It is Spring in Australia. Last year my ducks (Wendi and Bob) had their first batch in late October but this year looks like they are going early with Wendi sitting on 4 eggs in early spring due next week I guess. Her first batch (5) I took inside and raised in the downstairs bathtub but she raised the next 2 batches very well herself so letting nature take it's course this year.
I got down (I use crutches to get around) and drained the pond the other day. Yuck. There was actually about 5kg of muck on the bottom which I scraped up. It is soil that that they pick up in their beaks and strain in the water. I filled it up again from the "duck" tank I put in that picks up rain water from the shed roof next to the pond. It is still a bit murky but Bob and Wendi took to it immediately and jumped in for a bath. Ducks love clean water which is a bit weird since they also love muddying it up.
Anyway Wendi is still sitting on her 4 eggs which I guess will hatch in the next week or so. I have to put the ramp back in so the ducklings can get out (basically the chook ramp with a brick to keep it in place). This will be my fourth batch. There is something wonderful about seeing those little ducklings take to water a couple of hours out of the shell.
The last batch (all 9 of them) went into the pond on the day after they hatched. It was late at night but I had a strange feeling something was wrong. I turned the light on at midnight and could see Wendi standing next to the pond and also the ducklings sitting on it. They were only a day old so I was worried they couldn't get out even though there were two ramps. So I went down with a flashlight and as soon as they saw me they panicked and ran out up the ramp and hid under their momma. I love my ducklings!
Never shown me any love at all. This year I am going to see if hand feeding them makes a difference. We will see