Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well, we finally purchased our ducklings!  We went up to Delta, PA to buy them from a guy who sells chickens, ducks, guinea hens and rabbits.  He also sells the eggs of the different birds he keeps.  He and his wife have a nice little farm right outside of town.  They also have a beautiful 150+ year old Japanese maple tree that serves as a natural umbrella for their various chicken coops.  Todd was so impressed by the tree that the guy dug up two saplings near the big tree so we could plant them in our yard.  Free trees are the bees knees around here.

They were keeping their chicken and egg brooders in their basement and we all squeezed down there to pick out our ducklings.  The original plan was to get two ducks, but my niece was with us and she wanted one, too.  So, we got three Khaki Campbell ducklings.  Then, Toddy noticed that they had bigger yellow ducklings and declared he wanted one of those, too.  So, we ended up getting four ducks total.  The yellow duckling is called a Saxony duck.  Here are some pictures of what our ducks will look like when they are fully grown:

Khaki Campbell Ducks
The male or, drake, duck has the dark-colored head

Saxony Ducks (Toddy's Duck, Daisy)
This is what a male, or drake, Saxony duck looks like fully grown

Right now, our Khaki Campbell ducklings are a light brown with light brown bills and our Saxony duckling is sunny yellow with a light brown bill.  I just changed their brooder out a little bit; I took out the pie plate as they were splashing water all over the place and getting their bedding wet.  Instead, they are now using my Wilton's deep cake pan as a pool instead.  It looks like they have their own above-ground pool.  I had to put rocks in the bottom on one side so they can get in and out--sort of like steps. 

We got them a fancier heat lamp bulb that should keep them warmer than a regular incandescent bulb.  We went to the same place we went to learn about raising poultry.  They have a branch nearby so it was really convenient.  We picked up an actual poultry chick feeder as all the splashing caused the egg carton I was using for their feed to disintegrate.  We also bought bonafide chicken feed for them and a bag of grit.  Since we are feeding them chicken feed, their eggs will taste like chicken eggs, except they will be twice the size.  Can you imagine having a deviled egg that fits in the palm of your hand?!

The ducklings will stay indoors with us for the next few weeks.  During that time, we will be scouring Craigslist and other places like Freecycle to find the materials we need to make a very safe & secure outdoor duck habitat.  We visited some friends from Toddy's beekeeping class who are raising a flock of Barred Rock chickens and they made a chicken house out of a garden shed and just put chicken wire on all of the windows and doors.  It really looks good and the chickens even have a side yard to run around in.  We have to keep things on the down-low to keep from running "a-fowl" with the homeowner's association so some creative ideas are going to need to have to come into play.  Any suggestions would be very welcome!

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