Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Indian Runner Ducks: Week One

Today marks the one week anniversary of raising the Indian Runner Ducklings. If you have ever raised ducklings or chicks then you are then familiar with the growth rate that is occurring which is equivalent to mach speed. You are also familiar with the amazing amount of food and water consumption and vocal range of their little-big chirps. Instead of running in fear when we approach the brooder they chirp loudly at us demanding the kale, cabbage or other fresh food we may have with us. They eat unabashedly from our hands and calm down quickly when we hold them. Tonight we are going to bring them to the Community Garden to waddle around and give them their first bath in our tub. A good friend of mine and a duck raising expert said that it was time for them to meet the water and since it is so hot they will dry off quickly under the heat lamp. She said to be prepared for amazing tricks and pure duckling bliss. Both Shane and I woke up this morning already excited for bath time tonight.

She also said to bring them outside and to the community garden to get them familiar with their future home; this will make their eventual transition much easier. Once they are teenagers and have their breastplate feathers they can be left outside 24/7. Until then our responsibilities as duck parents will grow with trips outside and to the garden, daily bath time and eventually pool time to whole days at the garden and nights at our house. Having six ducks versus two or even four they become a community, moving en masse from one place to another, they do everything together, one eats they all eat, one drinks they all drink. So when we took two of them away to our raised beds they freaked out. Chirping so loudly in the direction of the porch where the others looked for their buddies and chirped back. We learned quickly that their bond is strong and where 1, 2 or 3 go the rest will follow. Hopefully we didn't traumatize them too much.