Ariel, The Call Duck

003This is Ariel.  She is a Call duck.  She also happens to live in our house and share a room with my daughter.  How did this happen you ask?  Why do I allow a duck in my house?

Well, let me start off by telling you all about Ariel’s first couple of days with us.  The person that incubated her egg, called us to let us know that two ducklings had hatched.  We gleefully went over to her house and brought those ducklings home, only four hours old.

However, only one of those little ducklings survived.  She was too small to go outside with our big ducks and chickens, so my daughter decided that she would stay in the house with her.

022We bought her a plastic bin to live in.  My daughter has decorated the whole tub with lots of stickers, which Ariel playfully nibbles at.  Ducks taste everything, much like a baby.  It’s really their only way to learn what something is, if you think about it.

This sassy little quacker may only be slightly bigger than my hand, but she is a stubborn fighter.  She is often seen running through the house, head low, mouth open in a silent hiss, scolding us for whatever we may have done.  She’s a bossy thing.

Ariel is my daughter’s best friend.  Her baby.  She sleeps in that bin next to my daughter’s bed every single night.  When we traveled to Montana last Summer, the duck went with us.  She really didn’t mind the traveling.  Montana she seemed to be okay with, but in Moses Lake, WA, she didn’t like being in the hotel shower.  We stayed there for a couple of nights on the way home.

She even went into a gift shop with us in Montana.  We couldn’t keep her in the car, it was too hot and she quacked like crazy!  So we put her in the little stroller that she is in at the beginning of this post.  I covered her with a baby blanket, and pushed that thing around.  No one ever knew!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little post about Ariel.  I’ll probably share more about her in the future!

HTHk-1j5-1

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Day #26 of Duckling Egg Hatching

I know that I haven’t updated on the eggs at all.  Shame on me.

But I have something exciting to report now!  The mallard egg is pipping!  This is when the duckling starts to try and crack through the egg shell.  It’s not broken through yet, but there are two cracks started!

We are all so excited!  The kids have vowed to stay up all night to see if they hatch.  They’ll never last.  But I don’t think the egg will hatch before morning anyways.

Stay tuned!

I’m Going To Be A Mommy!

20110212_2Yep, that is pretty much me right now!  I’m pretty excited!  I’m going to be a new mommy!

Last night, we candled the eggs.  Can you believe what I saw?  It’s amazing and certainly one of God’s miracles.

We held up the first egg, one of our own duck eggs, put it on top of the flashlight and covered the light.  I slowly searched for the spreading lines through out the egg that is the lifeline of the ducklings inside.  I saw the forking blood veins and got very excited!  I showed Hubby, “Look!  Those veins are what we’re looking for!  There’s a duckling developing!”

Then we saw it…

A small black dot.  In some invisible yet visible way, connected to another black dot.  One black dot kept moving, swishing around like something pulsing inside.  The heart?  I think so but not sure yet.  I still am going to check that out.

So we held up the other egg to the light.  This is the wild mallard egg.  The veins running through took a second longer to find, but find them we did!  Then we saw the little pulsating life inside that egg also.

I felt like I was just informed that I was having babies….Twins!

Now the fun part for the next 3 weeks is watching it develop in the egg.  I’ll be checking every couple of nights because the growth and change will be quite rapid now.

This photo here will give you an idea of what we saw on day 8.  05-10PASSinglestage3Even better!  Here is one that shows day 8!  wr_duckeggchartMaybe tonight we’ll try to take our own photos and I can get them posted!

springtimedanielleleigh

Egg-Hatching Day 1

A new friend of mine found a wild duck egg, from a Mallard couple that had abandoned the egg.  We waited to see if they returned the next evening, but they did not.  So she carefully brought the egg to our little farm to try and incubate it.

We have just a small still air incubator.  We’re no where near big time.  But people have incubated eggs out of these before, so we’re always hopeful.

Of course, we didn’t want the duckling, if it hatches, to be alone, so we chose one of our duck eggs to try and hatch with it.  This duckling could turn out to be any mixture between a Khaki Campbell female with a Khaki Campbell male, Muscovy male or Rouen male.  So it will be an interesting little guy.

I got the incubator all ready and stabilized to stick the eggs in it and we put them in this morning.  Now if I’m correct with the info I am seeing, I will wait to turn the eggs until tomorrow.  Then we’ll turn them about 4 times a day after that until they hatch.

I’ve researched that a duck egg takes about 28 days to hatch.  But I’ll try to candle them in about a week.  I’ll try and have more info on that later!

Isn’t Spring great?!  God works his miracles anew each time Spring comes and it’s amazing!

DanielleLeigh

The Three Duck-ateers

We have had some recent new additions to We’re Duck ‘N’ Chicks.  Some new ducklings.  Who doesn’t think these little guys are cute?

Pippi, Hannah and Antonio enjoying some Weed Soup
Pippi, Hannah and Antonio enjoying some Weed Soup

Daughter and Son really wanted new ducklings, especially after the loss of Daughter’s special chicken, Lavender, who died last week.  (That will be in an upcoming post.)  So since I aim to please (and distract) I went on a wild goose chase….excuse the fowl language.

That took us to a feed store miles away from home on the search.  My Garmin took me out to the middle of no where, which was ok because the kids got to see a baby calf just born trying to stand and walk.  Further out in the field there was another cow giving birth, or trying to.  I knew which direction I was headed, sorta, so I drove until I found town.  It was easy.  We found the Safeway, used the wifi so I could find the address on my Kindle, since Garmin was failing me.

We found the feed store and asked where the ducklings were.  The lady working wasn’t the friendliest.  If I wasn’t in such a desperate need to point their focus in a new direction, I would have left and gone somewhere else.  But, my babies had already picked some out.

Daughter chose a Muscovy and Son chose a Rouen.  The Muscovy is the little brown duckling with the yellow chest and the Rouen is the large one with dark brown and stripes.  Later that day, I was able to get a hold of the place where I’ve gotten all of my ducks and chicks from to get another Khaki Campbell.  She is the all brown one.

The Three Duck-ateers provide us with so much fun!  We put them into the bath tub to let them swim around and Antonio (Rouen) swims under the water as fast as he can!  I have never had any of our Khakis do that.  During the day we’ve been taking them out to enjoy the nice warm sunshine that is so rarely seen in WA, especially this time of year!  We spoil them with Weed Soup and they dig that!  They also love to chase the ants in our driveway or jump into the air to catch a passing moth.

Soon, we will be incubating our own ducklings!  We can’t wait for that!!

springloindanielleleigh

Duck ‘N’ Chicks

The First 4

As the title of my blog hints, we have ducks and chickens.  This is a fairly new adventure for us.  I grew up on a small farm and we raised a few different types of animals.

Hubby and I feel like we should be prepared to have to live off of the land and our own if we must.  There are many different reasons why we believe this that I will not go into here.  As part of my preparedness, I decided we need to raise our own chickens and have our own eggs.

I feel this not only to be prepared, but I am also sick of giving my money to the big food corporations that are mistreating animals and pumping our foods with poisons.  But, that is also something I will not go into now.

I searched around a bit to see what breeds we wanted to raise.  I am always the type to do different than what everyone else does.  So I did not want any White Leghorns or Rhode Island Reds.  The local farm that I found, The Bradley Farm, had the perfect breeds for me.

I really wanted a Salmon Faverolles.  The Bradley Farm sold those, along with some other heritage breeds.  Orpingtons were on my list of a breed to have because of their tendency to be mild natured and great with kids.  But since I like the rare, I wanted the Lavendar Orpingtons.

Our first trip to the farm we brought four chicks home.  I got two Salmon Faverolles, a Dorking and an Exchequer Leghorn.  In the picture above, the only one that you can tell apart is the Dorking.  The rest are yellow chicks.

We decided that we needed a few more, and Hubby wanted a duck.  Our second trip brought home two Lavendar Orpingtons and a Khaki Campbell duckling.  We did end up adding two Americaunas but they both turned out to be roosters and I got rid of them.  You may see them in some photos.

We kept all of them in a dog kennel that we modified to use for the chickens.  Hubby drilled holes in the side so that we were able to slide a pole through and hang the heat lamp from the top.  The kennel was large enough that the chicks could get out of the heat if they needed.  We kept them in our house until they were fully feathered.

Kennel with the chicks. As you can see, the cats also enjoyed the chicks.

Moving them into their coop was nerve-wracking for me.  I spent I don’t even know how many nights sleeping with the bedroom window open so I could hear if something happened.

The cats were very curious about those feather-skipping aliens that entered into their territory.  But, they took advantage of the heat lamp. In the picture, there are 3 cats sleeping on top of the chick pen.  The one on the end, Jerry, is our chicken watcher.  He actually sits with them in the backyard and just hangs out with them.  We’ve watched him, and one other of our cats, Feisty, round up the chickens and send them into the backyard when they show up out front.

Today, five months after our first chick purchase, we are up to 13 chicks/pullets/hens/roosters and three ducks; a hen, a duckling and a mallard.  We have one large egg that is layed every morning.  Since the hen has started laying, we have only skipped about a week and a half.  Another hen started laying and they are quite small eggs.  This hen started out every other evening, and has now worked into almost every night.

I have many more stories to share, and photos as well.  But I really should save some for future posts.  Make sure you stick around so you can meet all of our feathered family members!