Terri Gets Ducks: Tales of a New Duckling Owner
Terri is one of our wonderful Customer Service Representatives here at the hatchery. She shared with us the joy she’s found in her new flock of Rouen ducklings.
We normally don’t have ducklings in the Meyer Hatchery store, but we do occasionally get some in just around Easter time. As an employee who had to pass by their brooder, it was hard to resist adding a couple to my flock. One day, two little ducklings made their way into a box, into my car, into my home, and into my heart. When I arrived home, I got them settled in for the night and I settled in for the night.
The following morning as I walked out the door to head to the hatchery for my shift, my husband stopped me dead in my tracks. He’s normally annoyed with my “projects” but wouldn’t you know it, he insisted that I bring home another two ducklings. We have had chickens for a year, but this is our first experience with ducks. Well, here we go; four ducklings. When I arrived home, I got them settled in for the night and I settled in for the night…hopefully the next night wouldn’t be a three-pete.
We chose all Rouens because they are friendly and a heavier breed who is more likely to stay close to home. We watched in amazement at how much they ate and drank. Oh, and how sloppy they were compared to baby chicks. In about three weeks’ time Bristol, Vegas, Dega and Pheonix (can you tell we are Nascar fans?) outgrew their brooder, so my husband built a duck house he dubbed the “Taj Mahal.” Now they had plenty of room, though we kept their new home inside of our garage for a couple of weeks since the outside temperatures were still pretty chilly for our new babies. It was fun to watch them transition. They didn’t know what to do with all that new space. They stood up, stretched out and spread their wings.
At five weeks it was time to move to their new home outdoors. My husband found the perfect little wooded spot to place the coop. We dug a hole for their inground kiddie pool. Then, I hopped on the 4-wheeler and headed to our creek. I gathered some beautiful flat rock to line the perimeter of the pool. I had enough left over to make a duck sidewalk in front of their door. To keep predators out we constructed a sturdy run enclosing the coop, the pool, and a little room to run. I’m not done yet. I have plans to put in flower beds on the east side of the fence and hang a flower box under the window of their house.
We bought the ducklings as a straight run, so we aren’t sure who is what just yet. But, to us, it doesn’t matter. We simply enjoy their company. They are allowed to free-range for a few hours each day, supervise when I get home from work. Our chickens are on the same schedule. The chickens come over to say “hello” and then they go along on their merry way. After “recess” it’s back to the coop for the night to wait for tomorrow’s adventures.
Needless to say we are really enjoying our new pets and can’t wait to see what comes next!
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