Tuesday, July 6, 2010

17 New Ducklings!

When I was home on my lunch break last week, I looked out the window and saw that our Indian Runner duck finally hatched her ducklings. There were 17 total; she hatched every single egg in the nest! These babies look like Indian Runner/Rouen crosses....they are a strange light brown, yellowish-greenish color. Most of their faces have the Rouen duckling markings, but they tend to stand up straight like the runners. They are very cute; I am excited to see what they will look like when they are adults. I locked them in the barn for the last week to keep them safe from predators. Our last Rouen duck hatched 13 ducklings and only 5 of them survived. One of them was smooshed my Rozalyn stepping on it and the other 7 disappeared...probably snatched by predators....coyotes, raccoons, opossums, minks, snapping turtles, hawks, or eagles. I am hoping this little brood will have a better survival rate, but I guess we will see. I let them out of the barn last night because the little ducklings kept squeezing through the cracks and escaping, much to their frantic mother's dismay. She took them down to the pond for the first time last night...it was so cute watching them swim around. Here are some pictures of the new babies.

Here are some pictures of the 5 remaining ducklings from the first brood with the adult ducks. They are almost 2 months old and their feathers are coming in. They are getting pretty large now and are starting to quack instead of chirp. If you notice, there are two adult rouens and two adult runners in the flock. We recently re-adopted the male runner that we gave away to a neighbor last year because the other ducks were being really mean to it. They had to bring him back last week because a raccoon killed the rest of their ducks and they wanted to get him out before the predator came back. Although the other male runner jumped him and tried to mount him at first, they are getting along well now. Maybe because there are more ducks in the flock now....who knows.

1 comment:

EEMedley said...

isn't it craazzzzy how fast those animals grow?!?! Someday I will have duckies again. Will they stay or leave for the winter?