Thursday, June 30, 2016


Our neighbor had to go into the hospital for surgery this week, and asked if we would look after his animals. So of course we accepted! We go up to his place to check on his birds- he has a bunch of baby chickens and turkeys, and racing pigeons. They're very cool. The most fun, though, is we have his 4 ducklings staying in our brooder. Our bathtub brooder in our master bath.

You may remember when we got our chickens and they stayed in the bathtub brooder until the coop was finished. And yes, Toby is once again fascinated and highly protective of the babies.

Little whack whacks
We're only watching them until this weekend, but we've already decided that next year, we want to get some ducks. They're awesome. But here's what I've learned about ducklings this week:

1. They are hilarious when it comes to water. They had one of those little chick water things, but they emptied it within minutes every time we filled it and put it in the tub. I put the little litter box in filled with water so they could have supervised swim time, and the first thing they all did was drink a bunch. I suddenly realized that they could get a proper drink from the chick waterer because their bills are too big/work different. So we went to the dollar store and picked up some smallish disposable cake tins. They love it! And yes, they like sitting in it and splashing a bit, but being in the bathtub, that's just fine. We just have to change out their straw occasionally.

2. They grow fast! Yesterday morning one of them was standing as tall as it could trying to reach the mesh over the tub, but was still about an inch too short. This morning they're all chattering away at the mesh! They don't even have to stretch up that much!

3. The sound they make is not as high pitched as the chicks. I'm sure if we had 21 ducklings, the noise would be comparable to the 21 chicks. There are times they are quite loud. However, the peeping sound they make is several octaves lower than the cheeping the chicks made. It doesn't pierce your skull in quite the same way. One of them, the little black duck, is already starting to make little quacking sounds.

The most important thing we've learned, though, is 4. They smell REALLY REALLY BAD! I mean, HORRIBLE! Who would've thought that 4 ducklings would be so much worse than 21 chicks? Honestly, Steve duct taped a screen over the window so we could open it and get some air flow because we thought we were going to pass out from the stink. They're not as dusty as the chicks, but geez they stink! Before we get ducks of our own, we're going to build a duck coop and run that they can go directly into, because there's no way we would last very long with this smell!

We will miss them when they go home this weekend because they are fun to have around. I definitely will not miss they smell, though.

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