Raising ducklings with chicks is challenging because ducks are such pigs about water.
Ducks love, adore, cherish, crave water.
And they’re like that right from the start, the day you take them home from the feedstore. I had little chicks and little ducklings at the same time, so they had to shack up together. While the little baby chicks are saying, But I just wanted a drink,, the ducklings are smacking their big rubbery feet right in the water pan and sucking the chick waterer dry, too.
I moved the ducklings to the chicken house/yard a few weeks ago, but they were making the big chickens suffer just as much as the little ones. They’re just starting to feather out, so yesterday evening I let them out into the big wide world of the barnyard. They found a deep puddle and went nuts. I’ve also got water pans out there for them in case they wear their puddle out before it rains again. I’m scattering feed on the ground for them, and they’re learning to dig for bugs.
Some of the little chickens joined them because they’re still small enough to escape the chicken yard, but as soon as they grow a bit more, they’ll be cornered and returned to their people. Right now, they’re a little confused and think the ducklings are their people.
I’m so excited to have ducks again. At Stringtown Rising, ducks kept running away to the river. There’s no river nearby here, and plenty of creeks all around the barnyard. I’m planning to let the ducks free range. If they come up to the house and glance at my tomatoes, I’ll say boo and run them back to the barnyard.
Meanwhile, it’s spring….. And the farm is quacking!