Graham Bell ~ Global Change Agent

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Sure Sign of Summer

call ducks 20.6.10 3

No surer sign of summer than our new call ducks producing their first ducklings.

This fine lady has just hatched nine.

These are “Call Ducks” and are quite cute, some call them the bath toy duck. They are small, cute and very energetic ducks and here at Garden Cottage as well as the new arrivals, we have 4 Adults, 3 females and 1 male. This is the first hatch of ducklings for our adult ducks.

 

When sitting on the eggs the Call duck is very protective of their clutch, hiding well in the undergrowth or under objects. So dedicated to their role, that even when a garden strimmer passes within inches of the nesting duck, she doesn’t move an inch.

This is the second clutch of eggs this year, but the first to hatch. The ducklings are kept in a protective run with their mother to prevent predators attacking them during their first days. Predators such as Crows, Cats, Sparrow Hawks, have been noticed to increase after the ducklings arrived on the scene.

Photo0181The run is secure and has a shelter for mother and ducklings and a small pan of water, enough to allow the ducklings to be introduced to water but not enough for them to drown in should they become water logged. Human contact during the hatching stage of their development is kept to a minimum as the Ducklings have a strong ability to readily imprint  on the first creature they see that is bigger than them because they know they are the same species as the creature they see upon hatching, this ability makes them follow other species such as dogs or humans.

One thought on “Sure Sign of Summer”

  1. You can try to incubate and hatch eggs in a coeirmcmal incubator, but I think as a novice duck owner, you’ll be happier with your outcome (and save some energy and expense) if you just order ducklings. You would need either a willing and broody hen duck or an incubator to hatch fertilized eggs. Hatch rate is dependent on how well the necessary range of heat, humidity and proper care of the eggs prior to hatch.Ducklings don’t wean ducklings and chicks are pretty independent creatures, and will go for food and water as soon as they are dried off and mobile from hatching.Basic care of new ducklings includes setting up a proper brood pen (250 watt heat lamp, maintaining temperatures, preventing drafts). Bed them on pine shavings (we’ve used rolled oats as well, which are very absorbent and will sometimes be eaten).We use a good starter chick feed and some duck feed mixed in for ours. I give them a *SMALL* waterer that they can’t splash in. Domestic ducklings that are still in their baby down (fuzz) don’t need to swim and play in water, and for some breeds, it actually prevents good adult plumage from developing. Keep young ducklings dry and warm. The market for ducks depends on what breed and what area you’re in. Some people sell theirs as meat birds. Call ducks often go as pets, and we raise khaki campbells, which are primarily a laying breed. I sell some ducks but have had better luck selling their eggs. Find out what market there is before you invest in a huge flock and are stuck with 100 muscovies or something.Also, before you order your eggs or birds, get set up with your supplies and equipment and get yourself a copy of Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks. It will be a great reference manual for any questions you have about breeding, housing, health, etc.breed and show ducks and poultry

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