Hi! I feel that today might represent a once-in-a-blue-moon chance to introduce my future flock-members to one another. But, I do not want any injuries, physical or emotional, to the ducks. This is the roster:
1 (18 month-old) Runner Drake, who was widowed, and has been living alone among chickens, lonely and getting crankier by the day. He is the only duck who has lived here for any length of time. He free-ranges all day, spending considerable time chasing our pug dogs, and sleeps with the sheep in their pen at night.
3 (2-3-4 week-old) babies. The eldest is a Muscovy, who came to me with a bent spine and splayed legs. We have corrected the legs, but the spine is still crooked. He is ok, but still obviously not agile as his pen-mates. The other two are fuzzy, younger ducklings that we got from the feed store. They are only about 2/3 the size of the Muscovy. I have no idea their breed; one is all black, the other is black with a yellow spot on its chest. These three live in harmony in a large rabbit cage with a dog-bowl pond. They will soon outgrow these digs, and require more space.
TODAY WE BROUGHT HOME:
1 Adult female. She is black and white, and smaller than what I would consider a "normal" duck. I do not think she is very old. She is away from her two hatch-mates for the first time in her life, and is currently in a small pen, alone. She was a gift to us, for our Runner Drake, from a friend who felt badly for him and his loneliness.
5 Babies, who are just under a week old. Most of them look like Runners, to me. They come from the same friend as gave us the black and white female mentioned above, but were not her babies, and probably do not really know her. They are frightened, and searching for mom, all around the small-ish rabbit cage in which they are currently contained. If they can be added to a pen with other, larger, ducks, they will have a heat lamp. If not, they will come inside, and dwell in a heated room until they are older.
So, the question: Is now a special chance to put this motley crew together, while no one except the drake has territorial seniority? Once everyone gets settled in, I imagine that I will have to do the melding slowly and under strict supervision. Of course, supervision will be necessary, in any case, but no one has a claim on this place yet. I do not even need to add the drake yet, if the consensus is that the adult female and the total of 8 babies could co-exist harmoniously.
What do you think?
Thank you, in advance, for any input!