Saturday, March 31, 2012

duck!


That's right.  Duck.  Or, ducks, to be exact.
We expanded our little homestead by four yesterday.  We had planned to get some ducklings this year but when we heard the sad news that our little local hatchery was going out of business and selling off their breeding stock, we changed our plans a little.


I stopped over and picked up three Pekin ducks, a boy and two girls that we hope will breed and produce eggs.  I also brought home a runner duck just because I've always wanted one and I couldn't resist.  He's the shy splotchy one in the first photo.  He runs, rather than waddles, and walks more upright than other ducks.  He sort of looks like a bowling pin.  I'm sure there will be lots of photos once he gets a little more comfortable around us.


I wasn't planning on having new members of the family so soon, so I made a makeshift run in the unfinished coop that we planned to use for new chicks.  They didn't seem to mind, but you could see their bills watering when they got an eyeful of the green sprouts popping up in the lawn just outside their fence  Soon I'll finish the chicken tractor so they can forage safely in the yard.  (ducks are hawk-magnets here so they can't wander unattended just yet)



Though they are not tame like our chickens, they weren't aggressive when we picked them up, or when my youngest invaded their living quarters.  Given that she is always carrying the chickens around, the ducks should probably get used to the idea now.


The skinnier chickens have already figured out that they can squeeze under the coop and get into the ducks' pen, a flaw that will be corrected today, and helped themselves to the ducks' food.  Greedy little things.  After a food and water re-fill the ducks were contentedly nibbling away, and life was peaceful.

I'm looking forward to getting to know these little guys.  I've already fallen a little in love.




12 comments:

Tumus said...

Do the hawks leave the chickens alone or are the chickens just to fierce to become food? Love the ducks :) My fav. farmers market has one vendor that sells duck eggs and they sell out before I can even get there so I'm eager to find out how they taste compared to chicken eggs!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

The chickens have been around the block so they're much more wary and a whole lot faster. The ones that aren't fast are huge, think small turkey size, so hawks don't bother them. Owls, on the other hand, can nab a chicken if the girls wander out too early or late.

I'm eager to try duck eggs too. I'll let you know how they taste if we get any.

Amy said...

What a happy place to be a duck!

Cheryl @ handcraftedtravellers said...

Duck eggs are quite tasty, more on the neutral side compared to turkey or guinea eggs though, very wonderful for baking. They are so much fun to raise!

Marilyn said...

we have the wild ducks on the lake...if you can still call them that...wild. their numbers vary year to year but we have had some come into the yard and make themselves at home...look in the front door...peck on said door and generally just run the place...we have hawks and eagles too, and that part of nature...I leave to nature...they can be great fun...congrats on the new babies!!!

Stephane in Alaska said...

Titter, titter. HA, HA, HA, ha, ha! : ) Bowling pin. Indeed! I followed your link and that's exactly what the little darlin's look like! Love it.

Sonia / Cozy Memories said...

A warm welcome to the new members of your family !!!
Weeeee so exciting for you all ! I wish I could be with you, sharing a cuppa & looking at them wandering about :)
xoxox
hugs

Julie Clay Illustration said...

They look cute, your new arrivals. What a wonderful menagerie you have!Must keep you quite busy.

Sandie said...

" 'Ey up me duck" (Translated from Derbyshire, English, meaning !Hello dear fried(s)."
Couldn't resist that... I am originally from Derbyshire.
Lovely ducks and no doubt will find themselves tucked under a small childs' arm in no time!
We like the Duck eggs around here for baking, cakes especially.
I hope they settle in real quick and who knowa, may breed if they are happy.

Sandie xx

Sandie said...

oops! Missed the 'n' out of FrieNds!

Sandie xx

Scrapiana said...

How exciting! They're beautiful. And, yes, you'll have good baking eggs!

Annie said...

I adore duck eggs and would love to be able to keep ducks ... so that's one UK reader who is green with envy! I'll just have to look forward to lots more duck pics :D

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