In May, 2019 I never thought I’d be a poultry person – specifically a duck person. One look however, and I was besotted. I can’t imagine my world without them. Take a look –
Could you ignore such cuteness? Not me!
I set up a four foot by two foot tote with shavings in the bottom, waterer raised up and surrounded by a moat of shavings. A piece of chicken wire folded over the top, and my ducklings were home.
The cat followed their shadows on the outside whilst the dog took one look, sniffed, and with a disgusted huff, walked away. It was clear I was the one enamored with them.
Within no time we settled into a routine. A starter mash mixed with warm water into a revolting sort of slurry was gobbled up and between gummy dishes of feed and emptying the pan of sodden shavings and grotty water, I was duly initiated into the world of duck ownership.
Wet. Everything about a duck is WET! So, if you have intentions of getting ducks, be prepared.
In no time, these three ducklings looked like this:
And then, this:
Soon, they’d outgrown the tote and needed a proper duck house. I repurposed a three foot by five foot shell of a dog house. With hardware cloth underneath and covering the windows on either side, the front has a latched door and the back opens wide for easy cleaning. Two windows on the sides drop down in warm weather and latch closed during the wet or colder periods of the year. It works beautifully.
Within no time, the ducks were dibbling around the veggie gardens for tasty morsels – ie slugs and snails. Yay!
These girls fill my heart with joy. It gives me immense pleasure to watch them waddle around the property.
A year later, Clarence joined the flock. His mate was killed by a predator and his owners asked if I’d take him. They sent a picture of him looking sad and wanting company. Of course, I said yes.
He takes his job watching the girls seriously.
It goes without saying that of course I hatched some of their eggs. The accompanying two pictures show their offspring and two Pekin ducks I was asked to raise with them.
I think my favourite photos of the ducks are when they are “helping” me in the garden – endlessly searching for bugs and waiting for me to turn over soil in the veggie beds, rocks, logs, anything in the hopes they’ll have a tasty snack.
And, of course, what would a picture of ducks be, without water!
I can’t imagine my life without these curious, fun, sensitive creatures.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little picture story.