We got the baby chicks! AND, drumstick…errr…drumROLL please, we also got ducks. After lots of researching for the best breed of chickens for our family, we tossed (not literally) two ducks into our cart like an impulse pack of gum. I’m exaggerating slightly. Think you’ve got us figured out? Think again. Months of research AND a last minute decision. We are so unpredictable.
Spoiler alert: the ducks are a mess. They are fuzzy, and cute and fun and…so nasty.
They like to wash their food down with water. Translation? They turn their water into a sludge that needs to be changed out several times a day. That’s not even mentioning the duck drool and dribble they drip from food trough to water dish, soaking the whole brooder. Ick. Cute, fuzzy, messy little ducklings.
While we are still working on completing the coop, they are living in two boxes under a heat lamp. They can’t move into the coop until they’re about 4-5 weeks and they won’t start laying for about 6 months.
We started them out together, in a large cardboard box, but the ducks grew exponentially that first week and it got crowded. Plus, they were being pretty rude roomates by pooping their giant poops everywhere, amidst their drool and dribble. Let’s be honest, it was only a matter of time until they got evicted.
We now have them in two plastic storage type boxes, with the light between them.
As for the coop, we’ve completed, and painted the nesting boxes, cut a chicken/duck door, painted the human sized door and started screening everything in.
We are using hardware cloth around the bottom and as a skirting to protect against predators. This step has been the most difficult so far, but it’s important to get the hardware cloth secure to ensure your birds will be safe inside the coop.
We’ve heard that chickens are the “gateway” to all things “farm”, or “homestead”….time will tell, I guess. For now, I know some kids who are pretty pleased with their new pets.
Thanks for reading! -Steph