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