Anyway, I'd like to introduce our four newest homestead additions! We got two tiny little Indian Runner ducklings. The dark one I named Charlie (Charlie Brown if it's a boy, or just Charlie if it's a girl). The lighter one my four year old promptly named "Nicey" because "it;s so nice." He cuddled it the whole way home from picking them up. I told him we'd have to put the babies in the brooder, and he said, "But what if Nicey looks for me and can't find me?" Oh boy... He wanted Nicey to come live with us in the house and come to bed with him... Nope, not happening. Charlie and "Nicey" did just fine in the brooder overnight.
That said, when I first put them into the brooder with the whole gang of older birds, within about three minutes it became obvious that wasn't going to work. We have too many cockerels in there that are starting to go aggressive. Never once did any of the hen-looking chicks bother them, only the ones with big obvious combs.
So we put in a divider wall (so glad husband decided to buy all the supplies at once instead of waiting for when we needed them). So now we have roughly 1/3 of the pen sectioned off. It contains the two new ducklings, the older duckling, and ten selected chicks (our "this is definitely staying here" chicks). Off the top of my head I know both of the Golden Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicks, the suspected Black Sumatra, both suspected Silver Duckwing Old English Game Bantam chicks, the Polish, the two babies that still have all down (the blue cochin and the other kind-of blue chick), and one chick that has some interesting patterns coming in on the wings. Not sure the breed on that one.
As planned, their travel crate was placed in the barn when we arrived home, and the goose and ducks were allowed to greet them through the cage bars. As soon as I was unloading them from the car, the birds knew, even though the new ducks hadn't quacked. Josh and the ducks spend the rest of the day in the barn (their choice, the door was open). Matt, our bow-tie marked runner cross hen seemed to recognize the new birds. They came from the same breeder, and would have spent time together last fall. Matt would not leave the cage, and Josh would not leave his ducks behind, so they all camped out together.
I fell asleep early, but #3 knew what to do. When she locked the birds up for the night, she opened the travel crate and let the two new birds out. She said there was no fighting, Josh took to them immediately, and they integrated into the flock seamlessly. I asked her if she monitored them when they ate. Josh is notorious for roughing up new birds who don't realize he's the king of the barnyard and gets to eat first ... But she said there were no issues at all. They ate with the other ducks, so timing wasn't an issue.
I candled eggs today, and it looks like we have one egg out of a dozen that is actually viable. One. I do plan to leave the rest in for a couple more days to see if they're just late bloomers. When the chicken eggs go in on Sunday, the duck eggs without veins showing will come out. That will have given them a solid week to start developing.