The ducklings are officially moved outside, which means my bathroom is now duckling free. I have to admit using the toilet and taking a shower with the peeps was a little unnerving. Their brooder was too small within days with the ducklings spraying water and distributing poop all over the place. The next solution was a larger brooder I found in the recycle bin at my job, but once again within days it was too small. Due to the smallish boxes their tummies would get gross every couple of days, so we gave them a bath every other day to they could be nice and fluffy. We filled up an old laundry bin with water about 8 inches and let the little sprouts go wild. Next we washed them tummies with a very diluted Dr. Bronner’s soup, they were less into having their tummies scrubbed. Though we now have a way to tell them apart: dirty belly, clean belly, and partially bald belly.
Now that the weather is getting nice, we have moved the duckings to the portable chicken house that lives atop an old rabbit hutch. This works perfectly for this transition period of being large enough to be outside but not developed enough to be with the other animals. We started out moving them out there during the day, but it got to the point where they were clearly so happy outside that we left them there overnight. I was concerned about it being too chilly at night, but we loaded the “house” part of the coup with straw and they did just find. Poor guys, as soon as they are used to being outside a big ol’ storm comes slamming rain down for several days. Contrary to popular belief, ducks have a limit to the amount of rain they can handle. After running out into the rain to refill their water (despite the rain, they still went through a crazy amount of water) and topping off their grain I hadn’t seen the little squirts for several days. Then BAM, huge ducklings!!!! They still have their soft baby feathers, but their mature feathers are really starting to come in. Its remarkable the speed of their growth, it seems much faster then chicken- chicks I have dealt with, and much faster then the goat. It seems like I just got them, and now they are HUGE!!!! Still waiting for them to get big enough to sex, however I have a sinking suspicion that we have one female and two females. Hopefully I am wrong!