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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Duck 1, Duck 2, Duck 3...

When we went to pick up the donkeys at the Animal Rescue League, they kindly let us borrow their 2 horse livestock trailer. This was tremendously helpful because we normally put our animals in the back of our pickup. Kelly made a stock rack for it and we once had 7 Nubian goats in the back of a Ford Ranger. Quite a sight to see! Anyway, the donkeys were happy with the trailer, so the day after picking them up, Kelly took the trailer back. And guess what he came home with?!

We are the proud rescuers of 11 mixed ducks!

There are four ducks that are yellowish and small. there are four that are creamy white-ish and larger. There are two dark coloured ones with feet that have dark and light splotches, and one that is sort of brownish grey with a stripe on its head. The ages of these ducks are unknown.

The best guesses I can get (from my online poultry group) are blue Swedish for the 2 black ones...

...possibly a domestic mallard for the stripey-headed one...
... and maybe Campbell's or Pekin ducks for the others.

Does anyone have duck experience and want to give a guess on breeds or ages?

I haven't given them names. It would be too difficult because other than the 3 black and stripe ones, they all look sort of similar to each other. Thus, they are presently "Ducklings" and will grow up to be "Ducks" as a group name. As in...."Heeeere, ducks ducks ducks" when I will go out to feed them. Right now, they are living in a 2 foot high aluminum tank in our basement. It's 5 and a half feet wide.
They are doing just fine in there for now. They are hungry and thirsty little ducklings!

They tend to move as a single group - they do not do things individually. If they eat, they all move towards the feed dish in a single motion. Then they all move to the water. It's as if they are programmed. They make me laugh. If I move quickly around them, they quickly back up, but all together as a group. They sort of make a noise that is something in between a peep and a quack. The smaller (younger) ones are more peepy and the bigger (older?) ones are more quacky.

They will stay indoors until it is warmer outside. I am looking forward to their first day in the bathtub for swimming lessons with me, "Mother Duck" teaching them how to swim. They will probably figure it out quite handily (footily?) without me.

16 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Another new addition! Or additions. lol!

What a fun way to keep busy during the cold winter, too. They are precious. Congrats!!

I can't wait to see what else comes home with you the next time you're guys are out. lol!
~Lisa
New Mexico

Egghead said...

How adorable! They are so cute. I don't have any duck experience so I have no idea type or age. My niece once had four baby ducks and she kept them in her bathtub until it was warm enough outside. I have to say it was kind of a mess but she was young and lived on her own.

kristi said...

I am so glad there is someone else who has "other issues" like me LOL. My issue is cats.....never get a part-time job in a vet. clinic. Your blog is like a surprise every time I check in but I have no advice on ducks other than that game "Duck, Duck, Goose":)

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

We want video of swimming lessons! You can go onto www.homesteadingtoday.com

I'm sure they have a forum for it. I follow the goat forum regularly. Great folks...quick answers.

Deborah said...

Maybe the black ones are Cayugas, although they'd be crosses since pure Cayugas are all black. Here's a pic from my blog of our Cayuga ducklings:
http://antiquityoaks.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-babies.html

Mom L said...

Congratulations, Duck Mom! My only experience has been in hand feeding ducks and geese at ponds, zoos, etc. I learned quickly that I needed a good glove to hand feed cracked corn to adult Canada Geese, altho the "teenagers" were gentler.

Have fun with your new additions! I'm with Lisa - wondering what you'll come home with next!

Nancy, Diane's Mom, in Atlanta.

kenleighacres said...

I LOVE baby ducks! They are so entertaining. I agree that the stripey head/smaller ones are probably mallards. The big white ones look like Pekins and I'm not sure about the rest.

For the felted critters I use pipe cleaners for the legs. For the sheep I made a pipe cleaner skeleton and that worked really well. Have fun!

Mare said...

OH! I wanna come and live at your house! Lucky ducks!

Diane L. Dodd said...

Do you ever leave the ARL without something new???? they are SO cute :)

farm-witch said...

Congrats on the new babies. The little guy on the right on the last pic looks like a Campbell to me. They are awesome little ducks with funny personalities! Quack Quack!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Oh! How cute! I'd like our person to have ducks too! I think that sound the babies make should be called a Queep! hee hee

Wrensong Farm said...

I think you're right on your guesses on breeds. I've seen Blue Swedish ducklings before and they looked like the ones you have. The big yellow ones are probably Pekin.

The one thing I know is ducklings are just as messy if not more messy (due to their wanting to play in their water) than chicks!

Congrats on your new additions!

Gail V said...

Hi
the Storey book on Ducks is very very good-- we have 6 Ancona (black and white spotted) ducks. Ours are not people-friendly but we love to watch them, and they lay a lot of eggs. One tip: the females "quack", the males have a thready, raspy call. We restrict their indoor access to water just to keep down the messy wet bedding. But that's after they are grown. . .
have fun! Gail from Little Red Oak Farm in MN

shantishanti.net said...

Do any of your ducklings look like Indian Runners now that they're grown? I have an Indian Runner named Clyde who looks just like the black duckling with the yellow chest. :)

GARMAG said...

hi i am a pro duck breeder breeding over 1000 ducks per season your ducks in that picture are around 3 weeks old the white ones are infact magpies and so is the black its not a sweedish! the others are probley mixed breeds and the grey with the stripe on its face is a mix aswell tTHEYRE MOSTLY DRAKES!

Claire said...

Hi Garmag, thanks for your comments! The ducks are now just over a year old and all the light coloured ones are pure white with bright orange bills and feet, so I am pretty sure they are Pekins and not magpies since none of them have any black on them anywhere and no spotting on their bills. Three of them turned out to be drakes. The black ones I am still not sure about but they are mostly around 10 pounds, which seems heavy for magpies also. Only one of the black ones is a drake. The one with the stripe ended up looking pretty much like a domestic mallard drake and weighs in about right for that too. They have all been really hardy and good layers all summer long and we love to watch them in the kiddie pool taking baths. Great entertainment!