Saturday, June 27, 2015

New House & Paddock

The ducks continue to grow, and are a lot of fun to watch.  They’ve been in their new house and paddock area for about a week and a half now.  They’ve got a small kiddie pool, and we gradually increased their “pool time” each day, until we began giving them free choice pool time about 5 days ago. There are bricks around the side, and a big rock inside, to give them easy access in and out.  They are frequently in the pool. It’s been fun to watch them dive under water, even though it’s only about 6-8” deep, but now I think they’re getting too big for that. Soon we will need to graduate to the larger pool.

The ducks are beginning to grow feathers in spots. The little one with the pink bill shown in this post now is turning to a blotchy grey & pink bill, but I still call her "Pinky". This Cascade is the lightest in color. They are all quite a variety of shades of brown. The males are getting a more distinctive look; their necks are light in color with darker heads, and their bills are yellow with a dark spot on the tip. 

Their cute house is almost complete. They are living in it now full time, but I'm holding off on adding a photo until it's done. At night they are locked into the house, and the yard is secured as well. I think it would be quite difficult for a predator to get to them. (More on house and yard later.)  I find I don't have much time to write posts, and this one will be post-dated to reflect the correct timing of photos and events.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ducklings: Videos

Here are a couple of videos of the ducklings' first days:

This one was taken June 5, the day after we got them:

This was yesterday, June 11. Look how much bigger they are!

The ducks are really growing. Tim is working fast on their new duckhouse for this location. It won't be anything like the last one, but we think it will be great.  Just wait to see!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ducks @ One Week

Ducklings - June 5, 2015
Here's a shot of the ducklings the day after we got them (above). The ducks are now one week old. All is going well, and the chores have now become habit. In addition to providing food & water, each day I clean out their brooder box. This procedure is a lot like what we did with our first ducks, and we are using the same car-top carrier box as before. There are videos of the 2011 brooder box & cleaning routine HERE.

All Ducks, June 9
The little guy front and center in this photo is my favorite, at this point. He (at least I think he's a he) has managed to escape this box at least two times already! I think I may call him "Houdini".  We've now begun to do a duck count every time we go in to see them.

Based on their beak and foot color, I'm guessing that of the Golden Cascades, we may have 3-4 males and 5-6 females. Two of the White Appleyards are larger than the other two, so I'm thinking the larger ones may be males. Time will tell! They're awfully cute, and it's amazing to see how fast they grow. I've taken a photo of each one, and will see if their coloring allows me to keep track of them as they grow and feather out.

Meanwhile, we've begun to design our new duck house, and have decided where we'll put it on the property. We will need a secure pen for them, too, and plans are underway to have this all done in about a week. Our 2011 ducks outgrew their brooder box and moved into their house at about two weeks old, so we assume these ducks will be ready to go by that time as well.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ducks Are Here!

Our new batch of ducklings has arrived! They were hatched Tuesday, June 2 at Holderread Waterfowl Farm in Oregon, and shipped out that evening. After a postal service mishap in which the shipment was delayed, we found that they were sitting in Colorado Springs and would remain there overnight unless we picked them up there. Off we went, yesterday afternoon, to get them. They were all safe and sound in their shipping box!

Per instructions, we gave them some water with a little honey in it prior to the trip home. We had their brooder area all ready for them, so when we arrived home we put them in under their heat lamps, with water & feed, for their first night here.

We received 9 of the Golden Cascades, and 4 White Appleyard. The Cascades have dark brown & blotchy yellow coloring, the Appleyards are yellow. It's amazing that these little guys were packed into their eggs just two days ago--they grow so fast!

We're off on a new duck-adventure!

Here are the ducks, in the back of the car just after getting them at the post office.