When the ducks arrived as adorable little flufflings, we knew, of course, that they wouldn’t always be adorable little flufflings.
Even so, it’s not always easy to remember just how quickly ducklings grow into teenager ducks or just how messy teenager ducks are. The answer: more messy than you can believe even when you are looking at the mess. Even when you know and have experienced duck messiness first hand, it’s STILL hard to believe how gross they are.
If ducks had a super power, it would be mess making.
The messy, messy teenager ducks were rapidly outgrowing their brooder and defeating every attempt to keep their cozy indoor home clean and dry. Or even clean or dry. We tried several configurations, and then reached the conclusion that it simply couldn’t be done. They are just too messy. So they needed to move outside.
The internet insists that ducklings should not be moved out of their brooder until they are fully feathered. But looking at the ducks, it was clear that 1) they were staying plenty warm as long as they were dry, and 2) hygiene was more important than walls. In an outdoor pen, we would at least have So we got the final rabbit tractor built, and the rabbit moved out of the chicken tractor and the ducks moved into the chicken tractor yesterday morning. We kept a close eye on them through the day and aside from being a bit freaked out to be outside with the big scary world all around, they seemed happy.
They have a nice straw floor in their house, and their heat lamps are still there. They don’t appear to mind the cold at all, and they were busy swimming last night when it was 40 degrees, so I expect they’ll be just fine. They’ll probably just get their feathers a little bit faster.