Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rubber Ducky, You're The One..

Ever since we got two new additions to the homestead,
I have Ernie's Rubber Ducky song playing on repeat in my head.
We got ducks!
 They look like White Pekin Ducks.
The people we got them from likely got them for Easter, since in their duckling pictures, their feathers were tinted pink and blue.

 Don't know the sex of them, don't care.
We talked about getting ducks before, so when these ducks showed up on a local exchange site, for free, we couldn't resist! She had no shelter for them and didn't want to build one for the coming winter, so she was giving them away.

 I love the little curls on the tips of their tail feathers!

 These two are tight! They stay together everywhere!
So much fun to watch!

 The kids all had fun watching them as we took them out of the cage. I was a little worried we took them out too soon, because one bolted and ran into the woods and the other stayed for a while. I wondered what the roosters would do. The dog? Would the ducks come back? I hadn't made a pen for them yet.

 Turns out, I needn't have worried. These two ducks seem to know this is home already. They hang around, eating grass, leaves, and I assume, bugs in the ground. They wander in the woods, always within sight, then come back to their little wading pool and swim and bathe.

 As it got dark, and the chickens put themselves to bed in the coop, the ducks came close to the house, probably looking for a place to settle for the night.  Previous owners only had them in a small fenced in area with no shelter, so I have to think they are not used to sleeping inside of something. I rounded the ducks up and put them in the dog carrier, then put the cage inside the coop for the night.

 I don't know if that's ideal for long-term-- keeping the ducks with the chickens in the chicken coop.  I know of others through blogger that have ducks and chickens, and even one family with one duck that thinks it's a chicken and hangs out with the chickens. In my case, these two ducks have never seen chickens before, and the chickens seem afraid of the ducks. They hide in the coop when the ducks are around it and don't come out until the ducks are out of sight. Curious!

 I have enough lumber scraps to make a largish dog house-style shelter for them. I've been turning over plans in my head ever since we got them home yesterday afternoon. I'll probably place the duck shelter a little bit away from the chicken coop and build a temporary pen until they learn to go in the shelter at night. The little pool will go near it, as well.

 The ducks are fun to watch when they get into the pool.
It's fun to see them dunking themselves and splashing around.
The previous owners gave this to us, but eventually, I'd like to get a little bit bigger one, so they can actually swim around some. It looks like they are standing and not really swimming. The water is only about 6 inches or so deep.

We've named them Cheese and Quackers.


Cheyenne said...

I love their names! These are the kind of ducks I grew up with as a child way back when...

Student Teacher said...

Usually ducks with curly tail feathers are males, just so you know. In the past I have had ducks and chickens together and they got along fine except when the male ducks tried to mate with the hens. They can be quite aggressive sometimes!I’ve found that ducks are also a lot messier than chickens, with their droppings. They’re cute though- enjoy!

jenny said...

Cheyenne-- When we got them, she told us that one was named quackers and the other was "..mumble..mumble.." just couldn't understand what she was saying. So Cheese seemed fitting! LOL

Student Teacher-- You're right!! I googled all the info I could find on White Pekin ducks and it was so interesting to learn about their curly tail feathers! I haven't come across any duck poo, so I can't say anything about that just yet, but thanks for the heads up! So far, the chickens are still wary around the ducks, and there isn't much interaction going on. Rainy day today and the chickens hung out in the coop, but the ducks were loving the puddles!