Friday, June 13, 2014

Duck Update: Starting to Merge the Routines

~ Monday & Tuesday ~
 As it happens with the youngest in a family, routines are not as strict as they were with the older siblings. Such is the case with Monday & Tuesday....

They are now 2 1/2 weeks old & have imprinted upon each other quite strongly. They know to follow me since I'm the one holding the special treats, but these 2 are not cuddle ducks... We need to work on that a whole lot more over the next few weeks!

~ lots of water = lots of fun ~
They've been quite keen (from my perspective) to get out of their tote during the day & be outside...

This week I've set them up in their playpen with food & water & a covering to keep out the birds & give them a bit of shade. They did very well & now I'm going to start introducing them to the older 2 ducks to see how they interact. The rest of their outdoor time will still be in the playpen, but it will now be in the enclosure with the other 2 - separated by that mesh barrier just in case...

~ meet & greet over a bin of fresh greens & water ~
Today I decided on a supervised play date at snack time. It seemed to work out quite well with the twins being quite curious & terrified at the same time of the older 2 ducks. Penelopea is actually quite protective of the food... and the white monster (please - we need to settle on a name!) seems to hiss at them but since he lays around 95% of the time, they are not really within his reach... Poor duck - sprawled legs are not fun...

Hour long foraging & snack sessions like today will probably go on for a week or so before I let them be on their own for a while. I just don't trust the older ducks fully....


So, our white monster - who is still changing out feathers & developing some funny habits...such as sitting on, in or as close to the food & water as possible - well, more like laying on, in or as close as possible...
This duck thinks he is a dog. I find it quite funny that he likes to be picked up & petted...

Will be interesting to see what he ends up looking like. His bill is developing an interesting ridge & more & more dark feathers are popping out along his head & neck. Definitely a character!



And Penelopea has lost her whistle. She used to whistle to me & now it's more goose sounding - not even duck 'quack' sounding...which is curious. I wonder if a full quack will come along in the next few weeks - that's such a happy sound to hear when they see you!

So, the little family is growing fast & we are working on our routines & I'm trying to train them to come back to the enclosure based on command & calls, but right now - bribery seems to be the trick... I'd also like to know if they have figured out how to get in & out of the pond??

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