Monday, April 12, 2010

Duck Report!

I'd better get y'all caught up!

First, Duck Diapers.

I gave it some thought, looked at the ones people sell (which are all for grownup ducks) and then I gave it a go.

First, a delightful little crocheted cover. It has short ties to go over the top of the tail and longer ties to go along the underside of the duckie, around the wings and then on the back of the cute, fuzzy little neck.
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Look, I even came up with a (half a maxi-pad) cute, affordable, adhesive diaper insert! I am brilliant.
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When I approached Daffodil and Oreo with my little invention, they made it clear in .005 seconds that there was NO way on God's green earth that they were going to wear, much less poop in, my little contraption. For one, their webby little feet were getting snagged in the loops of the crochet. For another, I never actually got it 'on' either duck. And while the "Sassy Spring Diaper Cover" never got pooped in, I certainly got pooped on.

OK, back to planning. It needs to be narrower through the center so it doesn't catch the claws on their feet. Also, maybe a little tail 'cap'? Then it should stay more snug, yes?

You know - like this:
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This time, Daffodil and Oreo saw me coming. While I was creating a new diaper, they were practicing evasive maneuvers. And aim. Once again, I was the recipient of poop, and the diaper remained clean and never-worn.

Ducks 2, Laura 0.

Third time's a charm, right? I like to call this one "The Fleece Squid"
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They like to call it "Not a Snowball's Chance in You-Know-Where". I had planned to crisscross the long pieces across the chest, over the shoulders, crisscross again and slip them through the little openings to tie them. The question is, me and what army? Epic fail.

So in conclusion, ducklings do not wear diapers. Ever.

The end.

But wait, there's more!

Do you remember that we had ordered some Cayuga ducklings? Well, they didn't come in. Luckily (?) the ranch store had some Rouen ducklings. Yeah, you guessed it...
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They are teency compared to the Anconas, so we've done a bit of moving around. Daffodil and Oreo are in a large 'tote' and the babies are in the tub. Also, Daffodil and Oreo are having little excursions now!
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We have raised meat chickens before, and each time I've tried to show them any food besides the stuff from the feed store, they have turned it down. I was worried that the ducklings would be the same way, but they love to be out foraging. (yay!) They also like shredded lettuce and Little Bit's hair, hee hee.

So, that is the ducky update. Oh, and if you are (crazy like me and you are) raising ducks in your house, one thing we learned is that they love love love it if you put the food in some shallow water. They will vacuum it right up, the little Hoovers!
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Also, remember those nests that we make for Little Bit, using blankets?
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We wash a lot of old towels these days, but everyone seems happy, healthy and strong.

Quack quack,
-Laura at TenThingsFarm

11 comments:

klutzymama said...

Wow! What an adventure! Okay, I'm sure that these are dumb questions, but I know nothing of raising ducks, so here goes: #1 - The diapers are because you want the ducks to be in the house, is that correct? And #2 - is there a reason for the ducks being in the house instead of outside or do you just want them to be in the house? Maybe you already covered this in another post and I missed it.
I'm fascinated by all this duckiness! :)

Anonymous said...

Darlin' Daughter,

It seems like putting diapers on ducks is a little bit like putting a cat in a bag to give it medicine -- it CAN'T be done!!!! I wondered about that, so now we know.

They certainly seem to be growing fast. The little ones are cute. They may be smaller, but they have the yellow ones outnumbered. As they get bigger, they will probably work it out.

Hope the experiment works out. Little Bit is learning that poop is just part of the game, isn't she?

Good Luck!

Love to all,
Granny Ladybug

tenthingsfarm said...

I probably didn't cover it, Klutzy, so I will right here, right now. The reason the ducklings are in the house is because it's too cold for them outside right now. If I put them in the brooder in the henhouse, they would probably be warm enough (with a heat lamp), but ducks need water, and even more important, they need to get it everywhere. We decided it'd be better to have them contained in the house, instead of making the hens miserable. We do not want house ducks - it's just until they are old enough to have some feathers and be warm outside. Temporary thing.

So, why the diapers? Because I told Little Bit that if she spent a lot of time with the ducklings, they might imprint on her (bond with her to the point that she is 'mommy') and they would follow her around. When I said that, I was thinking 'outside', but she is thinking asap (of course!). So she wants to let the ducks loose in the house so they can follow her and be her ducklings. Ducks do not have a muscle that allows them to 'hold it', so when the poop is ready, it is, well, pooped. You can't really house train a duck.

So, that is why we gave it a go. I don't want to invest in actual duck diapers because they seem to be for grown ducks, and this is a very temporary situation. And, meanwhile, Little Bit has declared them 'stinky', so they are more attached to me (the cleaner of pens and feeder of food, as well as the one who makes 'swim time'). She is enjoying them some - I am having a blast! And I know that once they are out in their enclosure where the fresh air helps a lot, everyone, including Little Bit, will be very happy.

GLB, they are growing at a rate that is stunning. The big ones are as big as banty hens already, and they are just 3 weeks old! And you know what things do to grow - eat, then poop. They are very, very good at that, as Little Bit is figuring out!

Anonymous said...

Cat,
I loved your story today and so needed the laugh it gave me!!!
I can't wait to see if you ever get one to model a diaper!!!!
Love and God bless,
Helen(grammea)

Prairie Farmstead Ponderings said...

It's a good thing I learned to type by touch and not sight, because I can't see a darned thing through the laughter tears rolling down my face right now!

I thought "that one there looks like a squid!" and then read that you like to call it that, too. Heehee!

Just too stinkin' ~ pun for Little Bit?? ~ cute and funny!

Anonymous said...

Oh MY! I was almost rolling outta my chair laughing at your story. I know its not funny to you, but is hilarious to me!!!!

I needed that laugh tonight! I love reading about your adventures on your farm. Thanks for sharing!


sharon in alabama :)

tenthingsfarm said...

Oh, Sharon, anyone who attempts to diaper a duck has to learn to laugh at herself - I wouldn't make it otherwise!

I'm glad y'all got some smiles and laughter from this - we could all use more of both, don't you think?

Gill - That British Woman said...

that was funny. Well done, and it gave me a chuckle for a Wednesday morning.

Gill in Canada

Anonymous said...

Cat, you have made my morning. I have to say you are persistent, I might have researched duck diapers but don't think I would have followed through especially with more than one design. Thanks for sharing your ideas, successes and failures. You are being a great example to kitten on using the resources you have. The ducks are cute. We looked at some at the feed store but did not get any.
Have a great week,
Georgia

tenthingsfarm said...

Wow Georgia, you're a stronger woman than I! Although, I picked up a gosling for the first time ever, and didn't bring any home. You know how ducklings are soft? Goslings are so much softer! It was hard, but I resisted. (for now!)

klutzymama said...

Cool, thanks for all the info. Very interesting and seems like it would be fun and exciting with ducks in the house! :)

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