites as a little girl 🙂

The above are the pictures from Purely Poultry, where I ordered those 4 particular breeds. I like this site because they sell a lot of endangered breeds from the Livestock Conservancy list (all four of ours are on the Watch List – click HERE to learn more). They are day-old and you pick them up at the post office so hopefully it will all go smoothly!

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As far as the coop building goes, the snow is STILL here, so it’s in a state of disarray. Thanks to a neighbor’s kind donation, we got some scrap corrugated metal to use for the roof. but it’s been too effing cold to trim it or do, really, anything! I did, in my cabin fever, go a little stir crazy and order a few things on AmazonSmile (with all charitable proceeds to Planned Parenthood), including a big shallow galvanized steel bucket of sorts for them to get a little swim time in, some chick/grower/layer feed and oyster shells for calcium supplementation, and a latch for the yet-to-be-made door. Assuming the rain that is now coming down in a steady, miserable stream from the sky melts some of the mess without flooding our basements here in town, we’ll be back on the job tomorrow and Thursday, whoop whoop! Or I suppose I should say, quack quack…!

What a great way to head into the new year!

  One thought on “Make Way For Ducklings!

  1. January 18, 2017 at 2:41 am

    That’s exciting! I love ducks

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  2. January 18, 2017 at 7:10 am

    We have chickens and I kind of hate them. We have a pond, so we’ve been considering ducks. If you say they’re easier than chickens, I’m all in. Now, I’m going to have to do some internet research about ducks to help convince the others here that we need some ducks, because they believe in reading everything the internet has to say about a thing before they undertake said thing. Which sometimes cripples us with analysis paralysis, but that’s its own set of issues LOL

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    • January 18, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Hahaha yeah the chickens I’ve met were OK but a few were real assholes 🙂 Ducks also will all follow each other back into the coop when it’s time to go in which I’ve been keen on (I’m not a fan of running after and catching chickens, super awkward).

      Btw we love Lisa Steele’s blog http://fresheggsdaily.com for good basic duck info and even bought her book…

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  3. January 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I have nothing mature to contribute. All I have is “EEEEE DUCKS!!”

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    • January 18, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      hahaha that’s EXACTLY how I feel!!! I have a strong feeling that I will start doing the quack-quack-waddle-waddle walk when I introduce them to their coop 🙂

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  4. dannie1955
    January 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

    What is your stance on bird intelligence? I believe birds are intelligent and care. and can care.

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    • January 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

      I’d say it’s similar to people – on a case by case basis 🙂 I’ve always been a fan of ducks and see their interactions almost always sweet and funny. On the other hand I’ve met a lot of chickens that are assholes, hahaha…

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      • dannie1955
        January 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm

        For me I am always amazed how easy it is for a regular person to notice obvious mental attributes of animals in general and yet it wil take a scientist many years and much money to reach reach a similar conclusion. I remember seeing an knurled m seeing an injured bird lying on the ground and how another flew down and left a worm for the injured bird. As I made progress walking down a road , successive crows would make a noise. That suggested teamwork to me. They say that a chicken displays feelings by how it ruffles its faces than by its face. Too often we expect animals to have a reaction similar to how humans react without thinking about they cope with how they interact with the environment as they really are.

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        • January 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

          Very true. My husband and I *love* watching crows – they are the badasses of the animal world. We always say you gotta be extra nice to them as their memories are crazy good…so I have to find creative ways to keep them out of my tulips as they emerge from the ground :). Have you seen the documentary (I think it’s on Netflix) that explores the lives of dogs, with a whole segment on this group of independent dogs (Mexico?) and the sociology of what they do and why they do it. Kinda awesome.

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        • dannie1955
          January 24, 2017 at 5:45 am

          Thank you. I will look for that documentary. There is a new book on animal behavior that received good reviews. Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans De Wall. I was able to get the book from my library system so I will be reading it soon.

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