Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Ducks Are Here!

Our ducks arrived at the post office this morning, so Tim went to pick them up soon after.  Our order was for 10 Welsh Harlequin ducklings, and along with the 10 we received one White Appleyard as a "bonus".  One of the 10 arrived dead, but with the bonus, we still have 10 total.

They are very cute, of course!  We put them into the brooder that was all ready for them, and it's amazing how quickly they wander around exploring.  Right away we gave them water to drink with a little honey in it and some chopped up greens.  After a bit we gave them their food, and one by one they figured out what was there and began to eat.  Within no time at all they were jumping over each other and over the food trough to get to the other side.  The one White Appleyard is the largest and boldest of all.  He will be pure white, so I'm already calling him (or her) "Whitey".  Of the others, we think there are 4 females and 5 males, based on the bill color.  With this breed, you can tell the sex by their bill color within the first couple of days after hatching, with 75% accuracy.  Apparently, the ducks with a lighter bill color are females.  We have no idea what sex Whitey is, but hopefully we'll have at least 4-5 females out of the bunch for egg production.

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