Quick Duckling Update!
To answer a few questions about the ducklings:
They eat chicken feed with some water put on it to make it mushy. They can’t crunch very well. They can eat chicken feed as long as it isn’t medicated chicken feed. The medicated kind poisons them! They also like scratch grains (like a seed mix) ground up into powder, which in the poultry world is called mash. I have a cheap coffee grinder that grinds a cup of beans and I use it to grind up the scratch grains. (I don’t use it for coffee anymore…)
Right now the duckling are just in a box lined with a thick layer of paper towels. Ducklings are very, very messy and they smell atrocious. They were in our living room but their smell was so bad that I stuck them out on the porch with their heat lamp. I’m going to figure out what to do with them tomorrow. As soon as they are bigger and stronger I have a little pen or them to live in outside, but right now they’re just too tiny and fragile to be out there.
Duckling #3 came back to life! It was the craziest thing. The poor little duckling didn’t open its eyes for 24 hours. It just laid there on its side, unable to even hold up its own head. Occasionally it would flop around the box somehow. Tyler wanted me to put it out of its misery. (Dead animals used to upset me, but now that I’ve had so many chickens and ducks I’ve gotten used to it, even though it’s still sad.) Instead I decided to give it one last chance. I dipped its beak into the water and held up its head so the water would run down its throat. I added some smushed fruit and juice to the water for some sugar to perk it up. I laid it back down and left it to die. It was breathing really fast and shallow. That evening after it hatched we came home and looked in the box expecting to find it dead…but it was sitting up with its eyes open! It’s smaller than the other ducklings and pretty weak. It can’t waddle along after them outside. It doesn’t eat well. I’m still not sure if it will stay alive, but we named it Lazarus just in case.