Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ducks in the house!

This weekend we are hosting some exchange students. Some fluffy, yellow, peeping exchange students.

Meet Jack, Mack and Baby Quack. Only 3 ducklings survived of the original dozen Cooper's class incubated. They do not have a permanent home to go to yet, and they are a little young still, so they needed someone to keep an eye on them over the long weekend. I jumped at the chance, because I am a nut. I love these little fuzzy guys. Makes me wish I lived on enough property that I could keep them. However, I do believe that ducks are counter indicated with Schnauzers. Since my one dog, Ghengis Gus as I am calling him, has been at least partially if not completely responsible for the death of one mole, one bird and one chipmunk so far this summer in my yard, I think ducklings would be right in his crosshairs.

This is their home in my dining room for the weekend. They kind of smell. Actually, the ducks don't smell, their food smells. I thought it was the poop, but when I mixed the food the first time, I realized THAT is what smells. It is just a corn kind of smell, but it is stinky.

The easiest way to clean their cage is to put the top of the cage on the ground outside and hose out the bottom. They can't swim yet, they don't have the oils needed to float and stay warm, but they love to splash around in a shallow pan of water, so we put them out on the front lawn and had the neighbors visit.

And has anyone else noticed that my 3.5 year old is a giant? When did he get that tall???? I swear he grows an inch every night while sleeping. He is going to be 6 feet tall by September if he keeps this up.


Audubon Ron said...

wow, I would have never guessed in a million years. welcome to the Duckdom.

1. Watch out for predators. Cats and dogs but also predator bird like hawks and possums and the worst offender, raccoons.

2. Get a large plastic cat box and fill it with water. I got a large sponge to set on the side as a step. Let them hop in and swim, they love it, it shallow enough they won't drown and ducks are always cleaning themselves and need the water.

3. Make sure they keep warm. if you see them bundled together it might be too cold. A simple light bulb on a lamp w/o the shade can provide the necessary heat.

4. I would place a board to cover the top. When unattended, animal;s can climb into the open cage. every night I walk my ducks into an 8x4x4 completely sealed of cage so they can sleep well at night.

5. Not sure why they aren't smelling yet, but they can and will need to bathe.

6. Start looking for a park with a pond and other ducks. They will adjust to the new environment. In your environment, it won't be long before you get to watch the males peck the feathers off the females and start doing their "thing."


Audubon Ron said...

Also, ducks don't produce saliva. They need constant clean water. Soon they will be splashing the water and if the container is open they will want to climb in. Big mess.

MidLifeMama said...

Ron: They are only hanging at my house until Tuesday, when they will go back to school, and then hopefully to a farm. They are hanging in my dining room where there are no cats and the dogs cannot get to them. If a raccoon appears in my dining room, we have a bigger problem than it eating the ducks. There is a lamp I have attached to the cage when they are inside. I am giving them play time in a small tray with water twice a day.

Audubon Ron said...

...are you sure, you're not just telling me this are you?

Dproudmama said...

Aha! there is a cage in Salem OR that a dog does not like - ship the ducks???

Cute stuff anyway. Lots of fun for you all - ducks too. Cooper looks as if he is lecturing re: ducks. So, is his height over the % for his age? Precocious kids!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oh look how cute and fuzzy and NOT AT MY HOUSE!! :-)

Oz said...

Hurray for visiting ducks! I adore the ducks at the petting zoo, but just entering the pen makes me realize that I'm a city girl. That farm/animal/poop smell... Temporary duck custody, though, that I could handle.