My duck story...so far (warning: pic heavy and word heavy)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by rangersilme, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. rangersilme

    rangersilme Hatching

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    Aug 18, 2010
    Greetings all!

    About 11 or 12 years ago when I was in elementary/middle school, a neighbor of mine who ran a flower shop owned a trio ducks (khaki campbells in fact). I have a few fond memories of them, such as her crying out "Slug Patrol!" and the ducks running up quaking hysterically for the slugs or snails she found. I was hooked and asked her to pick me up some ducklings.

    For the next couple of weeks I remember stopping by her shop and asking her if they've come in, with each day my anticipation growing. The final day I asked she just smiled and said "they're on the front porch". 4 perfect baby ducks, one black 3 khaki colored. I brought them home, set up an old rabbit cage with shavings and heat lamp, and laid out a towel and small water dish and let them swim around in my room. Such fun.

    Unfortunately I don't remember them very well as they grew up, and to this day I'm not exactly sure what breed they were, mostly because I can't remember them very well and there aren't a lot (any) pictures of all of them together. What I do remember is as they grew up, we ended up having 3 drakes and 1 duck, so we had to decide which drakes to give away/trade for more ducks. The duck was buff colored with a lighter colored eye stripe, one of the drakes was very dark colored (we kept him), one of the drakes was an off white color (almost a dirty white) that we gave away, and I'm not sure about the last drake-he might have been a khaki campbell.

    Anyways, to make a long story short, we picked up one or two more ducks and eventually they hatched out ducklings of their own. One of my favorite memories of them is that every one of their eggs ended up hatching (I was so proud). So we had 15 baby ducks swimming around in our tub for a little while, which we eventually gave away. A little while later a raccoon or something got the ducks.

    Fast forward to this spring and the duck itch took hold again. I visited my flower shop friend and asked why she didn't have ducks anymore. "Because I don't have the time". Well I did, or at least enough of it to take care of some ducks. "Hey want to get some chickens too?" "Sure". (She also used to have 4 barred rocks along with her ducks-she had to get rid of them because they would roost either on top of her geraniums or on her neighbors porch...I took them).

    I start looking online at the different hatcheries, and the buff ducks caught my eye...most likely because they resembled the ducks I used to have. "How many ducks do you want?" "Not a lot: I want them to imprint on me, not each other." "How many chickens?" "Lets go for broke"

    4 buff ducks 2 male 2 female and 26 barred rocks straight run it is. That might not seem like a lot to farmers, but keep in mind that we live in town.

    They shipped in the middle of June from Ideal Poultry. (They were the only ones at the time I could find that shipped a small amount of ducks along with chickens without the expensive shipping) I was at work so my copatriot picked them up from the post office. I got back in the late afternoon and found they arrived all living, though one of the ducks didn't look so hot, and he didn't make it (I think it was a result of inexperience with shipped ducks on my part). The next day, when I got home from work and brought them out to let them swim around for a bit, one of them wasn't as active as the other two. I took them out of their tub and let them run around. It turned out that the inactive one wasn't eating, something I hadn't noticed before. It was pecking at everything but I guess it wasn't eating the food. She was significantly worse the next day and died that night (again most likely inexperience on my part). The other two were extremely active and bright eyed though. I contacted Ideal and they graciously sent out two ducks (I thought the two that made it were males).

    Picture of the one that didn't make it and another one. Note the size difference after one or two days.

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    While we were waiting, the two ducklings grew like weeds.

    A week later, 2 female ducklings arrived. Along with 13 roosters (we think they're RIR). In our insanity we kept the roosters.

    The day they arrived and I got home from work, I checked how they were doing. I noticed one of the ducklings wasn't there. "One didn't make it?" She just kind of looked at me with an odd look. "Well...

    "The two ducks they sent, one of them was extremely active and followed everyone around if it walked. The other one *points at the duckling that was there, and I noticed it had a little fuzzy tuft on its head* was the exact opposite; it seemed disoriented. *I looked at it closely and saw that its head was sort of cocked to the side so it was looking up with one eye, like its neck was twisted sideways.* It wasn't following anyone around and stumbled whenever it tried to walk.

    "So a couple of hours after I picked them up, a customer comes in with her daughter. Of course the daughter is very excited to see the ducklings. 'Oh Oh can I buy one?!' 'Sorry but they're not for sale'. 'Mommy can I have a duckling?' *mother screeches* 'NO!'.

    "A little while later I notice one of my employees frantically looking and searching for something. 'What are you looking for?' 'I can't find her!' 'What?' 'One of the ducks that came in.' I look over and see the two older ducklings and the disoriented duckling. 'I think I know where she is.' 'Really! Where?' 'I think that younger girl that came in earlier took her.' 'What? Nobody would do that.' '...' 'Oh my god...'." What followed that is a story in itself, though long story short we didn't find her. That was the duckling that I lost I feel the worse about.

    Anyways, I study my new duckling closely this time and again notice she wasn't eating, though I manage to catch it much earlier. "Great, I have 13 new roosters and I'll still be back to square one." (I was pretty pessimistic at the time) She was trying to peck at everything but wasn't eating. I decide to mix up some mash and finger feed her. Doesn't really work. I accidentally dropped some on one of the ducklings, and she went for that. Interesting...I scatter some around the floor and she eats that as well. After a few days of doing this, she eventually figures out how to eat from the dish and looks a lot better for it. Whenever she drank though, she would rock back on her heels and stick her head straight up in the air. Cutest thing.

    As they grow, she improved noticeably and bonds to the two older ducklings. She never became as comfortable around us as the two older ducklings, but that's ok. After a couple of weeks, however, she had trouble getting up to walk. She walks on her heels and a few weeks later she would pushes herself up with her bill. Once she got going she walked adequately, but soon sat back down. The other ducklings sat down a lot too but they were walking fine. It was pretty hot at the time and they grew very quickly, so that might have been a problem. Anyways she slowly improved on this as well and currently runs around with the other two just fine.

    Anyways, enough reading...pictures!

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    And currently...
    First Female:

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    Male (such a goof in his pictures):

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    And my crested female (my most photogenic duck):

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    Thank you for reading/looking!
    Cheers
     
  2. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    [​IMG] Very cute ducks and a nice story.
    Just a tip or two with ducks. You have to watch them very closely when you get them and watch there water intake, they will drink too much and it can be fatal. If I order ducklnings I usually keep them in a crate on my kitchen table for a few hours and let them have some water and then take it away. I do that until I see that they are calm and not in a panic over not getting a drink, does that make sense. Also it is not a good idea to put hatchery ducklings in a body of water. They are missing the oil on their down that the Mom provides and they get all wet and then they get cold. And just in case never give waterfowl medicated feed. They dont need it and it also can be fatal.
    I love my ducks and geese, tonight I looked up and on top of my barn looking down at me was one of my 4 month old Muskovy ducks, [​IMG] why she was up there I have no idea, but she was funny sitting up there looking down on all the goings on of getting the birds put to bed.
     
  3. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Songster

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    Very cool story and Wow, what an experience you had getting your ducks. I'm glad everything worked out in the end, your ducks are BEAUTIFUL and [​IMG]
     
  4. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Songster

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Stillwater
    Adorable ducks! I love the 'poufy' headed ducks, the crested ones, they are just comical looking after a good swim. I'm like you, started out fairly slowly and now have a BUNCH of chickens. Unfortunately, no more ducks and geese. I will try again next spring with more crested females.
     
  5. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Australia
    Thankyou for taking the time to share your story with us. Those photos are also gorgeous!! You do have 3 very beautiful ducks there. Hope you continue to enjoy them.
     
  6. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

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    Wow awesome story and welcome to BYC [​IMG]
    Luv hearing stories like this.
    Very very very cuuuute ducks and ducklings.
     
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Crowing 8 Years

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    That's such a great story! I love how perfect the crest on your crested female looks.
     

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