Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Noisemakers.

Well. Today will be a week since I brought the noisy critters home. They really are good looking. The gold duck (older) is starting to molt into her adult feathers. She is the loud mouth. The smaller one does quack and is much louder than the drakes are, but she is less prone to really get the decibels up there.

So, I thought since I managed to make it a week without issues I should at least show you what they look like. Meet Cinnamon and Applesauce.

Applesauce is already nearly the same size as Cinnamon. But, cinnamon is only about 2/3 the size of the boys, if not half. I'm hoping that Applesauce ends up being closer to their size. It already worries me that having 3 boys - 2 girls is going to be a problem. I can't imagine how much worse it would be if the girls are so small and can't defend themselves from their amorous advances.

From aligning the pictures of the boys, Applesauce looks to be 6-8 weeks old now. Since the gold one is starting to molt I can tell that she is the same age as the drakes at around 11-15 weeks.

While I can't wait to see what she will look like with her adult feathers, I am desperate to get her out of my yard. Shoot, I've even thought up ways to bargain with someone to take a pair of birds in exchange for watching them until we are ready to leave. Of course I'd supply food for my flock, a little pond... and then reality kicks in. No one in their right mind would take 7 ducks to babysit for 6 weeks. Who am I kidding?

Raising the initial set of ducklings was fun, and I really enjoyed having them, but even 4 is too much to have on this little speck of land. Well, I should quantify that remark. We just don't have enough yard for them to free-range effectively without running into problems with stress on our yard/gardens. Having all of them penned up all day/night can lead to smell issues at least in the summer. Our rains keep the pens constantly moist.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that while I enjoy them, I'm glad the time is coming for them to leave. I still think that having a pair here is feasible and will be enjoyable, as long as the girl is a quiet one.

Since realizing that the (girl) ducks are much louder than I anticipated I have decided to try my hand at imprinting a bird, raising it and praying that since it is well socialized and used to everything around here it will be less likely to be so loud. So, meet Baby:

Baby is about 10 days old now. She's imprinted on us, and my girls spend a vast amount of time with her each day.

To make sure that she is also used to being alone and won't raise a ruckus because we are not right there with her 24 hours a day she also has a teddy that will be hers eternally. We make sure to leave her alone at least 2-4 hours each day around lunch time for her "nap time" as well as all night long. At first she would peep peep peep until someone came back for her. Now she might peep a time or two but settles right down.

I was afraid that imprinting might have the opposite effect and she wouldn't tolerate the separation, but she's learning the routine well now and it seems this may work.

I'm possibly delusional. LOL

Nah, probably delusional. :-) Hey, can't blame a girl for trying.

It's not my fault I'm a country girl living in the city. I belong on a farm. I just can't afford to move out in the country yet. But don't you worry, I have lofty goals. Goals of hard work and great rewards. Unfortunately my goals have a 10 year plan. Gotta get my kids off to college first after all. But, meanwhile I'm taking as many baby steps toward getting what I want as I can.

If this works out it will be a good step for us. If not then at least I know what type of duck(S) I want. I also know how much work it will be to have more than a breeding trio. Guess what else I know? I know not to put the duck pen up near the house. That's a good lesson I learned from this. Girl ducks think they should crow like roosters.  

I'll keep you updated on my "quiet girl" progress.

See you soon!


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