Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Now that frost has made its first hit....

Jack frost made its first visit through our veggie patch during the last week of October. Peppers are gone....tomatoes are gone....squashes are gone too. After a week of continuous frost in the early dawn, almost nothing is left to harvest in the garden other then those lucky plants that get to hide under cover.
So it is time to move on to other farm activities such as...raising ducklings!  
Close up shot of these cuties. They arrived on October 24. Some of them were a day old already while 2 of them were only few hours old!
Duckies exploring their new home lined with paper shreds. Chewing up some words...

They were fed with non-medicated chicken feed. 
Some like to use their feet to taste the feed better then using their beaks! Water only lasted 5 minutes. Duckies love splashing in water then get all cold and wet....
After getting wet...it's time to huddle under the heat lamp! Brrrr....
After too many water messes, it's time for a better water dispenser. Checking out the new device. Of course, ducks being ducks, they manage to take turns sticking 1 foot at a time into water and flicking it out. At least water was available to them for half an hour or so before it get all flicked on the straw bed. 
End of week 1 - time to weigh in! Boy are you skinny! This one must have spent too much time playing in the water and not feeding itself enough food!
That's not a different colouration on their feather...that's water from the little bird waterer. Water on duckies = cold duckies = more huddle under the lamp!
Bath time! Most don't know how to clean themselves yet. They just walk around in circles and make lots of splashes. 
First bath didn't last very long...just 3 minutes then they were all shivering. Out they come! They get wiped and blown dry with hairdryer - in this case feather-dryer!
After bath, it's time for more huddle and nappy. The water sure pooped them out. 
Just a week's time, the duckies have really grown. They no longer can bath together in the little blue bin. If they did, they would all be sitting on top of one another! So time to change to a bigger tub. 

Lots of space to splash, play and clean! Some even tried to "dive" in 3" deep water. Not such good idea. Good thing there's no need to teach duckies to hold their breath under water! 

Just a week old they have already outgrown their first tub and now even their home is looking a little crowded! At times, they need to step over each other just to get to their food and water. 

After a few nights of continuous loud chirping, their "ducky mommy" can't stand it no more. So a real home was built for them with lots of space for each ducky to sit and play without the need to step over each other just to get to the food and water. Of course, the duckies still love their straw bedding the best. 
How long did this coop last? - Well, the duckies sure didn't hold back in sending message to their "ducky mommy" that they wanted a real home of their own. They "fired" their doo doos all over the gate and made a real stinky mess in the house..."mommy ducky" had no choice but to work all day in building a real coop outdoor for the duckies. Now they can really splash to their hearts content!
Duckies' first day outdoor wasn't exactly nice weather. It had just snowed the day before and the ground was covered with frozen snow when they were let out. Ducks being ducks, found it no problem to just plop down and sit on the ground. Some even found the ice interesting enough to take a few bites. 
The ducky slide! 
Most of the ducks now have a nice coat of white feather on their body. They don't really mind the cold anymore. 
Even on days that are below zero, they would willingly jump into the pool to have a bath.