We got six adorable – fluffy – new additions to our family!
Our main reason for getting ducks last year was to get eggs eventually…and we got all boys. Yeah, it’s funny, I know! But we wouldn’t trade our boys for anything.
The Newest Members of the Family!
Anyway, we decided to buy them from a breeder this time. The good thing about buying from a breeder is that we were able to get the breed we wanted. After looking, researching breeds, egg production, temperament, size, and a good deal of ohhing and ahhing we decided on Ancona ducks. And we purchased 6 female ducklings.
We did buy our girls from a well known breeder. I did do a lot of research on the different companies after we decided on the breed we wanted. Some breeders just didn’t have them, so even if they were a reputable company that excluded them. In the end we went with Cackle Hatchery from Missouri. I will note right now that this is not a marketing ploy, and I am not getting anything from the company. I am just giving information regarding who we used.
The day they were hatched was a Wednesday and they were out the door and on their way to our home in Montana that night – a big adventure for such sweet little things! By Friday morning I was being called to go get them. We had the brooder all ready to go and while I was gone to get them my daughter got water and food ready for them.
When I got them home they were pepping up a storm. In fact one of the first things they saw was our dog Dottie’s big black nose. I think Dottie thought for sure that we had imported special duck treats for her, she didn’t seem real happy when we told her they weren’t food. Anyway, I introduced each one to water and we kept an eye on them the rest of the day. I was happy to see that in just a matter of minutes all had started drinking and eating. We did follow the instructions to not handle them the first day but we did keep an eye on them and talked to them a lot. The next day we started with regular morning cleanings and time out of the brooder to eat and play.
For the first couple weeks we would put them in a small swimming pool while the brooder was getting cleaned out, but after about a week it was clear that they were growing to quickly to stay in that too much longer and we brought in a larger pool for them to play in. What I loving refer to as the ‘play pen’. We tend to leave them in it for a large portion of the day, they seem to really enjoy the extra room to roam and they get to interact with us and Dottie more.
We did have a couple nice days right after we got them and let them go out to “meet” the boys. They didn’t really care about those big ducks that were on the other side of the fence- but the smallest at the time – Betsy – walked right up to the fence and started pepping at them. She wasn’t afraid of them and she was letting them know! We have also let them swim in the bathtub, which they really like especially when we give them smashed peas to chase around in it.
We did wait for a little over a week before we named them for a couple reasons. One, we wanted to see what their little personalities would be like. They grow quickly and its easy to see them early on. The other reason was because we had a bad experience with our boys last year. We lost one of the ducklings – Lovey – at only 7 days old. We figured that if one wasn’t doing well we would name them something special before we lost them so they would have a ‘special’ name. Yes, we are animal lovers and when we lost each of them last year it was hard.
The good thing is that at the time that I am writing this they are almost 3 weeks old and all are doing great! They are loosing their baby feathers and are starting to get more white feathers in and are about 4 times bigger then they were when they got here. They are all very sweet and like to snuggle with us. I think they are a great addition to our little ‘farm’!
I hope you have a great day!