Thursday, June 4, 2015
There is a large "underground" network of indoor duck owners, but information and tips can still be hard to come by. We are always searching for the best or better ways of doing things. After several years of being a MamaDuck, I've finally found the best indoor enclosure to fit my needs and I thought I would share in case someone is looking for a more practical and sanitary option... that doesn't involve a plethora of towels. My Muscovy ducks are getting huge. The large dog kennel lined with towels and drawer liner wasn't going to make the cut anymore. They needed more room and larger food & water dishes. What follows is what I ended up with: 60" Advantek Pet Gazebo I've already had this on-hand for a couple years and have been happy with the quality. While a little tall, the area size is perfect and it's finish makes it look fairly decent in my home. 60" Kiddie Pool I got mine at Kmart. I was so happy to find it fits perfectly inside the pet gazebo and can easily be removed for cleaning (which doesn't need to be done often). I sprayed mine with black Krylon Fushion spray paint (Walmart) to cover up the horrible 'eye-sore blue' and cartoon octopusses. I then measured the width of the pen door opening and cut a notch out of the pool with a hack saw. This way, they can come and go when the door is open. The sides will also help protect your walls. 49" EZwhelp Washable Whelping Pad This is where I hit the jackpot. I was originally searching for a round tablecloth. But, those were never the right size. They couldn't be cut to size because they were stitched, and they aren't absorbant... which would make for a slippery mess. After hours of looking, I decided to search the terms "round pad" on Amazon before I gave up. Couldn't believe I found this whelping Pad made specifically to fit perfectly inside of a 60" pool! It absorbs the liquid poos and leaves the solid on top, making for easy rinsing. There is a waterproof bottom, so the pool doesn't need to be washed often. Tired of poop latching on to the textured fibers on bath towels? You wont be disappointed in this. Lay it flat and rinse it off using a hose nozzle in NO time with no effort. I take mine out of the pool every morning to rinse and I hang dry it on a line while my ducks romp around the house. I only have to throw it in the washer once a week (considering that they are on it only at night time).It is dry and ready to be placed back inside the pool within a few hours. I can't forget to mention, too, that the color itself is nice because the poo becomes less eye-catching when the ducks have their way with it. I also have a desk lamp attached to the side with zip ties. This holds their full spectrum UV avian lamp I've mentioned in a previous post. Hope this helps!
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I was watching my babies preen after having given them a bath and a thought stopped me dead in my tracks: "What about vitamin D?!!"
I know how important vitamin D is for humans. My mother has multiple sclerosis and is house-bound. She never gets any sun and has to suppliment vitamin D on a daily basis. It must be important for birds, too. I can' the
I eve this thought had never crossed my mind. Then I thought about all the parrots I have come across that never step outside. That can't be right. It may not be news to you, but I just now came to find out that they make UV lights for indoor birds. Do your indoor ducks a favor and put a rush order on an avian UV light. There are many to choose from (and adjustable lamps to go with them), but this is the one I chose:
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I will do what most do when they take a rescued duckling in and I feel good about my decision. I have Scooba (who is most definitely a Mallard after all) and the outside ducks separated outside for now, but he will come out in about a week when he is a bit bigger. I won't clip his wings and he will be at will to be free and in the wild... And make babies! There are so many wild ducks here, we are lucky that is an option. He will do well. Strong, confident, and spunky.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
We went to Lowes for a tiny patch of sod.... They were out and we needed to wait for the new shipment. The next day, my new neighbor knocked on the door. He has had several crews of workers out installing a pool and landscaping in his backyard. To my shock, he offered a ton of leftover sod to us.... For no cost. Amazing! When these babies start laying, he will be getting some eggs. I also plan on building him a sign for his pool. Happy ducks!
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
My friend took her family to a park yesterday. From what I understand, there were children everywhere upsetting a flock of ducks and separating the babies from their mom. All of the babies made it back to her except for one. The drakes were attacking it and drowning it. Everyone there was watching, hopeless for the baby's survival. Once the baby started making it's way back to it's mom, she rejected it and chased it off. I got a phone call. My friend had managed to capture it from the drakes on land after they made it tumble down a hill. Now, I don't know for sure if this was natural selection, but I am firm on giving back to nature what we take. These kids could very well have disrupted things enough to make this happen. I had to go with my gut... I had to make it right. Everyone has a purpose in life that, if utilized, helps keep balance in nature and society. I have just gotten back into duck keeping within the past few days... A MamaDuck to Muscovies with a brooder set up and I get a call from my dear friend and neighbor that there is a baby muscovy needing to be rescued. It felt like a nudge from God... And I needed to act on it. That is the best way I can explain it. When I got to her house, I had no idea what to expect... If it would be hurt, unhealthy, if it was in fact a Muscovy, or how old it was. Could it be too old to integrate with my two brooding babies? I was so happy to lift the flaps of that box to see a healthy hatchling... Maybe a day or two old...with similar markings to Turkey. This baby certainly appears to be a Muscovy, in which case, is likely a product of someone releasing their domesticated ducks into the wild. Off to the brooder we went. I placed him in with Charger and Turkey. The baby immediately ran over to them as they stood on their feet. When the baby got between them, it was immediate acceptance. They laid down when the baby reached them and snuggled together. This morning, they are still snuggling... The baby has made it through the night and is looking great. My flock is officially full. No more animals! But, what was one more if it meant saving a life? Meet "Nudge".
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Yes, yes they do a little bit. This question will come. This is me answering your question with another question: Do ducks poop in the lakes your kids swim in? Do fish poop in the streams they play in? Is the fertilizer you use in your garden made of cow poop? Do YOU let your kids make memories or shield them from the sun and everything under it? Think about that while I let my son make memories in the bathtub with his pet duck. It's nothing a pair of swim trunks and a shower can't fix ;)
this website has pictured. The plastic tray bowed and burnt our hands immediately, it was so hot. So... Beware and don't do this if you have ducklings until they are much bigger. After they get some meat to them, go right ahead as long as you cover the black tray with towels.
We went out searching thrift stores for furniture to repurpose into nesting boxes. I had a small entertainment center in mind. First two places had nothing that would work. Third time's a charm. I found something even better than what I was looking for. Just got done cutting out the openings with an art knife. And can you believe that it' shade out of REAL wood?! Not that composite board. Yay!
Well... not exactly. My six new Muscovy ducklings will, in fact, never quack. It has been a few years since I have been able to live up to my nickname "MamaDuck", though it has always stuck. My son has made unbelievable leaps in dealing with Autism, I have healed from Cheyenne's passing, and we have bought our first home. All of this opens up so many more possibilities and I am loving life. Waking up to finally having more baby ducks in my life makes every day that much better. My husband wanted chickens, but ducks are what I know. We have been investing in resources and wanted egg production (and the poop... compost bin for the vegetable garden). I was set on Muscovy Ducks. We have neighbors and I am firm on letting them have their peace. Muscovy ducks don't quack. You can tell their soft, quiet, charming noise from the sparrows and finches if you can hear them at all. The only downside, really, is that they are a flying breed. I will have to trim their flight feathers, which will be a first. Tracking down Muscovy ducks to buy lead me on a wild goose chase (see what I did there?). I searched high and low for someone local without luck and after trying to find mail order birds their unavailability, extreme shipping rates for both ducklings and eggs, and their 20 bird minimums left me hopeless when I went to bed every night bug-eyed from searching all day on the computer. Finally, I found a sweet veteran a few days ago set to move today. He had nearly 3 month old ducklings he needed to find homes for and he really cared about their future. I brought four home with me. I'm a MamaDuck again! They were free range.... catching them was an adventure, but went well. They are accustomed to venturing away from people when someone approaches, but they are coming along already. They have trust in me after a lot of positive short visits and treats. I am so happy to have them! They are currently housed in a plant house I built (Ive taken on woodworking as if I needed another hobby). I'm currently adding on to it for more room to roam, a pool, and nest boxes. Their previous owner has texted to check in on how they are doing. I love that. Really shows how much he loves them! But, I still have that aching in my heart. With these outside, older babies I can't imprint them... my specialty. To my surprise, I found a man with brand new hatchlings! Indoor babies! My son wanted one, too. He never spends his money. I can't get him to give up a penny if I asked him to, but he was more than excited to spend five dollars of his hard saved money and get himself a baby. We went and picked out two. My son is very proud and handling the baby great... running around calling himself "PapaDuck". We are having a blast playing and cuddling with them. The yellow duck is my son's... he named him/her "Charger" (we are big football fans). The marked one is mine... his/her name us Turkey. oh, yea... one more downside of Muscovy ducks: They are nearly impossible to sex until they are much older. They do not get a curled tail feather. The best way to tell, so I've read, is by the sound they make. Boys hiss and nothing more. BUT! We have so much room here, we can accommodate anything we get. Alright, my computer is acting up REALLY bad, so I'm going to wrap this up with a few pictures. Click to enlarge :)
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Hi, all! Long time no post. I am currently without an indoor duck, but that will soon change, hopefully. Dongegan imprinted on Cheyenne, who unfortunately passed away. He was miserable without her so I sent him to a home to live with other ducks. I have had a lot of requests for the growing duckling diaper harness pattern. I was able to find the PDF, but I warn you that it is nothing special. I made it for personal reference. It has been a long time since I have made one. I know that I added two elastic bands to the corners of the pouch that wrapped around the duckling just behind the oil gland. I think I brought them together with a safety pin so that I could easily adjust it for growth. The inside layer of the pouch is best made using duck cloth/canvas (no pun intended). This can usually be found in rolls in a home textile isle. The texture on one side has an almost plastic feel. The other side is textured like a painting canvas. It can easily be washed and is nearly waterproof. Note on the pattern the direction that the stretchiest direction of the fleece should run. Should I ever create a more detailed or altered pattern, I will be sure to post it. I believe this should be printed at 100%. You can download the PDF file by clicking this link. Hope this helps and hope to be posting again soon :)