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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All Settled In

I was too busy to update yesterday, but we picked the baby up :) It was a long drive on curvy roads, but well worth it. I had ordered a drake, but when the owner brought the duckling out, they had set a female aside. He left the office to see if he had a drake left. He came back and said the sexed Cayugas had been shipped off, but grabbed a black duckling from a mixed straight run batch. He said it may not be a Cayuga and could very well be a black Runner. I have an untrained eye, of course, but by the looks of it's conformation, it certainly looked like a runner to me! I'm not the biggest fan of runners, and told him I would be more than happy to take the girl. It is better this way, I'm sure. The only reason I originally wanted a male, really, was because they are quieter than females. I think having a female, though, will make breeding season and introducing another duck later much easier.

So, I want to introduce you to Cheyenne :) She has taken to home quite well. In the truck, I took her from her box and let her get to know my voice and face for a couple minutes, and placed her back. Brought her back out after that, and I was already Mom. She quieted down and fell asleep immediately in my hands. She would wake up to look at me and make sure I was still with her from time to time and back to sleep she went. When she was in her box, I had a hand/body warmer underneath it to generate some heat for her during the drive.

She's very happy with her safe place (her cage), and so am I. The wheels on the bottom of the cage have made this experience so much easier on the both of us. I can take her into any room with me so easily. And, last night, after wheeling her cage next to my bed, I was surprised to have gotten the best night's sleep I've had in a long time! She just curled up closest to my head she could get, preened for a while, and slept all night.

We've made just three adjustments to the set-up pictured in a previous post:
The red poultry feeder won't do for now. Neither would the duckling dish I ordered from (too deep; not the one pictured), so I am using a microwave egg poacher cut in half.  It works perfect for her current size and doesn't tip over.

She's not interested in the duck stuffed animal, so I added another towel under the lamp to curl up to, and I also added a safety net of sorts under the lamp so there is absolutely no way for the lamp to fall inside the cage.

Cheyenne has needed some reprimand with biting my face moles.  LOL!!!  I hear they are good at learning words, so I'm vocally reprimanding her and blowing on her quickly to make her stop.  It hurts already, so we definitely don't want this being a problem as  she gets older and stronger!

If anyone is interested in getting the cage  I use, you can get the Critter Nation Cage Here.  You can buy either a single or a double unit.  I have a double unit, but removed the top.  No tools are needed to put it together or take it apart, so that's really nice.  A single unit is big enough for a duck to continue using it full grown.  Since the cage is open (unlike an aquarium, etc), it's important to keep the duckling away from drafts and air conditioning for the first couple weeks.  The heat source the lamp produces also escapes just as easy, so make sure your baby is plenty warm enough.

With that, I'll leave you with pictures.  I'll be updating often :)

Meet Cheyenne (2 days old):
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