I am starting to realize that having ducks and keeping a blog about the ducks is difficult because the ducks are quite time-consuming. In fact, doing much of anything other than taking care of the ducks has been difficult. I am so grateful for our pvr. lol I am hoping that as they get older, the amount of time devoted to taking care of their needs will decrease…. maybe? What takes the most time is cleaning because they poop so much. So anything you can do to minimize the amount of time spent cleaning is very good. 🙂 That way, you have more time for the fun stuff like playing with them. 🙂
On Wednesday and Thursday, we built a new pen for them that is much bigger and roomier. They were quickly outgrowing their first pen and in terms of cleaning, it really wasn’t working. I was cleaning it up pretty much every hour. I clearly wasn’t doing things correctly. lol I had mats that I was switching out and cleaning as they got full of poop and water. Ducks stick everything in their mouths so you can’t use shavings at first apparently. Also newspaper isn’t good because it gets wet and slippery. They also like to chew on newspaper which I found out the hard way. I used newspaper underneath the mats and when it was exposed, they loved to chew on it.
The new pen looks like a fortress almost. A fortress to keep the cats out because the ducklings are still too small and still look like dinner to our cats. We built it around the first pen so that the first pen is still used for their sleeping quarters and contains the heat lamp as well. This way, they also have a familiar area as well. The new area has straw in it to help with the poop and water that gets spilled. Because let’s face it, they are ducks and ducks love water and water will be spilled a lot. lol They now have room for a little “swimming pool” (a kitty litter pan) as well. They love that thing and swim often. 🙂 The straw makes a huge difference in the amount of time spent cleaning and they love chewing on the straw which is apparently ok.
There is now also room for me to sit inside the pen with them so that they can get to know me more. I sit on a kneeling pad in the corner and they can approach me if they want to. I sit there very still and let them come up to me and I don’t make any sudden movements. I talk to them and they almost seem to respond to me talking. They have climbed on my lap momentarily and nibbled on my jeans as well. So we are definitely making progress. 🙂 They will not let me touch them yet but I hope that will come.
They seem to be a lot calmer in the new pen as well. I am not sure what it is exactly but they don’t freak out nearly as much. I can open the door now with out them panicking. If I move slowly, I can reach in and grab their Waterer or food dish to fill up without them feeling the need to get up and run. They still watch me very closely but they are calmer. I don’t know if it is the extra room or that maybe they are getting used to me.
I am definitely learning a lot and I will try to keep up with posting what I learn too. 🙂 Now for a photo of their new pen and a couple of photos of the ducklings themselves. 🙂 They are growing so fast!