The Adventure Ducklings

Looks like I have a lot of time to make up for. The twerps are nearly SIX months old now. They no longer are little yellow fluffy fluff balls, but instead, majestic white mallards with the silkiest feathers ever! We brought them home at two weeks old, and knighted them with the names of Finn, Jake, and TreeTrunks. If you have never watched Adventure Time, stop right now, and Youtube it. The humor exactly sums up the personality of ducks, quacky and random.

So we brought the Trio home and immediately I began freaking out. I had not the slightest idea about how to raise ducks. All I knew was that they were cute and that they pooped a lot. Like a lot a lot. We bought chick starter for them and a watering feeder. When ducklings eat, they carry their food to their water, dump it in and turn it into mush. All day long they were running back and forth carrying food in their bills and swashing it down. The sound of duckling feet on meth was probably the most adorable noise I had ever heard. They never stopped! It was like the energizer bunny had morphed into these ducklings; eat, drink, poop. Eat, drink, poop. Eat, drink, poop, poop, poop, poop, baby duck nap, and then up again and poop.

When ducklings poop, they clench up their baby wings and take a few steps back and then unload. Even funnier, when one does it, they all do!

During the first couple of days, we had them in this box.
We’d take ’em out, hold them, and pray that they didn’t poop on us.
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Quack Fact: Ducks do not have a sphincter. That’s the butt muscle that
allows animals and us humans to hold in the urge. Without this lovely muscle.
it is impossible to to house train a duck. Luckily, the crafty world of internet users has made it possible to purchase hand made duck diapers. What a sight! But that’s later in the story.

After the box fell apart, the DBF constructed a pen made of pvc wrapped in trash bags so that they couldn’t escape. Lots of blankets were laid down, they had a heat lamp, and even a stuffed broccoli doll (Ikea). We made them a home and room in our hearts. They cried when we weren’t in sight, or if they couldn’t hear us talking, or if we didn’t leave a night light on for them. They cried if one became separated. Never play “peek-a-boo” with a a duckling. If you cover one up from sight, the other two will flip out until you bring him back. They all ways stayed together, which made it easy to keep them in sight. Its harder to lose three ducks than one! We continued to play with them. They continued to grow. Soon I could tell them apart by their personalities.

This is Finn at around 2 weeks old. He was my guess as the male in the bunch. I thought so because from the start he was the one calling the shots. He was the first to eat, the first to let me hold him, the first to fall asleep in my hand, the first to dive into the mysterious tray of water. The other two followed him around. He was bigger. He was the leader. He was their Drake.

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TreeTrunks seemed to be Finn’s right winged duck. She, or as I guessed was a she, was always one step behind Finn. She constantly nipped at his feet too. She was smaller than Finn, but larger than Jake, and always seemed to be the last one to realize that I had treats for them. I’d put them in front of her and block Finn and Jake, but she’d just look at it, then at me and then at it, and then decide to try it. By that time Finn found a way through me and gobbled up her share of the treats. I also guessed correctly her gender.

Now Jake I was a bit unsure of the gender. S/he always seemed to be the third wheel, making me think he was the runt of the litter. Jake was smaller, more timid, and kept its distance from Tree and Finn. I mean Jake would follow them, but almost as if s/he wasn’t wasn’t wanted. The other two didn’t bully Jake, but they favored each other more, which made me want to love the little runt even more. For a while there, Jake had an eye that seemed to be pecked at, and the front of Jake’s chest was brown. I find out in the next couple of months that Jake was in fact, a girl.

Here is the trio: Jake with the brown chest in the back,
Finn with the big head to the right, and TT next to him as always.
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After research, I find out that ducklings can swim from birth, but only under the watchful and worried eyes of the mum. Because they don’t yet have their down feather, young ducklings can become water logged and drown. They always need clean water to drink with their food so that they don’t choke, but they also like clean bath water. We took a painters pan and put some water in that for them. It was shallow enough for them to stand up in and deep enough for them to wet their little heads. Finn was of course the first to test out the water.


W
e had started our little family, and the apartment wasn’t so empty anymore.

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5 1/2 Months Late

I have ducks that go by the names of Jake, Finn, and TreeTrunks. They are my Adventure Ducks and here is their story.

Once upon a time a lonely college student (that’s me) in her last year of school lived in a homey apartment with her dear boyfriend (DBF). Two months into the lease and we just knew something was missing. But what was it? We had a bookcase, the walls were covered with Star Wars propaganda, and the back patio garden actually had some potential. Seems like a legit life buuuut we needed something else. Something to spruce up our lives a bit more. We decided a duck was the answer.

At first it was a joke. Our homey apartment allowed birds only so obviously a duck was the only reasonable choice. As I Googled and Pintrested ducks all day long, my heart yearned for the little fluffy fellows. And so the quest began.

For days I’d pester my DBF with potential names for the cute little duck that was soon to come. They were wild and outlandish!  He’d Ok a few, veto the others, and I’d add them to a list, waiting to bestow the best name for the little twerp once I met him. Or her. I honestly didn’t care.

Upon Googling, the internet told me that two ducks would be best because like any living creature, they get lonely. The DBF agreed and the naming list grew twice as fast. My younger sister back home has these perky little animals called Silkie Chickens. She’s had them for a few years once she convinced my parents that they were just too cool to not have. They look like feather dusters from the 80’s. Minus the fanny pack. Anyways, I considered  her a professional on the matter and asked her where do I find two ducklings. She said the feed store, why of course!

So my DBF and I drove all the way home to visit my family and to acquire me some ducks. The drive was the longest 3 hours of my life. Every cloud in the sky looked like a duckling! I was beyond excited. We pick up my sister, we take her to the feed store, and she says the ducklings and chicks are inside. I run inside and all I see are chicks. Baby chickens in every brooder. Those sharp beaks  pierced my heart with disappointment. Damn chickens. I silently vowed to eat chicken for dinner that night. The store manager said “they get them when they get them, and today, they just don’t got them.”

Outside, my sister was playing with the goats as a green truck pulled up. The store manager walked out, spoke some words to the man, and took out three full grown ducks. They went inside, probably to exchanged some money, and I was left outside, hatching a plan to get me some ducks. Still upset at my failure, I looked to my phone for the answer. Luckily, technology was invented during this point of my life, and I clicked the farm section in Craigslist.

Much to my surprise, a listing of a few hours said they had 3 two week old ducklings for sale as well as 3 full grown ducks! I jumped for joy and called that number as fast as I could. I danced a little jig to the ring tones and moved out of the way as that green truck sped off; dude’s on his cell phone and driving crazy. A man answers and I get straight to the point, “I want your ducks!” Then I calmly explain that I saw the posting and I am extremely interested in those ducklings. He says, “well sorry little lady, I just dropped all those ducks off at the feed store.” I gave my brain three seconds to piece everything together before running back inside and finding three fluffy fluff balls  chirping like crazy in a brooder full of chicks.

We had intended on two ducks, buts its just plain cruel to leave one baby duck all by his lonesome. So I gathered up the three babies, paid the man his 6 dollars, and so began the cutest adventure of my life. I’m now writing about it 5 1/2 months late.Image