Sunday’s duck report

May 27, 2018 • 10:15 am

I’m happy to report that all eight ducklings are still alive and appear to be in good nick, though another male has arrived at the pond, so that Frank, Hank, and Henry (Hank and Henry are indistinguishable) are all there. The good news is that Honey seems to have established dominance over all the males, including the obstreperous Frank, chasing them all away if they get too close This means that the ducklings eat in peace. She is a great mother.

Here are my growing duck-tending supplies. Today I tried mealworms, corn, crushed Cheerios, oat shredded wheat, and quick-cook oatmeal. Honey ate some corn, for which she dabbled, as well as mealworms, and the ducklings ate mealworms (by far their favorite), but had a little crushed Cheerios as well. They seem to like oatmeal a little, but it sinks too fast in the water to do much good.

Honey and all eight of her offspring:

The three males: Hank, Frank, and Henry. I wonder how many mallard drakes will show up? They know that this pond is the McDonald’s (or McDonald Duck’s) for waterfowl.

The ducklings like to walk around and forage on the rapidly-expanding patch of lily pads. It’s really cute.

20 thoughts on “Sunday’s duck report

    1. Indeed she is. And the proud stepfather is there to fight off the Gang of Three, food pirates. A few more drakes and there’ll be a flotilla. In the spirit of yesterday’s post collective names for wolverines running in (loose) packs,”flotilla” could be a collective name for a bunch of drakes. Or could they be called an “armada”?

      1. I like Armada, as in 16th century Spanish Armada that tried and failed to invade England because they weren’t Catholic.

        Then Honey can have the sobriquet “Triumph” after the English warship of the same period.

        1. “Armada” it is then — those three do seem to be in a bit of a formation, at least in that photo.

          Perhaps a flotilla of coots. A dabbling or a dabbing of ducklings?

    1. It’s not good for them, especially if it’s not eaten straight away. (Which I discovered after years of bread-feeding.)

      1. I just did a little digging — it seems white bread is a real problem for young growing ducks, but I’m still wondering about whole grain bread. Sites either say no white bread, or no bread without specifying further. I saw no specific statements that whole grain is bad. I also saw nothing saying bread is bad for adult ducks that have their wing bones fully developed.

        It seems there are two common problems in feeding young ducks — too much carbohydrate and too much protein. One site says specifically that chick feed is not good for young ducks because of an excess of protein. Ducks need poorer food with more indigestible fiber and such, apparently. I wonder if meal worms have too much protein?

        1. I think there might be an issue with the bread in the water if it doesn’t get eaten straight away – the mould might be a problem. That would be true for whole grain too I assume. But I could also be talking a load of rubbish because I don’t really know. I still feed the birds on my lawn bread sometimes, and I notice they always go for the whole grain before the white stuff. So they prefer the flavour at least.

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