It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted, but mostly, I was just waiting for the moment when I could post this:
That’s right, I got ducklings!
One of the science teachers at the school I work at had his students hatch and then observe ducklings in his class, and when it was all over, these guys needed a home. I have named the dark one d’Artagnan and the yellow one Anne, because I wanted to be super literary. d’Artangnan is the name of the protagonist in The Three Musketeers. During the story, he gets mixed up with Queen Anne, and in between that book and The Man in the Iron Mask, they have a great, but secret, love affair. Basically, they commit treason, but their baby later inherits the throne of France because no one knows he isn’t the son of the king.
Problem: there’s some question as to the ducklings’ genders. There is a terrible process called “sexing” them, during which people put fingers in terribly private areas, but I’ve determined that it’s really no one’s business. After much speculation and SmartPhone research, my friends came to the conclusion that d’Artagnan is actually a girl and Anne is a boy. However, I don’t think we’ll truly know until one of them lays an egg. If, indeed, d’Artagnan is a girl, her new name will become Minerva. I don’t have an alternate name for Anne just yet, but if they are both one gender, I guess we’ll never know and they can keep their original names.
FaQs: Yes, they generate an inordinate amount of poop.
They eat duck food that I buy from a feed store.
They live in my bathtub for now, but will be relocated to a small side yard as soon as the weather heats up or they get big enough to withstand the cold. The area will be completely covered with netting to keep out the hawks and other predators (like neighbor cats). They will also have a nice little dog house and a kiddie pool.
Yes, if they lay eggs, I will give them a try.
Yes, if they end up being super high-maintenance, I will eat them. That is not my current plan, and I don’t really like talking about them as food most of the time. They’re more like beloved puppies at this point in time.
No, they aren’t particularly loud unless I take Anne somewhere w/o d’Artagnan. He worries.
Yes, they are beginning to follow me around a bit, and seem to like me relatively well. I don’t believe they’ll ever fully imprint on me because I wasn’t there when they hatched.
No, I don’t let them walk around the house much because they really do poop all the time, but I will probably try the diaper thing at some point when they’re bigger.
Yes, there are diapers made specifically for ducks, but baby diapers supposedly work just as well.
Yes, they really like to swim. They went for their first full-bathtub dip today, and d’Artagnan was quite the diver. Anne isn’t as comfortable in the water, but I think that’s probably God’s way of evening the score. She’s quite the bully to d’Artagnan on land, and she’s pretty chunky from taking all of his food. It may also because she has a slight foot injury from destroying their heat light last night and then walking around on the broken light bulb fragments. She’s doing just fine, but there was blood, so I bet it hurts to use it very forcefully.
I will post more pics later.