Monday, April 20, 2009

Sage and Thyme

We went to the flea market Saturday hoping to find turkey poults, instead we came home with 2 ducklings! Yeah, it was sort of an impulse, we don't even know what type they are. I think they are mallards based on internet search. We also don't know the sexes or age.

But they are cute and Logan loves spending time with them.
This one is Thyme, Logan named this one. We think it is a girl because this one is really loud! I read that female ducks are louder than males.
This is Sage, named by me. We think this one is a boy.

A breeding pair would be great. We'd like at least one girl to get some eggs, but will be happy with whatever we get.


Melody said...

Those are very cute! I love ducks.

They love it if you mix their mash (I never could find a water fowl starter, so I used regular chick starter) with water, making a kind of porridge. But watch out because they flip it around in delight and spackle everything around them!

BTW, they can't swim until they are fully fact, they'll drown in water. Ducklings hatched out by their mamas can go right in water because the mama rubs off the oils from their own feathers onto the babies' feathers, but with babies raised by humans, they need to wait until they get all of their feathers first.

I just treat them very much like chicks: heat lamp, waterer, same feed, just with water added. Then when they are fully feathered I let them play in a kiddie pool. Just make sure that they have a way to walk out of it or they will drown. Rock or dirt steps or slope works great.

How fun! I'm kind of jealous! (I'd be more jealous if I wasn't overwhelmed with life right now.)

Carolyn said...


I have kept a flock of ducks for 3 years now and I love them so much.

One warning. Mallards do fly. So if you want to keep them as pets they need to be in an enclosure.

FYI Male ducks need at least 3 girls to be happy. You'll know by about 4 months old what you have by the curl on the tail...and with mallards the coloring. If they don't have enough women...they bother the one they have to death...sometimes literally.

Good Luck! Duck Eggs are sooo yummy you are in for a treat.

ChristyACB said...

Adorable! Ah those impulse We have them wild around here, mallards, and they are such fun with their squabbling with each other and the geese.

Sue said...

Baby ducks are the cutest, aren't they? I was lucky to get my husband out of Tractor Supply last week without some. I wouldn't have let him in there had I known it was "Chick Days". Men!

Gayle said...

(We all have advice, don't we! :) I noticed "chick starter" was mentioned. Make sure you get food that is specifically for ducks. Chicken food has minerals their bodies can't process and it will make them sick.

Yes, Mallards will fly away when they are grown. And one male very likely will love one female to death. Ducks aren't nice like that!

I used to have tons of ducks, but it's just too hard to overwinter them so I'm sticking with chickens.

Good luck! It will be fun.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How fun Christy!
Logan looks so happy with his new friends.

Sorry to admit that I'm not a duck lover. I used to go to a city park back East that had lots of ducks of all kinds....and their was HUGE poop all over the place. Duck poop is worse than chicken poop, in my own opinion. It's the size of cat poop and I truly believe they poop more than chickens do.
And duck poop stinks so bad on a hot humid summer day. Yuk!

The ducks at the park were just so filthy and messy and tore up the banks and destroyed the shoreline and eat everything in sight.

A friend has a pair of ducks and while she enjoys watching them and getting the occasional egg, they muddy up their kiddy pool so badly with dirt, plants and poop that she has to dump it out and clean it every day.

You mentioned turkey poults. I'm assuming you were getting them for butchering? Will you be butchering the ducks eventually, too?


Christy said...

Lisa - I know they are really messy. The truth is we may just let them fly away when they are older. Logan wanted to get a few ducks and I thought we'd give it a try. We'll take good care of them but if they want to leave when they are older we probably won't be heartbroken. Or we may butcher them. The turkeys will be for butchering unless we get a girl, then we will probably keep her and a male for breeding. So far, I haven't been able to find any locally and all the places I've found to order them from have a minimum order of 15. We only want like 5. So turkeys are still up in the air.

Gail said...


Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

good luck with the ducks, I've had geese but not ducks although there are some ducks that hang out here in the campground.

Wendy said...

I'm so excited for you! Ducks and goats and chickens ... oh my! You're turning into a regular Rebecca on Sunnybrook farm ;).

We ordered ducks this year - two female khaki campbells, for egg laying (the campbells are breed to be egg layers and will lay better than many chicken breeds). They'll be here on May 1, and my girls are so excited!

Enjoy them. They're awfully cute ;).

Amy ~ 12 Acres said...

Awww, baby ducklings are so much fun! I agree, the hens are definitely mouthy, even as hatchlings. I'd trust that instinct for sure. I've been enjoying the eggs my hens are laying. I've never had duck eggs before so I was delighted to discover that they taste wonderful and are even more nutritious for you than chicken eggs. I've read that people who are allergic to chicken eggs can usually eat duck eggs.

When my ducklings were little I let them swim in the kitchen sink. They don't really take to water until they're fully feathered though, at about a month or so old. Then you can't get them out of the water! Also, ducks are much better insulated than chickens so don't be surprised if they act like they're too hot under the heat lamp. I used a regular light bulb on mine, 75 watt if I remember correctly.

Peggy said...

They are adorable and I love the names!

JLB said...

hmm they look similar to my blue swedish ducklings but not quite.
I can tell you what breeds they aren't (blue swedish, caluyga, Khaki campbell, white pekin)

I never had a problem with my little ones swimming, I just fill up the tub enough that they can get out onto the "seat" in it when they want to. Mine loved it even before they were feathered out. To each his own though I guess. They do make a mess :P

Good luck finding Turkey's I had the same problem here, ended up calling every feed store around for three hours and then driving two hours to get them and two hours back

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hey Christy,

Just an idea...but maybe you can do like I did with my chickens.

A friend and I went in halfies on an order of chickens. We had to order a minimum of 26. It worked out great. When they arrived at the PO, we just split them into what we ordered.

You could also do like another friend of mine did with chickens. She ordered the minimum order and when the chicks arrived, she raised them until they were egg laying age and sold them for $15.00a piece. It was a good profit for her and her time.

And since there seems to be such a shortage of turkeys in the area, you could also go ahead and order a full order of 15, and then sell the ones you don't want after they arrive, for a dollar or two more then what you paid.
You can advertise them on Craigslist or local farm sites and you'll be surprised how fast they sell.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out great for you. :)


linda m said...

And here I thought you were talking about herbs :) Duh, you meant ducks. They sure are cute. Love the picuter of Logan with Thyme

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Awwww...ducklings. I'd totally be just like Logan and rub them all over my face. I don't think there's anything softer than duckling down! :-)

FarmHouse Style said...

They look a little bit like my Blue Swedish, but I think yours may be a little lighter in color.

I have also heard that the loudest ones are females, if so, I have at least one girl.

Maybe I just got lucky, but my ducks have been swimming since they were about 4 days old. Of course, I watched them to make sure they did not have any trouble, but they swam like a pro from the minute they touched the water.

I love the names :-)


BTW I read your Meltdown post... boy have I had days like that, I can certainly empathize.

Christy said...

Lisa - I went in with a friend for chicks that we are getting next week, but I haven't found anyone that wants turkey poults. I thought about ordering 15 and selling the extras on Craigslist, but I'm scared I'd end up with 15 turkeys! We don't like turkey that much. The woman I got the sheep from is hatching out some turkey eggs so we'll see if she gets any. If not, I still may end up ordering some.