After sitting for 28 days on Cayuga duck eggs from our neighbor, Claire hatched four ducklings on the 6th of September. I moved her into a small nursery on the 7th, and today it is moving day, time to move her and the four ducklings into a spacious, protected home, our hoop house in the garden.
Goodbye tomatoes, goodbye peppers, goodbye eggplant. With just a single mother hen and four ducklings the plants may survive, but maybe they won’t.
It took no time for Claire and the ducklings to settle in. The ducklings are ecstatic with all the bugs there are to eat. “Go for the slugs! Go for the slugs!” I root them on. Claire won’t show them that ducks are supposed to love slugs above all other things. It may be something I have to do, but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that. Claire’s first order of business is enjoying a fresh dirt bath after being without one for a whole month.
This is my first experience with ducklings. The biggest surprise so far, they peep a lot like baby chicks, which led me to ask, “When do ducklings start to quack?” The answer seems to be from about three to six weeks of age.
3 Replies to “Moving Day”
I wonder what Mama Claire’s reaction will be when the ducks start quacking. Do they sleep under her at night? Also, at what point will the baby ducks be bigger than she is? When the ducks are grown, will you keep them apart from the chickens or will they just become the slug eaters of the chicken family?
They do sleep under her at night and daytime naps. Climbing on her back is something they like to do too. I don’t know how she will respond when they quack. She will probably be done mothering in a month or two before they are her size. Once she stops mothering them, Claire is going back to be with the other chickens. My intention is to keep the ducks in the 1/4 acre garden to keep it clear of slugs. If they do too good a job keeping it clear of baby vegetables as well, then I’ll another problem to solve. If they like the seedlings too much, I’ll have to cover the seedlings with wire hoops until they are large enough for the ducks to leave alone.
This will be fun to watch. I wonder if size is a trigger to stop mothering them? Hope Claire doesn’t get flattened by her Baby Hueys!