Thursday, September 26, 2013

Building Unity Farm - The Ducks Arrive

Today, 10 ducks, born on Monday, arrived at Unity Farm.    Here are the details

1.  Two Fawn and White Runner Ducks

2.  Two Rouen

3.  Two Blue Swedish

4.  Two Welsh Harlequin

5.  Two Chocolate Runner Ducks

Just as with our chickens and guinea fowl, each duck has their own personality and temperament.   For prospective duck buyers, here's a behavior chart by breed.

We'll keep them in our indoor brooders for 4 weeks, then move them to the duck house.

Last weekend, we built a 10x18 pen and 4x8 enclosure to keep the ducks safe from predators and warm in stormy weather.   Ducks prefer living outdoors and do not mind wet conditions (i.e. duck weather).   Snowy, windy days with temperatures approaching zero can cause frostbite to their webbed feet, hence benefit of an enclosure.    Next weekend, I'll dig an electrical trench and wire the enclosure with a flat panel warmer that will keep the space 10 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature in the winter.

The pen includes a 50 gallon swimming trough, water and food.

We'll learn more about duck behavior as they age.   I stand ready to built ramps in and out of the pen and the enclosure to make the area more duck friendly.

Ducks are truly magnificent creatures and I look forward to seeing them run around the farm during the day.

If anyone asks me if my ducks are in a row, I can now respond that my ducks are doing very well indeed.

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