Thursday, June 7, 2012

The four bantam cochin chicks at around 12 weeks old as well.

Added a total of six posts today so scroll back to see the other pictures :D  Can't figure out how to add all on one post through my android...will try to figure out if there is a way.

Anyhow these four are from a friend of mine and are getting nice and fluffy for only being 12 weeks old :D  Not sure yet what I have but possibly four girls?  I hope!  The splash over to the right has the biggest waddles but still not as big as my other roos did at that same age. I will let you know what I end up with.  They are enjoying their enlarged brooder now that the ducks are out :D  However will be dividing it again once I add the new baby chicks in there.  

The lil chicken crew at 12 weeks old

Here is the crew at 12 weeks old (on Saturday).  They are getting nice and big and still have plenty of room.  In a few weeks they will be set out to free range with the others (they will be about the same size then).  They are getting pretty darn friendly, I will actually set a chair right in the middle of the coop and spend time with them.  They LOVE their treats I bring into them as well which makes them my best friends.  Still thinking I have at least one roo (I could be wrong and I hoping I am) but can't tell 100% yet.  Still no crowing.  Everyone is getting along and I have not had to remove anyone else :D

More new babies!

Here is my D'uccle hen after hatching out her new babies a few days ago.  There are three...two lavender bantam Ameraucana (over to the right of her) and one Partridge Wyandotte bantam (to the left of her).  They are so sweet!  I will eventually take them and add the four of them (these three chicks and the other lav chick from the orp hen) together in the brooder.  That way I can put the boys back in with their hens and have two less coops to feed and water.  As it is now, it takes me over an hour every day to take care of them all.  Which in reality is not bad and I don't mind it.  But with more hours at work this will save me about 15 min...I'm tired when I get home and the less work the better!  
NOTE:  Check out the previous posts...added more pictures and someday I will learn if there a way to add ALL the pics on one post from my android.  That way I won't have to add 5 posts a day!  

Do we put food and water in the coop?

another view of the hallway and you can see the windows also...same on both sides.

NO, we absolutely do not put food in the coop.  Why?  Because it would be a HUGE mess and unless you want to clean a coop on a daily basis I would recommend not putting water in the coop.  If you don't have water do NOT add food in the coop.  They cannot have food without having water, they may choke.  
I know a guy who has raised ducks for 20 plus years and he said that ducks don't need food or water in the coop and he has never put it in there from 4 weeks on.  He has never lost a duck yet. 

So I put the ducks in the coop about 8:30 pm last night and let them out at a little before 8 this AM.  They lived and yes, they did go right for the water but they were ok.  
I was a little worried and told him, "but everyone is saying that ducks NEED water 24/7" Then he told me something that really made sense.  He said, in the wild when the ducks are hatched by the mother there are times when the ducklings have to go a whole day without water.  They can surely live 8-12 hours without water.  Totally made sense to me.

Our fenced in "hallway" and Bedding info

This is the "hallway" we put in to make it MUCH easier to herd the ducks to bed at night. We got them to go down the hallway easy but they didn't get to go up the rubber mat, we had to help them out last night...wonder how tonight will go.  Ya, the hallway doesn't look pretty but it does the trick.  They love their nice new large home.  It's not insulated and it does not have power (it was only suppose to be used for meat chickens which I was not able to go through with) so I hope they are ok in the winter here in WI.  Everyone says they can handle winter really well so we will just make sure they have a nice hay pile to dig into to stay warm.  We use pine shavings in the rest of the coop. I did move them earlier then planned but glad I did now.  I can put my mind at ease knowing they will be just fine!. 

Bedding update:  

When I went to clean out the brooder after removing the ducks, it was needed.  Before that I had just been emptying their 16" X 16" water station (every third day) and putting fresh bedding on top every day...just a little, to cover any wet looking areas, which was pretty much the whole area.  I only cleaned out the whole thing once for the 3 1/2 weeks the ducks spent in there and they were in the garage and it was not horribly smelly.  But like I said, I did keep adding a fresh layer of bedding (pine shavings) on top daily.  AND without the watering station (I do have pics, just scroll back) it would have been SO bad and I would have been changing that bedding every day (not kidding).  In fact when they got older and drank more I could just hear the water dripping down into the water catch.  And there was a lot of it.  It was always over 1/2 full on the third day when it was time to empty it.  

Ducks at almost 4 weeks old. First night in their coop low 40's

Here they are at almost 4 weeks old (on Monday they will be 4 weeks) and last night was their first night in the new coop and it got down to low 40's and they were just fine.  There is also two large windows that are not closeable (yet).  I have to admit, I was a little worried but when I let them out early this morning they were very active and happy to get outside to their pool.  As you can see Phoebe is still with them and she is loving the free ranging.  Today it's pretty warm so they are all hanging out in the shade under their kiddie slide.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ducks at 2 1/2 weeks

I think only people who have ever owned ducks can really understand that, when someone asks if you replaced your ducks overnight you get what they are talking about now.  These things literally grow over night!  My husband come in one day and asked "what happened to the ducks?"  I got worried and said WHY, what's wrong?  He said, they just grew 2 inches while I was away at work. lol My plans today is to get the cochins out into their new home, then stir up bedding again.  The bigger they get, the more of a mess they make. 
My two LF Blue Cochin girls disappeared two days ago...looked all over for them.  Yesterday one of them showed up (she was in the shed because when I opened the door, there she was)  NOt sure where she was hiding, I thought I looked everywhere...guess I didn't.  Still missing one.  Then this morning, opened the door and there was the 2nd missing cochin.  I'm assuming they are broody together since they do everything else together.  They are like twins.  SO happy they didn't get ate though!  I was wondering what sort of predator was lurking.  We have never had one yet!  I believe it's because I have the two huge dogs (a boxer and a choc lab) who chase everything away. They only pred we have had to deal with so far is the neighbors dog who killed 12 of my chickens the first year we started with chickens. The neighbors were great about it, paid us for the chickens and we never seen their dog again in our yard.  We do see him running in their yard but he no longer comes over.