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How Old?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grass For The Run

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!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Baby Pictures

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Sometimes God gives you a nudge and reminds you that he's still there and he still needs you".

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".  photo image.jpg1_zps4ewa1g5j.jpg

Indoor Duck Facebook Group

I've created a new Facebook group for indoor duck owners and those interested. Join here:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

"But, don't they poop in the water?!"

Rubber duckie Ernie photo: Ernie & Rubber Duckie ernierubberduckie.jpg 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 ;)

Not What It's Quacked Up To Be

It's all over Pinterest... And I tried it. i can't speak for chickens, but do not put your baby ducks in a wire dog kennel, even with siding like pictured. You will be surprised how high they can jump at just a day old and how well they can climb (especially muscovy ducks, who like to perch in trees). I learned the hard way and was in a big rush to find another avenue for brooding. They can easily fit through the openings of your standard wire kennel. Also, be VERY careful as to how close you put the light. I tested mine before the ducklings went in and placed it inside the kennel as 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.

Thrift Store Find

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!  photo image.jpg1_zpsbsghxlb9.jpg

Back to Quack

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.  photo image 300x219_zps24vr77ge.jpg 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 :)  photo image.jpg3_zpsuevr0sh6.jpg  photo image.jpg2_zpspslboesz.jpg photo image.jpg1_zpsnlrwmqrx.jpg