Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chicks, Ducks and
a Vicious Hat Ornament

We've gotten some chicks and ducklings from the local farm store, to expand our avian livestock. Some folks buy them for kids at Easter, too. Here's some picks of the one's we got:

There's four different kinds: Barred Plymouth Rock, Buff Rocks, White Rock, Rhode Island Red. They are pretty easy to take care of. But when handling both chicks and ducklings, you have to be very careful, because they have no fear of height and can jump right out of your hands and easily fall and hurt themselves.

Ducks are a little more complicated. They like lots of water to drink, which they also seem to need to eat their food. This makes them very MESSY. The ducks we have are called Indian Runner Ducks. They are also very social animals.

I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet about their care and feeding. It seems a lot of people get them for Easter, do all the wrong things, causing them to die rather quickly.

One great quick source for duck care is a duckling care flyer that gives all the basics you need to know. And there IS lot's to know. For instance, ducks don't like to stand on wire or bars, like they are doing in the photos; their webbed feet are soft, and the webbed membranes very delicate, so it's uncomforable for them. Since these photos were taken, I've added a lot more cut grass, and they seem to like it better.

Wether it's baby chicks or ducklings that get given as Easter gifts, knowing the basics of their care can make the diffence between life and death. There is so much information in the internet for free, I hope people with internet access use it.

This last photo is of our small Bantam Rooster, "Bertie Wooster". He is only about 8 inches tall, mabye 10 when he streches upright. He looks like a little ornament that belongs on a ladies hat or Easter bonnet.

When you enter the coop for any reason, Bertie likes to try to take your leg off. Because of his size, it is completely hopeless, and very amusing. We sometimes refer to him as the "vicious hat ornament".

I would think twice about getting these animals as Easter gifts for kids. Their care can be a lot of work; for some kids, real animal lovers, that might be fine, but many other kids would probably get bored quickly. It's not something to rush into impulsively.

Related links:

Care of Baby Chickens, Turkeys, Guineas, Pheasants, Partridge and Other Poultry!

Rabbit Care Guide

"Make Mine Chocolate"


Fits said...

Fascinating stuff. I never knew that ducks could be so domestic, and doglike, not that chickens could be so bloodthirsty. Kudos.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 16 06

Hey there Chas:
Cool article and pics! I love the way you and Patrick write about a similar topic but both put your own unique spin on it. The pictures and the descriptive language that both of you use is always enjoyable:)

These fighting cocks look so strong and filled with testosterone! It is so funny to hear the stories about them and the hens etc:) Have a nice week!

Chas said...

I've come to the conclusion that domestic fowl are really just small dinosaurs with feathers. keeping a chicken coop is a bit like having your own private Jurassic Park. :)