The Ugly Duckling

NOT!  I don’t think there’s such a thing as an ugly duckling.  At least not based on the 11 cutie pies we have added to our little farm.  Look at these babies! Aren’t they adorable?

1 week old baby ducklings

As you can probably imagine the kids love having 11 ducks in the middle of the living room. I feel like I spend half my day keeping the baby from throwing something at them or trying to flip their water bowls over. My son is the complete opposite.  Every 2 minutes he says, “Mama, I’m gon’ go check on my ducklings and see if they okay.” He is quite the caretaker!  According to him he is the “daddy duck” and those are his babies so he has to take care of them. It’s so cute.  Except for when he has a full blown melt down because he does not want to leave the house and leave them all alone. “No one gon’ be here take care of them, Mama. They gon’ be so alone and sad.” I’m amazed at what a sweet soul I’m raising. He is an awesome little guy. 

We are keeping them in a big kiddie pool with a brooder lamp on them until they are old enough to live outside and get acclimated to the temperature and all that.

If you’re wondering where we got them.. we actually mail ordered them! Crazy, I know! I never knew this kind of stuff existed until we started talking to friends who live on farms too.  They literally put the day old ducklings in a box (with holes) and mailed them to us.  They don’t come to your door.  Instead, they are left at your local post office and they call us so we can go pick them up as soon as possible.  They were all alive and healthy and they even included an extra one which seems to be the industry standard for hatcheries.  These ducks will be white in color and are Peking ducks which are supposed to be great egg layers.  The hatchery we ordered from is Murray McMurray Hatchery and was very well recommended by some of our farmer friends.

This is what they’ll look like full grown. (Picture from Murray McMurray Hatchery website- Peking ducks)

When you order the ducks you can select if you want male or female or you can order “straight run.” Which is a little less expensive and basically means they will send you however many ducklings you order but they won’t be sexed.  In other words, we got 10 (+1 freebie) ducks and I don’t yet know if they are male or female.  I chose this route to save a little money and because all I need is one male.  Chances are I at least have one male duck in the group.  Apparently, we’ll be able to tell who is who when they start quacking their real quacks in a few months. This is such a fun learning experience for all of us!

Do you have ducks? I’d love to hear your tips & info on raising ducks.

7 Responses to The Ugly Duckling

  1. Phyllis in Minnesota November 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Cuteness plus plus 11 times! Enjoy them…..

  2. Uma Preve November 2, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    You have such a wonderful son. He is so kind now, I can imagine how he will be when he older… Lucky future girlfriend! Lovely ducks!

  3. Michelle November 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    We have geese and chickens, but no ducks (yet). I got lucky and we have a glassed in porch/entry/thing just off the living room, so I could put baby chickens safely behind the French doors so my little guys could look but not touch.

  4. Deborah Mitchell November 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    The ducklings are so adorable. I live in a 55+ community and we have overflow ponds (ie… water front property hahaa) We have wild Muscovy ducks here. They arent very pretty to look at, but they do love to eat whatever we throw to them ( we arent supposed to feed the wildlife). I hope you enjoy your ducks.

    • Vanessa Wilson November 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks! We sure will. I”ll be sure to post more pictures as they grow. :o)

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