Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘ducks’ Category

Spring Babies

DSC_0733

These two cuties are the newest addition to the flock. The chick was born yesterday, and the duckling today. These two ducks are sitting on another few dozen eggs, so we are hoping for  several more in the next few days.

Aside from the two new mommas, there are another 4 ducks and 1 chicken sitting on eggs.

So far this season the hatching rate has been very low. We have 4 juvenile ducks and 7 juvenile chickens. We had 5 ducks and 1 chicken sitting a few months ago, but a rat snake and possum got into the coop and ate the majority of the eggs.

DSC_0741

The juvenile ducks are currently in their awkward stage. This one’s wings are a bit too big for his body.

DSC_0711

Here are a two of the seven juvenile chickens. We currently have 3 Bielefelders, 3 Maran/Bielefelder mixes, and 1 White.

DSC_0705

It looks like our new Bielfelder rooster is doing his job.

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_1705

One of our ducks, Priscilla, is super friendly but a notoriously terrible mother, hatched 3 guineas but then quickly abandoned them. We had 3 tiny guineas running around the chicken yard. We weren’t sure how they were going to make it, until our lone chick, just 3 weeks old, took over momma duties.

IMG_1716

Not only did she show them how to eat, but lets all 3 climb under her for sleeping and protection.

IMG_1720

Elsewhere in the chicken yard, we have a chicken and duck raising 7 ducklings together. They sat together on the nest for 28 long days and once they hatched, they are sharing duties.

IMG_1697

Here’s another momma with ducklings. Wait a duck raising ducklings? Something’s wrong around here …

We currently have 15 ducklings, 1 chick, and 3 guinea keets

*Sorry — all pics with iPhone this time

Read Full Post »

Failed Duckling experiment

DSCN0445

With spring in the air, we have our share of broody chickens. Last spring we let them sit on eggs, but a friend of our is keeping us well stocked with her extra cockerels. We have been growing these out for food and have no need for our own

Instead, we decided to try and let them sit on duck eggs. Duck eggs do take 28 days to hatch, longer than the 21 days for chickens, but the chickens go by feel of the egg not an internal time clock. The hens know when to go on lockdown, where they don’t leave the eggs.

DSCN0418

When the eggs hatched, the hens seemed unaware that the ducklings were not normal. They showed them how to eat and how to dust bathe. Things seemed to be going along pretty well for a few days, and then we started noticing the ducklings having trouble walking.

DSCN0423

As we observed the hens and ducklings we found that the hens were stepping on the ducklings. It must be either the large feet or the large overall size, but the ducklings took too much damage. Currently we only have 1 of 4 still alive, and I’m not sure if the 4th is going to make it.

This was a rough learning experience. Although hens and ducks can live together in harmony, they cannot raise each other’s young.

Read Full Post »

We were gone for five days to Hilton Head and returned to find the ducklings and chicks all grown up. There were also two new chicks waiting for us.

Ducklings out in the yard with all of the full size chickens and ducks.

Maribel’s baby chick. Cutest chick ever!

Daisy Mae’s chick

Pictures of our 4-5 week old chicks. The mommas no longer pay any attention to them and the rest of the chickens seem to be ignoring them as well.

Our Roan is sitting on about 15 eggs. These have a week or so left. She has now completely buried the eggs. When she gets up all you see if a pile of leaves and dirt.

Sitting on eggs

Read Full Post »

Cuteness Meter at 11

Between the ducklings and chicks there is just way to much cuteness going on!

Paddling Away

Looking for Fish?

The ducklings are getting big so fast. They are already bigger than the chicks, who are a week older. This past weekend we let them go for their first swim in the bathtub. They took to it immediately.

Grabbing a quick drink

Just like humans, the baby chicks are the first ones up in the morning. I’m sure the mommas are wishing they could sleep for just 15 more minutes ­čÖé

Two of Fancy’s chicks, and one of Priscilla’s

All the mommas working together to find food for the babies

All three mommas work together to take care of the chicks. It’s so cute to watch the group of them. I can’t see ever having less than two hens hatch chicks at a time.

Momma got a little over zealous with the digging

 

Read Full Post »

New Duckling

After discovering a little too late that ducks take longer to hatch than chickens (28 vs 21 days), we had to borrow our friend’s incubator to finish the job, since momma hens had other important work to do.

On of our ducks, the Rouen, hatched this morning. The other 3 eggs have cracks in them, so hopefully will be soon to follow. I took a bunch of pictures of the progression. The pictures are through the incubator, so aren’t quite as clear as they could be.

The duck is already interacting with us, coming up to the glass when we look in.

Read Full Post »