The ducks have returned to Pumpkin Hollow Farm. They are adorable and fluffy and live behind an impressive fortress. Ten cats is something to worry about but we have kept the just a few days old ducklings safe. We can barely get in, however! Over the plastic storage box Doug molded some fencing then we put up a portable cage around that topped with a screen, and a card table!
In the box is three inches of straw (they eat pine shavings). We added a small waterer that they try to swim in. We learned our lesson with the last ducks and don’t use open bowls of water like we did with the chicks. They splash and destroy their surrounding areas with water and duck poo. They are still splashing water but they can’t get a lot out at a time. They look like rubber duckies trying to swim around the one inch canal.
They have a small feeder with flock starter in it as well.
We got four ducklings. Two Indian Runners like last time. The Walt Disneyesque, bowling pin effect never fails to delight me. They are also fairly good layers with 200-300 eggs a year. Joining them are two Khaki Campbells, who are also good layers at 250-325 eggs a year,
Every week the red light will get a bit higher and at six weeks they can safely stay outdoors. However, with the warm weather in May, perhaps they can go out a touch earlier with their red lamp in their coop. We still need to devise a small coop for them to stay in and lay eggs in. A place to sleep away from predators at night. We will let them free range in the newly fenced area that consists of our new pumpkin patch, outdoor kitchen, fruit trees, rose bushes, and the cold frame. We will use one foot high fencing that just pushes into the ground to keep them out of the plants. This is cheaper than building a duck run and they will have more space. We will get a child’s swimming pool. The trees and corn may act as a deterrent for hawks and owls. And how fun to look out the back porch and see ducks running around!