Monday, April 18, 2011

oops...more ducks I got more ducks. I couldn't help it. there was a chick and duckling sale I saw on craigslist...and I needed a few more ducks. my last back of four, ended up having two girls and two boys. and I am in the market for girls. and the cat killed one of my girls! sheesh. so I'm hoping that in this batch of five...I have at least three more girls. I got two more Welsh Harlequin, two Khaki Campbell, and one Cayuga...I'm most excited about that one. he should turn out to be a irridescent black/green/blue. I'm back to brooding babies again.

they were a little rough when I got them...poop and dried food matted in their fluff. but I'm hopeful that they will recover.

they are super skittish right now. they pile in the corner everytime they hear any noise or see anything move.

my older ducks are doing great.

they come right up to greet you.

and they nibble your fingers. I'm hoping this is a friendly gesture...not that they are actually trying to eat us like little attack ducks.

it's super cute when they stretch their tiny wings.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

one of my future hobbies

bee keeping...

in the spirit of using the waste stream to gather supplies for our gardening and animal husbandry's an idea for a homemade bee hive that I'd like to try. we could totally find all these supplies in a about an hour, sitting out on the curb on a big-item-pickup weekend...headed to the landfill. trash to treasure. of my favorite blogs posted about this little diy hive...she's a cool farmer for sure. she's big time...if you like sheep, bees, or banjos, check her out.
Cold Antler Farm.

Beekeeping is an ancient DIY art, performed by amateurs and makers for centuries. Anyone can produce natural honey at home. People keep bees in many different kinds of hives, but we will focus on a cheap and simple design, called the Honey Cow.

The Honey Cow is designed to mimic nature as much as possible. Unlike commercial hives, it does not have frames, foundation or excluders. Instead, it just has top bars, allowing the bees to do what they would in a fallen log: build beautiful, natural combs. Because it is less intrusive to the bees, it's easier to make and manage, which makes it a perfect beginners backyard hive.

(Taken from - Click here for instructions!)

playing outside

ducky recess / going out to eat. they get so excited.

chopped cabbage and carrots.

they're getting to be teenagers...or something like that. not sure how duck years relate to human years...but they sure do grow fast.

ava hand feeding them. she said she is their mommy and I am their sister. she is great with them and they really seem to like her.

starting to build the duck run in the yard out of salvaged window screens.

such big helpers.

"oh-my-god...a pool!"

we turned this rabbit hutch into their night time sleeping quarters. someone was throwing it out at the curb. 

brad replaced the roof, added the front door to keep out raccoons and opossums, and gave it a sweet ass paint job. 

the finished run, complete with sun shade. 

ava forages the yard every day for duck salad and worms and snails. they love it...and putting them outside has drastically reduced the amount of feed they are eating. it would appear that the cat killed one of my females...leaving me with two males unfortunately. less eggs and the possibility of the drakes fighting over the only female. bummer. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

one duck down...

through this maybe inch and a half wide opening in the end of my duclking brooder

this glutonous cat

reduced my duck count to three. a lesson in how easily predators can get ahold of your animals. that opening in the brooder has been covered with window screen now. and the cat is in the proverbial "dog house." although I can't blame him too much. he is a predator after all...and his job in our house is to eat cute small furry things that scamper least we now know how efficient he can be right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


first time eating carrots. the drake, the one with the dark feathers on his head, is always watching us closely...he's got his eye on me in this one. he sure is spunky.

they loved the shredded carrot.

and their first swim. I've read different recommendations on swimming...some say not until they have all their feathers, in a month or so...and some say it's fine as long as you keep an eye on them.

it's only been a week, and they've doubled in size. they are looking much less like ducklings and much more ducky today. you can almost tell a daily difference in their size.

we let them swim for about 20 minutes or so in luke warm water, dried them very well, and put them back under the heat lamps. they thought swimming was pretty cool. and Ava insisted that they have this yellow ball to play with. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011


oh we go right? I've wanted to get ducklings or chicks for quite a while now...and here they are! 
they're settling into their new digs as we speak. a plastic tote with old towels seems to be working well so far. I think we will add plastic mesh window screen on top of the towels to make it easier to shake off the duck poo...which is abundant. 

Ava is really into them. first thing she did was read them a book. and she really thinks they need a blanket. she keeps trying to put one over the top of the bin. and she can't wait until we let them take their first swim...

I'm super excited too. I'm not even mad about the duck shit.

they're getting the hang of the food and water thing. they'll already eat the food from my hand. pretty cute for sure.

how hard can it be right? I mean...these are so much easier than human babies lol. surely we can keep these alive right?

snuggling up for a nap. about an hour after this, I went downstairs to find the cat, Max, trying to eat them. he had knocked over their water and was in the process or ripping off the screen from the top. luckily I caught him. we replaced the wire screen with the bin lid, which locks on, and we put a ton of holes in it of course :) this may be foreshadowing of what's to come...the perpetual battle with the end that we will end up being the ultimate predators...

let the ducky adventure begin.