The Duck Chronicles Episode Twelve – Into the Outdoors we Delve
In The Duck Chronicles Episode Twelve – Into the Outdoors we Delve we have a day where you start to feel like a parent sending there kids off to kindergarten for the first time. The ducklings are back outside and we have to decide if they spend the night outside tonight or not. We a projected overnight low of 42 degrees it is mostly likely they will.
We also discuss predators today. The reality is we have little pressure due to angry geese, big dogs, perimeter fencing with barbed wire and some reasonable density of neighbor housing, all of whom also have large dogs. Our biggest concern is hawks but they are not likely to bother them this close to the house under Max and Charlie’s watchful eyes.
In other news Buddy the Goose laid her first egg and she and Joe are starting to nest a bit. We hope she goes broody, they don’t always in their first year. Number 5 our two year old female goose seems very interested in the baby ducks and in a very non aggressive way, she likely has “mommy hormones” beginning to flow. You an see Buddy’s First Egg Here.
Two of the muscovy hens have been observing the same way so I am hoping they might go broody soon too. As I have said before, the best way to brood ducks in my view is don’t, let a mom do it if she will oblige you.
Next up the USGI Shelter Half I mention here can be found often on eBay and in some surplus stores but they come and go. Here is a current listing, http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/111385268775?lpid=82&chn=ps if the seller is sold out just search ebay for “usgi shelter half”. These are the old school ones I used 25 years ago. The military has better now but these can’t be beat as tarps.
Another tough as nails tarp option can be found at Old Grouches Military Surplus. At this link http://store.oldgrouch.biz/ussutawomaca.html this are what is currently issued to the USMC.
Again though I can’t say enough about the shelter halfs if you can find them. Sure they are smaller than these tarps, http://store.oldgrouch.biz/10cata.html but look at the price and they are made from the same material. We have beaten ours to death around here and they keep on working and holding up.
On growth the ducklings today weighed in at 8.225 ounces on a twenty duck sample. A 1.145 ounce gain for a total body weight gain of 16.17%. This is continuing the pattern of very high growth followed by slightly lower gains ever other day.
Running weight gain is as follows
- Day One Gain 29%
- Day Two Gain 17%
- Day Three Gain 30%
- Day Four Gain 18%
- Day Five Gain 28%
- Day Six Gain 6%
- Day Seven Gain 25%
- Day Nine Gain 16%
Note that since the first few days of their lives they were not weighed, the ducks are now 13 days old and collectively the fifty little girls have gained a total of more than 20 pounds in nine days!
Got a question. Do u have to have male ducks? Basically do u male ducks like chickens. Is one male duck like a rooster that has all his girls? Or do u have to have a male duck to every female duck so they can pair like ur geese do? Do u have to have male ducks at all for the females to produce eggs. I just seen u said you have fifty of the little girls. So I was just wondering all this.
I know it’s some very basic questions but I’m just getting into this whole homesteading thing. I wanted chickens at first now watching and listening to u I’m thinking about ducks. I think I might just go with ten of each and see which I like better and to make sure I have both options for customers. But I didn’t know how many male ducks you have to have. Wanted to make sure before I put in an order. Thanks for all u do jack.
Those ducks are too cute.
I have a predator question. We live in an area where we have fox, coyote, eagles, bears, lynx, cougars – pretty much any predator you can think of. I’m thinking we’d need to put a “roof” of sorts on a duck pen as well as sink the fencing into the ground to discourage burrowing, yes? If that is the case, would you simply use the same material as your fencing on the top? Is there a better way to do it?
Thank You for the Duck Chronicles; very cool.
Once the ducks get old enough to be turned lose like the adults you have, what will they eat? You have waxed eloquent on the beneficial effects chickens have on the soil; what’s the duck factor on that subject? Obviously they defecate but they don’t scratch up the grass as chickens do. How does that work?
Hi Jack, are ducks cheaper to feed because they forage more than chickens? Do you have an estimate on cost per day?
I have 3 chickens that cost about $30 a month month for organic scratch and peck. At this rate i basically break even for eggs…