Sunday, 28 October 2012
It is now a couple of weeks since we let the ducks go free range. They have taken well to the allotment but unlike the hens, they remain on our allotment rather than wandering off to other people's plots. They stick together as a group of 7 so if one decides to wander off across the allotment, the other 6 will follow. Initially they were very nervous of us, always moving away when we were around. More recently, though still keeping their distance, they haven't headed off in the opposite direction. Today, they even came on to the same bed I was working. I needed to prepared the raised bed to plant some onions. That meant weeding, manuring and digging it over. One duck in particular, the magpie, was quite happy to be at my feet, grabbing what worms that were available.
The ducklings have grown rapidly and all but one (the khaki campbell) are now fully grown. We still have only one bird laying but for the past three weeks she has laid every day except one (yesterday). We are still not sure of the sex of the 4 birds we got as ducklings but that will become more obvious as they finish growing their adult plummage.
The ducks have managed to wreck the pond. They are much muckier than hens and we have now had to install a bath tub as an extra place for them to swim and drink. It is one of those plastic bath tubs that can be used for washing dogs. It is easier to clean out than the pond which will itself have to be cleaned soon.