HI! My name is Luke, i am a 20 year-old part time photographer, full time student pilot and now full time papa duck!
i first got my chickens as a year 8 science project back in 2012. for the project we had to chose something which grows, then measure and record its growth over like 2 or 3 months i think it was... of course most of the kids got something boring like a chili plant, or bamboo... i of course had to be a bit 'different' (not as different as the guy who measured his baby sister...... but different) so after some eventual convincing that it was faaar more ideal to use chickens for the scientific research (dad's a scientist so i think i hit a soft spot ) i convinced my parents to let my go buy a couple 1 week old silkies off a nice lady on gumtree. i picked out 2, one black and one white to tell them apart, and named them salt and pepper.
I got full marks for the project AND the teacher was so impressed about how well (over the top) i had done that she got me to print off a copy of the 100odd page report so that she could keep it as an example for future students
they grew to become lovely hens! and i got my first egg after not too long! though, i never found out which one layed it as they both started around the same time...
such a lovely personality silkies have! salt didn't mind people around but couldn't stand being picked up! pepper was a sook and would do whatever you want! i ended up getting another one (a little bit older) once salt and pep had grown up a bit and were living outside in the coop. (of which ill go off on a tangent and come back to the new girl) we decided that the prebuilt coops from the hardware store were far too small yet expensive! so why not build our own
Dad and i spent quite some time working on the coop, we would have loved to just have a sleeping area and let the girls run but many of our neighbours have free roam cats ... i never did understand why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to let cats roam free given how much they screw up the ecosystem and how easily they breed and go feral! anyways, we clearly had to design the coop to be cat proof too... we ended up going with a wooden frame construction of 2mX2m, the roof hinges open fully, and the nesting box is an old reclaimed large dog kennel with a new hinged roof and front door/ramp.
they seemed to like it quite a bit!
anyway, back to the other chook! I got a larger brown silkie which i named cinnamon. also a lovely nature, much like pepper though she never bonded with salt and pep like they were to each other. (here's a pic of salt and pep on the swing for reference
and of course a pic of the 3 of them playing in the garden:
now for the sad part of the story (which i promise leads to some VERY happy news )
lateish in 2016 i was going down to check on the chooks and i find cinnamon had passed away unexpectedly i was of course rather upset by this. but as time passed and i saw one of my friends from school had bought a duckling, i think it was a white Indian runner... i started thinking about (*cough*totallynotguilttripping*cough*) asking my parents if i could get perhaps a replacement for cinnamon...
yeah, that didn't go down well
then 2 or so months ago the real pain struck, i go down again to check on the chooks and find pepper standing next to a frail and almost lifeless salt its too late to take her to a vet or anything and so i just stayed and comforted her, stroking her head until she passed... that was truly heart breaking
ON A BRIGHTER NOTE pepper is still doing well! cute little fluff ball! acts a bit lonely (fair) and would hardly leave the roost for the first few days after so i decided i really best now (*cough*totallynotguilttripping*cough*) ask if i could get pepper a new friend.
while i still LOVE LOVE LOVE silkies to bits!!!! id really like to try something new... and i love the videos on youtube of the people with dogimean ducks
then SCOOORE i find a post on gumtree which reads 'aylesbury ducklings, expression of interest, due to hatch Christmas eve'
MUUUUUUUUUM can i please have a duck?
awwwww but they're a super rare breed
THEN Christmas comes around, everything is as christmasy as a 36 degree Aussie summer day can be
we're all sharing around the Christmas presents. then we get to the end, all that's left is 2 cards stuffed in the tree.... one addressed to my brother, one addressed to myself... we both open the envelopes to find a card telling us that there are 2, day old ducklings waiting to be picked up
we go for the 1.5h drive to go pick them up, AND THEYRE SOOOO CUUUTEEEE i of course had to name mine Jemima after the Beatrix potter books (gonna be awkward if shes a drake ) my brother named his puddles (pffffft non gendered names)
did i mention THEY'RE SOOO CUUTEEE
a week and a half later and they still somewhat follow me around (they'll be in the general area that you're in, and if you leave they'll scream and come to find you), my god they eat and drink and poop so much!!!!! AND THEY'VE GROWN SO QUICK
So it turned out the pellets we'd been given by the people we bought them from were mixed poultry starter... and so after about the second day we noticed Jemima starting to develop the niacin deficient pigeon toes.... after researching on this lovely forum group we got her her onto some niacin supplements and within the next week s/he's improved so much!!!
Here's a before and after shot!!!:
The duckies are now 2 weeks old, though given their size its easy to forget!!! the other day my brother and i were sitting on the lawn with the ducks while they dry from the bath and we decided it was a good time to introduce them to the (now very!) lonely pepper... and it went surprisingly well! there was only 1 little peck to puddles' leg but other than that they all hung around each other and seemed to get along rather well!
About me and the birds :)
HI! My name is Luke, i am a 19 year-old part time photographer, full time student pilot and now full time papa duck! Here are some cute photos of...