Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wood Ducks

For the past few days I've been seeing this pair of wood ducks in the pond. We have a fiberglass duck nest box at the far edge and they seem to be checking it out. Yesterday I even got to see the hen standing on top of it. I don't know if she's got a clutch of eggs inside or not but I would love to see her with a brood of ducklings in the pond! This is the first time I've ever seen wood ducks in my life so I'm excited.

At ten days old, the chicks have their wing and tail feathers. Next, the feathers on their backs and necks grow in followed by belly and head feathers. They're very active and energetic at this stage. It's supposed to warm up this weekend and I hope to have them out in the lawn in a temporary enclosure so they can forage and scratch in the dirt. It will also give them a chance to meet the big chooks in a protected environment. Integrating new birds into an established flock should take place over a period of weeks if at all possible.

I'm a bit concerned about the smallest Sussex. She isn't keeping pace with the others in growth. She seems to be very lethargic at times and she's not as vigorous as the others. She's now the smallest chick, even smaller than the Campine (a medium breed). I am keeping watch over her but that's about all I can do for her. Hopefully she'll perk up soon.


  1. Wood ducks! How exciting! And maybe there will be babies, even more exciting! I was looking at mallard and white pekin ducklings at TSC today and had to slap myself to keep from buying some.

    I hope your sussex will be okay. I seem to recall that one of mine was quite a bit smaller than the other. So maybe there's nothing to worry about. I hope not.

  2. There is a lake across the road from where I work and wood ducks fly in and out all the time. After eight years of seeing this I sort of take them for granted, but they are beautiful. I am glad you have some on your pond!

  3. We had a wood duck couple on our pond one summer; I loved watching them! I'd never seen real ones until then and haven't seen them since :( I hope you do have a family on your pond so we can see pictures!!!


  4. Amy, I love this little peek at farm life! I hope the new chicks all survive. Glad you've got wood ducks! I hope they stay!

  5. My husband swears by giving chicks sips of his homemade wine. He revived one once as he sat watching a football game or a golf tourney once, I can't remember that much of the scene. Bored with just holding the chick to warm it he gave it a sip of wine. At first he thought he did it in for sure and said nothing and then it shot up and was perfectly fine. Now when ever the girls come in and say one of their chicks aren't doing well for any of a myriad of possible reasons, all he says is, "give it some wine and it will be fine." And that as far as he is concerned ends the conversation. I hope your little chicky makes it!

  6. The shot of wine in the above comment just may work! Good luck with your baby chick - it's always a sorrow to loose one. Hope you won't loose yours!!!

  7. Amy, I was going to suggest vinegar but the wine sounds good too. Probably do about the same thing.
    I just love wood ducks! I hope they do have some young . Keep us posted! (or them posted :)

  8. Hope you get a wood-duck family.

    Doesn't sound good for the little Sussex unfortunately.

    The video told me to try later, currently unavailable.


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