Follow along with our ducklings, Zoe & Wash, as they discover the joy of grass, on their first day going outside!
Yesterday, I shared with you the hatching videos from when Zoe & Hatch first made it out of their shells. It’s hard to believe that was just a few days ago!
They’re already so full of personality, and quickly becoming part of the family. You can easily tell who is who, because Zoe has a pink bill, and Wash has a dark bill. That’s a neat thing about Welsh Harlequin ducklings – they can be sexed right when they hatch!
Today it was extra warm and sunny, so I decided to sneak these two adventurers out of the brooder for a few minutes, and introduce them to the great outdoors.
I filled a basket with straw, which they LOVE playing in – burrowing around with their bills and sorting through the blades of straw. Into the basket they went, and then outside! Zoe wanted to peek over the edge of the basket, but Wash was pretty happy laying low in the straw, as long as he felt the basket moving.
I had to hurry and lift Zoe out of the basket, before she jumped out! Here she is feeling the grass for the first time.
She really is my little firecracker. Look at that expression…you can tell she’s ready for anything!
“Who are you calling a firecracker?”
She’s also a cuddly little thing, though. About the time that Wash decided he was really ready to go explore, Zoe went hunting for my hand to snuggle under.
We played in the grass for just a few more minutes, and caught sight of the “giant” hens, as they wandered through looking for bugs. The ducklings were in awe!
Any time I’m around our ducklings, I talk to them continually. Yes, I sound like a crazy duck lady, and that’s ok with me. Talking to ducklings frequently is a key element to helping them bond with you, and lays the foundation for them to become friendly ducks when they’re grown.
These two have been hearing me talk to them since before they hatched, so they already come running every time they hear my voice.
We weren’t outside for long – these little cuties are only 3 days old, and it’s important that they not get chilled. Most of their time is spent in the brooder with a heat lamp available.
Back indoors we went, for cozy blanket snuggles with their favorite farm girl. She sang them songs and told them a wonderful made-up story about pirates.
We’re in for lots of rainy weather over the coming days, so it might be a while before these little sweeties get outside again. But until then, I like to imagine that they’re dreaming of grass, and pirates, and giant chickens.
Sleep tight, little fluff balls…
If you liked this post, you may enjoy:
✦ How long do ducklings take to hatch?
✦ How many drakes can I have in my flock?
✦ Hatching duck eggs with high hatch rates
✦ How to raise friendly ducks
✦ 11 types of poultry for homesteads and farms