Why yes, those are ducklings.  Swimming in Pyrex. On our dining room table.  Look, it wasn't our  fault we got ducks today. That ...

Fowl Play

Monday, April 14, 2014 , , ,

Why yes, those are ducklings. 
Swimming in Pyrex.
On our dining room table. 
Ducks & Chicks
Look, it wasn't our fault we got ducks today. That is, it's not our fault that this shipment of very desirable black and buff Indian Runner ducks that arrived at Elizabeth's country store this week would be their last of the season. It's not our fault ducks sell out fast. We basically didn't have a choice.
Ducks & Chicks
We've wanted ducks since we recently learned that: 1) Denver allows them. 2) They can cohabitate with chickens. 3) Their eggs are amazing. We can't wait to try them in creme brulee and ice cream. They are also great for baking, making cakes richer and fluffier.

We couldn't take them ALL home with us, just two. And we complete our flock with two more chicks. {I apologize for the poop streak in this photo. Livestock can be rude like that.}
Ducks & Chicks
The ride home was interesting. The chicks are flighty and much less timid than our others were, so this one kept flying out of the box. The yellow duck just wanted to chat.
Ducks & Chicks
Most of the hour ride home, the duck visited with us. I couldn't stop laughing at the curious little thing, it was so friendly and interested in us.
Ducks & Chicks
When we finally got home, it climbed up to my shoulder and plopped down. The black duck quickly followed. These ducks are a hoot! They love snuggling! They nibbled at my hair and ear. Not skittish AT ALL. We read that ducks could be really friendly and good pets, but I had no idea even ducklings would just attach themselves to you so quickly.
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Friends, I'm in heaven here. I've long desired chickens, I never knew how much I'd enjoy a duck!
Ducks & Chicks
The Sisters {here's to hoping neither are of that 10% that turn out to be roosters} are Sicilian Buttercups. This is a very old, somewhat rare breed. As they are Buttercups, we named them aptly: Princess and Peanut.
Ducks & Chicks
I had my sights set on an Aracauna and a Buff Orpington, but when we learned the country store had Buttercups in stock and we looked up how uniquely gorgeous they are, we opened our minds to this breed instead. Supposedly, they aren't the best layers but are known for being great pet/lap chickens. They will look like this when they are full grown. Gorgeous much?
Ducks & Chicks
They make pretty gorgeous chicks too.
Ducks & Chicks
They're getting along with their larger, awkward duckling friends just swimmingly.
Ducks & ChicksDucks & Chicks
I can't resist photographing these adorable things. I was shocked when I uploaded all the photos I took of them today and saw how many times I'd snapped my shutter. {200+} See a few more here, if this isn't enough cuteness for you.
Ducks & Chicks
Ducklings, we're quickly learning, are very clumsy. They will fall from heights easily and have no awareness of their size, they knock things over and stumble. It's adorable.
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They are delightfully friendly. Even with the kids. Eisley has named them Leif and Percy. Those are cute names. Since we don't know their genders yet, Justin and I were throwing around gender neutral names or adaptable names. Henry/Henrietta {"Etta" for short} and Harry/Harriet. What do you think? Which names should we pick?
Ducks & Chicks
The thing about ducklings: they are harder to sex. We just have to hope we didn't get two drakes. We won't know for a few weeks what they are. A male and female would be fine. Ideally, they'd both be females. If they both turn out to be males, and get aggressive with each other, we'll have some tough decisions to make. We have a 50/50 chance with both, right?

Justin worked out a way to keep them all in the stock tank his parents have loaned us. This way the Big Sisters can get used to the littles, but they're kept safe from the pecking order for now {as long as no one dares to try and fly over the screen partition...we'll be keeping a close eye on them.}
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The Big Sisters were quite interested in their new neighbors. It was fun to watch.

Our flock is complete! We were supposed to start on the coop building today, but the snow ruined everything. Soon, soon...
Ducks & Chicks
As for me, well...I wrote a good portion of this blog post looking just like this:
Ducks & Chicks
We're a little quacky 'round here, it's true.

Cheers,
Heather

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13 comments

  1. Wow that is so cool! I love the ducks! Ducks are the cutest! Love the pictures too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kaytee! I never really was into ducks, but now--as you can see--I'm quite smitten. ;-)

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  2. I love having my little grandchickens, and now I can't wait to meet my new grandducks! They are SO CUTE!
    ~Mom

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    Replies
    1. You are so funny, Grandma of the Flock.

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  3. We love our duck, Wilhelmina. She gobbles up the slugs & bugs and provides us with large green eggs that are excellent for baking!
    Enjoy your new critters!

    Blessings,
    Nadine

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    Replies
    1. Nadine,

      I went to see your blog and tracked down photos of Wilhelmina! What a darling black and white duck!! If you have any tips on duck keeping--please do spill!

      Thanks for the comment ;-)

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  4. For obvious reasons (ahem, dogs) we can no longer have sweet, furry outdoor critters. However, I do get my fix of them every morning when I take Maddie to school. One of the farms down the road has lots of ducks and every day at the same time they decide to cross the road. I'm assuming they are headed to the pond that is at the park. They are so cute and everyone who lives out here knows to drive slowly in that area. There is even a duck crossing sign! I am trying to talk Brian into letting me get a bunny though (to keep indoors). I heard that you can litter box train them! He's not on board yet. Not even close.

    Enjoy those babies!

    ~Erica

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    Replies
    1. Awww! Ducks X-ing. I love it. As for the bunny, I say: just get one. Once your husband sees how cute and darling they are, he'll be head over heels. {Or does that just work for newborn daughters???}

      Thanks Erica!!

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  5. Just wash your hands. And the eggs. Wash them a LOT. Home chicken coops are now the leading cause of salmonella outbreaks in the US, and your kiddos are too cute to have to deal with that!

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    Replies
    1. Really? Where'd you hear that? I was under the impression most salmonella cases were from improperly handled food. I follow a couple of chicken blogs that have great ideas for keeping clean--we're going to get the whole family set up with chicken coop boots so we don't track anything inside, for example.

      Anyway, good point about the sanitizing and thanks! We do have a strict hand washing rule when it comes to the chickens. Paxton, except for one incident the other night, is being kept away from them for now. As for the eggs, I recently learned they get their own protective coating before a chicken lays them, so that salmonella can't penetrate the shell and get inside, but if you wash it, the "cuticle" goes away and they become susceptible. Amazing! I guess in England, they don't wash OR refrigerate their eggs--even at grocery stores. However, they do vaccinate their chickens against salmonella while we don't over here, so there's that.

      I'll definitely be washing the eggs, I've seen how they can be gathered with some awful looking goo/poop/bedding stuck to them. Chickens can be gross!

      Thanks for the comment :-) Would you ever get chickens? Or do you already have some?

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    2. He's a good resource Heather. My husband has worked in the poultry industry for nearly ten years.

      http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/?mobile=nocontent

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  6. Okay, I want ducks now, too. ADORABLE.

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    Replies
    1. I never expected we'd get ducks. They're so sweet, Tricia! Go on, get one!

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