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Three-week-old ducklings

Flapping duckling

At just shy of three weeks old, our ducklings are starting to look a bit like miniature ducks rather than like baby fuzzballs, but everyone agrees they're still awfully cute.  In fact, now that the youngsters are spending a bit more time on land, I can't help thinking how much the ducklings resemble tiny penguins, with their upright posture, fur-like feathers, and tiny wings.  The duckling in the photo above is flapping its wings --- can you even tell?

Ducklings in the rain

Our duck flock did lose a little bit of its ultra-easy charm at two and a half weeks old, though, when the birds started nibbling on strawberries.  I moved them to a kiddie pool about twenty feet away, but that sterile water wasn't nearly as interesting as the pond they'd left behind, so the ducklings kept making a run for the wild water despite a thunderstorm that was keeping all of our self-respecting chickens inside.  I ended up having to erect some temporary fencing to cage the ducklings into a paddock so they'd stay put.

Duck pasture

After that, the little flock settled back down, although they have been spending more time on land grazing now that their water is devoid of life.  I was surprised to see that they actually seem to be more prone to peck apart plants than chickens are --- I usually let chicks have free run of the raspberry bushes at this age, but the ducklings had to be fenced Craneflyout since they were consuming too much leaf matter.

On the plus side, the ducklings come out of their brooder each morning in a rush to catch all of the craneflies that settled on the lawn overnight.  These insects, which resemble huge mosquitoes, are very evident at this time of year since they're mating, and the ducks are glad to collect the bounty.  I haven't seen any of our chickens similarly engaged, so perhaps ducks do beat chickens in the insect-foraging department...at least when it comes to craneflies.



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What kind of ducks are these?
Comment by Curious late Wednesday evening, March 18th, 2015
Curious --- We followed Carol Deppe's lead and chose Ancona ducks.
Comment by anna early Monday morning, March 23rd, 2015






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