Cold Weather Survivors (So Far)

Four more ducklings had been hatched out between the cold snaps and were being carefully protected by their momma as they swam around in puddles. Unfortunately, the cold snap returned with temperatures plunging into the 20s overnight Thursday with a cold wind blowing.

Friday morning, I did not see the ducklings. Friday afternoon, no ducklings playing in the water. Saturday morning, there they are! I immediately ran outside to throw feed to them; they ran toward me as well, with mommy duck speaking sharply to them about getting too close to strangers. They stopped, and waited for feed like polite little ducklings at a safe distance. Momma duck must have moved them to a more sheltered location during the coldest weather.

During the past week, I found and rescued two little ducklings with no parental duck in attendance, brought them inside, and put them in the brooder with the older ducklings that were easily twice their size. Older chicks would have killed the younger chicks. The older ducklings are caring for their smaller adopted siblings. I originally thought that they may be siblings to the four (originally five) ducklings, but when I saw all four of the ducklings (who had grown quite a bit) with their momma duck, it was apparent that these were from a different nest. Momma duck may have taken them in but these would have been quickly lost as they couldn’t have kept up with her ducklings.

I now have two male ducklings and two female ducklings in the brooder in the office. I had planned on transitioning them to an outside pen if the weather were warm enough this weekend (it isn’t). With the new ducklings, though, I may have to keep them inside a bit longer. Instead of paper litter, they’re on a thick bed of sand to catch the watery droppings.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kc said,

    Y’know that phrase about there being no rest for the wicked? I think it’s the opposite. There’s no rest for those who are good and have kind and noble hearts. You amaze me.

  2. 2

    Swampie said,

    Do NOT be amazed, unless at my WRECK of a house! Sheesh. I was off with SwampMan again today, and I don’t know how I’m EVER going to get the inside and outside whipped into shape.

    Daylight savings time will help.

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