Thursday, May 8, 2014

Easter babies

This is our newest batch of critters- our little Easter duckies. They came to live with us on Easter. And they are so cute!

Supposedly, they're Khaki Campbells. But, the lady we got them from says the two yellow ones will grow up to be white when their feathers come in. So, possibly, we got Campbells, but not all Khakis. Which would be fine.
However, two of the dark cuties have definite markings in their down. And from what I've been reading, that shouldn't be the case. I strongly suspect that they are at least part Mallard. She did have a couple of Mallard drakes running around with her Campbells. I guess we'll find out when they start feathering... I also have no clue how many might be male. I read about how to do it, but when I got to the part where permanent harm (or death!!) could occur if you do it wrong, I decided just to wait for feathers...

Here they are at two weeks of age. They've all acquired names by now (which is way more than the poor chickens can claim) and they are growing so fast! There have been a couple of mornings when I would be prepared to swear that they doubled in size overnight! I couldn't get a good picture that shows them all individually, but I will attempt introductions anyway...
The large yellow one (the oldest of the bunch) in the front is Quacky. Little Miss christened that one immediately. The smaller yellow one (and the youngest of the whole bunch) is Little Bit. (Most of the other ducklings have gotten names/nicknames based on some sort of markings or physical traits. Just because.) Right behind Little Bit, the tall one with the yellow-ish face, is Stripe. So named because of the dark stripe down his back.
Here is a slightly clearer picture of Heartie. (That's the only other one my Little Miss bothered to name. Which was good. Because that was the only one I didn't have a nickname for. Of all of the dark ducklings, that was the only one that had no markings in its down...) Our other little one hid in every photo I tried to take. So Spot (because of one spot on each side just behind his legs) is only visible as a neck just behind Stripe's head...

So, that's our menagerie. No more animals for us. (I will go ahead and ignore the fact that Little Miss has managed to acquire a fish. Not gonna count him. Or the one I'm gonna have to buy in the future for Baby Girl. I just made that rule: Fish do not count.) We have more than enough animals to deal with for now. Any more birds around this place and my sister really will refuse to visit. She's already threatened several times. (She hates birds. Apparently even when they feed her. Not that these have yet, but maybe someday...)

Some things I've learned about ducks so far:

1) They are super duper cute.
2) My daughter doesn't run away from them (yet) calling them "too pokey". So, that's good.
3) These little cuties STINK!!!! Seriously. I think it must have something to do with splashing all of their water everywhere and marinating the humongous poops they're capable of. (Not even kidding. At one week of age, these little guys were dropping bigger poops than the chickens do now!) Needless to say, feathers or not, these babies got kicked out of my house! They still have a nice warm brooder, but it now resides in their duck house, not my house.
4) Their feathers take a lot longer to come in than the chickens did. Still none yet.
5) The ducks are afraid of water. Hope that changes soon. It's just sorta weird.
6) Maybe it's because they're only babies, but they freak out over everything. I was told that ducks would be calmer and friendlier than the chickens, but so far, not really. They still run to the other side of their brooder/yard/wherever when they see us coming. Even if we have treats in hand. To be fair, the chickens do the same thing...

So, we're busy around here. With the birds, the kids, the fish, and the gardens. [Which will hopefully turn out all right. I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. I have problems keeping a cactus alive, so... On the plus side, we have gotten a few radishes harvested already, and the microgreens are more than ready to be eaten (those that the resident squirrels haven't eaten), so that's encouraging.] I still haven't managed to get any crafty type things done around here, but I do have a few pictures to put up at some point in the next few days.

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