Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fowl Play

Why yes, those are ducklings. 
Swimming in Pyrex.
On our dining room table. 
Ducks & Chicks
Look, it wasn't our fault we got ducks today. That is, it's not our fault that this shipment of very desirable black and buff Indian Runner ducks that arrived at Elizabeth's country store this week would be their last of the season. It's not our fault ducks sell out fast. We basically didn't have a choice.
Ducks & Chicks
We've wanted ducks since we recently learned that: 1) Denver allows them. 2) They can cohabitate with chickens. 3) Their eggs are amazing. We can't wait to try them in creme brulee and ice cream. They are also great for baking, making cakes richer and fluffier.

We couldn't take them ALL home with us, just two. And we complete our flock with two more chicks. {I apologize for the poop streak in this photo. Livestock can be rude like that.}
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The ride home was interesting. The chicks are flighty and much less timid than our others were, so this one kept flying out of the box. The yellow duck just wanted to chat.
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Most of the hour ride home, the duck visited with us. I couldn't stop laughing at the curious little thing, it was so friendly and interested in us.
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When we finally got home, it climbed up to my shoulder and plopped down. The black duck quickly followed. These ducks are a hoot! They love snuggling! They nibbled at my hair and ear. Not skittish AT ALL. We read that ducks could be really friendly and good pets, but I had no idea even ducklings would just attach themselves to you so quickly.
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Friends, I'm in heaven here. I've long desired chickens, I never knew how much I'd enjoy a duck!
Ducks & Chicks
The Sisters {here's to hoping neither are of that 10% that turn out to be roosters} are Sicilian Buttercups. This is a very old, somewhat rare breed. As they are Buttercups, we named them aptly: Princess and Peanut.
Ducks & Chicks
I had my sights set on an Aracauna and a Buff Orpington, but when we learned the country store had Buttercups in stock and we looked up how uniquely gorgeous they are, we opened our minds to this breed instead. Supposedly, they aren't the best layers but are known for being great pet/lap chickens. They will look like this when they are full grown. Gorgeous much?
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They make pretty gorgeous chicks too.
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They're getting along with their larger, awkward duckling friends just swimmingly.
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I can't resist photographing these adorable things. I was shocked when I uploaded all the photos I took of them today and saw how many times I'd snapped my shutter. {200+} See a few more here, if this isn't enough cuteness for you.
Ducks & Chicks
Ducklings, we're quickly learning, are very clumsy. They will fall from heights easily and have no awareness of their size, they knock things over and stumble. It's adorable.
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They are delightfully friendly. Even with the kids. Eisley has named them Leif and Percy. Those are cute names. Since we don't know their genders yet, Justin and I were throwing around gender neutral names or adaptable names. Henry/Henrietta {"Etta" for short} and Harry/Harriet. What do you think? Which names should we pick?
Ducks & Chicks
The thing about ducklings: they are harder to sex. We just have to hope we didn't get two drakes. We won't know for a few weeks what they are. A male and female would be fine. Ideally, they'd both be females. If they both turn out to be males, and get aggressive with each other, we'll have some tough decisions to make. We have a 50/50 chance with both, right?

Justin worked out a way to keep them all in the stock tank his parents have loaned us. This way the Big Sisters can get used to the littles, but they're kept safe from the pecking order for now {as long as no one dares to try and fly over the screen partition...we'll be keeping a close eye on them.}
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The Big Sisters were quite interested in their new neighbors. It was fun to watch.

Our flock is complete! We were supposed to start on the coop building today, but the snow ruined everything. Soon, soon...
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As for me, well...I wrote a good portion of this blog post looking just like this:
Ducks & Chicks
We're a little quacky 'round here, it's true.

Cheers,
Heather

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