Marigold, Pinto and Petunia, the cute ducks
The cute ducks 2 seconds later-- quacking
As some of you know, I hatched three khaki campbell ducks in July (I got lucky and hatched a boy and two girls). They were rescue eggs, whose mother had abandoned them. I have to say that watching them hatch was one of the coolest things I'd seen in my life and they were (and are) unbelievably cute.
I kept them in a playpool lined with towels that ended up needing changing twice a day because little ducks like to empty water dishes and poop. That went on for about a month and then they went into the outside cage and eventually graduated to free-reign chicken pen privileges. They ended up getting along with the chickens okay, but the chickens love the ducks' food and the ducks love to make all water into mud. This combined with their loud pre-dawn wake up calls made me think that it just wasn't going to work out. The neighbors didn't complain, I asked if they were bothered, and they said they weren't, but I know they have to just be being nice when they say that. I had posted a request to rehome them on the local permaculture forum and got a few replies, but when it came down to it, I just couldn't let them leave, so at the last minute I had to call the person who was set to come get them and tell him that we'd decided to give it another go. That was embarrassing, and I felt like a jerk. That morning my husband and I moved the duck pool and penned off about 175 square feet of the chicken pen for them to muddy up as they please.
So now I have the mud and food thievery problem solved, but they still have a round of loud quacking at 6am that carries on for about 5 minutes. I really really want to keep these ducks, but I can't imagine what time the quacking will begin in the summer when the sun comes up before 5. The other thing I'm hoping for is that maybe they'll settle in a little as they get older and start laying. Does anyone out there in internet land have any experience with this?