SO I heard my first real quack today… but I am not sure if Barbie was just trying to clear her throat or not. She definitely sounded like Donald Duck! LOL.
The coloring of their true feathers are coming in under their wings, and I am growing more confident that we have girls. I am VERY relieved, even though Sisboomba’s name would definitely have fit a boy 🙂
After the first day or two of failed attempts to have the ducks come when I call, I have stopped the meal worms and “mommy lessons”. I thought maybe if they were hungry, they would come for their feed… that didn’t work either. I was told the lessons might not work because of their age; now fear that I will not be able to let them roam free in the backyard, like I hoped.
They just started 5 weeks, and LOVE their bath time. We have taken a small tub and put it on the deck with water in it. It is here now, they take their afternoon snack (lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, and sometimes carrots). We have just recently cut their feed back to twice a day and have start supplementing some of their food with “snacks”. We raised their water level so they are officially swimming when they bathe — before we filled the water just high enough that the tips of their toes touched the ground. While they seem to enjoy this new luxury, they also seem a bit lost. As swimming doesn’t yet seem to provide them with as much mobility as their tippy toes did.
While their mobility is still in the learning process, they have started to dive more, and have taken a liking to dunking their whole upper bodies underwater. It is quite fun to watch! I’ll try and take a picture of it next time.
As the monsoon season is growing near, the idea of a more permanent home for the ducks keeps rattling around in my head. With the pressing weather change, and finances having been redirected to purchase a new washing machine — mine literally clunked out — and the lack of an “appropriate” home dwells on my mind. With this said, I think my husband and I have decided to build them a small 3’x2′ dog house and pen in some of the space under the deck — the deck with stairs is 20′ long x 10′ wide. We think this, with some tarps during the winter, will make an acceptable place for the ducks to forage and run. We have also decided not to force them into laying eggs this winter — their true gender is known when and if they start laying eggs at 6 months, which for us is in January — and if necessary, we will but a small watt bulb in their house to keep them warm. Come spring we will build them a more permanent home under the trees in very fertile soil.
Going back to the not following me when “called”, I have to say they have started to eat more in our presence (e.g. sitting on the couch near their home, or while bathing) and will allow the girls to hand feed them, IF they are being held. They also like the beet roots I just thinned from the garden, so we will start trying more garden clippings. Don’t worry, I do not use pesticides.
Despite the bobcat that was found a few weeks ago a few houses up, and the random coyote calls tonight, the occasional wrong squeeze from the ducks, or the jumpy four year old… I LOVE having ducks.