Howdy! All 'ya all ;-) What a great year to begin raising ducks. Here the weather has been abnormally warm. I caught the spring bug in January and was cleaning up dog poop and mowing my back lawn in February! This led to the unpleasant reminder that my yard has become inundated with creepy crawleys. So many slugs, snails ear-wigs and pill bugs that every time I try to enjoy my gardening I end up so frustrated I contemplate the virtues of better living through science ie: poison. This is against everything I believe in. So I finally convinced my dear husband that if he wants sanity and peace in his world we had better get some ducks to manage the problem. Funny right. I find there is little sanity or peace in raising ducks. But im getting ahead of myself. Anyway, I went straight to the computer, did a little research and decided what I wanted for my purposes and where to get them. a little research is a dangerous thing. in the process I fell in love with all kinds of ducks and my order was both financially and spatially unreasonable. And by the way, no longer really focused on foraging ducks. Back to the drawing board, Finally I decided on some for laying, some for beauty and foraging and some for meat. Those some-s still added up to 12 ducks. Which sounded like a more reasonable number in comparison to my initial order but I know is still going to be a challenge for a first time duck owner. And then it happened So in my wisdom I thought to myself "self" Your ducks wont be here for a month, you should get two practice ducks from the local feed store to prepare yourself and make all your mistakes and adjustments now before the whole brood arrives. And I did. I am now the proud duck mom of two pretty little pekin that have taught me my instinct that i would not be ready for the 12 was right on the money. I lost one of those ducklings in two days. though I monitored the temp in the brooder, im pretty sure I cooked it to death. I went out the next morning & got another duck -from the same hatching- as the one I had, bought a new feeder and repurposed an old kiddy pool for a brooder instead of the large rubbermaid tub, so they would have more space to get out of the heat and have a bit of room to roam. They are now 3 weeks old. They have taught me a lot. They have inspired me to do much more yard work including getting the old pond cleaned out & set up. Im researching how to make a bio-filter system for it so I dont have to muck it out all of the time They bonded with each other quite well and dont like me much, though im doing my best sitting with them and giving them yummies. they run from me and protest if I try to pick them up. They dont follow me in the garden and I havent seen them eat one bug. this will probably shorten their life expectancy a bit. I have herded them to the pond a couple of times, and they are getting the idea. I have not let the dogs get to know them except through the fence and last night I let them out in the yard while the ducks were in the pond. They do respond well to commands but occasionally loose their stinkin' minds when excited about something. My dogs HATE water, so duckies were safe and SUPERVISED as they are at all time. I really have no idea how to introduce ducks to dogs. I figured I would wait till they are big enough to defend themselves a bit. The learning continues I want to thank each and every one of you who contribute to this forum for helping me learn & grow. Even some of the simplest stuff just did not occur to me. I love the threads on poop. You can tell a lot from poop! My life is so full of poop now ( fish, 2 cats, 3 dogs) and it is about to grow exponentially I know.