Recently, we’ve been noticing that Ping and Jemima are growing at a much faster pace than the chicks. The ducklings are gentle giants in comparison to the other ladies. And they are messy! Like silly little puppies, they love to play in the drinking water and make quite the mess. Although they naturally enjoy a more moist environment, its not ideal for their other feathered friends. So, in an attempt to keep the chicks dry and the ducks somewhat wet, we expanded our poultry digs once again. We now have two old poultry cages (that we snagged back in Montana) butted up side by side to create a temporary “double wide”. At first, all of the feathered folk were confused and kept trying to figure out how to get into the neighboring cage. I think they finally gave up. Yet, although they are separated for now, at least the birds can still socialize. Which they do. They’ll sit side by side with the wire barrier between them and peck at each other, chirp, or sometimes just “be”. Henrietta, our chick who thinks she is part duck, did get to go over for a special visitation a few days ago and was greeted with excited duckling peeps! Or maybe they were cheaps.
In an attempt to still control the wetness in their cage (my books say that ducklings sometimes get too wet and are clueless in regards to when to get warm and dry), we’ve place an aluminum pan underneath their waterer. This way they can drink and splash the water out, sit in the eventually wet pan, and then still get out onto the dry wood shavings. We are also keeping the heat lamp low so that there is a very warm spot in the cage if they need it. So far this is working, but I still have to change the water out at least twice a day. I have mixed feelings about trading in the smaller waterer for a larger one becasue that just means they’ll make more of a mess and potentially get more of the shavings wet. Thus, a larger waterer may not necessarily cut down on my cage maintenance time each day.
We are hoping that the girls can comfortably live in the double wide for at least the next few weeks. Although we’ve had some warmer Spring days around here, a certain meteorologist has informed me that April is going to be dicey with colder temps and potential snow. So, transitioning our little flock outdoors isn’t going to be an option for a while.