The Parade of Ducks, Part III
We now have 3 drakes. And having only three drakes not too good. So, I go looking for hens. we really don't want to raise ducks but it would work out better. It is difficult around here to buy duck hens in April/May. People who sell duck hens raise them for Trade Days which is in June. Or First Monday in Ripley. This is the same story at the feed stores that sell poultry.
I found a man that raises several types of fowl and he offered to get me 2 hens at First Monday. My drakes are Domestic Mallards which means they are greenheads but quite a bit larger and not as apt to fly off. There is another breed called Rouens who are about the same thing but a bit stockier in the body. That is the type of hen that I wanted.
This man found me two Rouen hens and I got them the first week of June. They had to stay in a kennel for about a week. When he found them, they were in a large pen of hens for sale and he said that there had to be at least 100 hens in there. These have become Missy and Doll.
The normal stocking for drakes to hens is one drake to 3-5 hens. So, I have three drakes and 2 hens. Two weeks later, I got two hens locally. I was told that they were big enough to put in with my grown ducks. Nope. Not close. They were barely 4 months old. The drakes got after them so much that both had their backs scratched up. I had to take them out the next morning, doctor them and put them in the earlier mentioned kennel. One did not make it although she did feel better. Shock is almost as bad as the injuries. The other was actually worse but apparently stronger. She healed up and stayed in that kennel until she was 6 months old. Her name is Sweet Pea.
Before I put her in with the older ones, I would let her out in the afternoons for a bit by herself. Talk about hilarious. She would walk around the pen and the drakes would follow, climbing all over themselves to see her. Have you ever seen the joke about teenage boys falling all over themselves over a curvy girl in a bikini. Well, that is the image.
When I put Sweet Pea in with the older ducks, she was a little uncertain. She could take care of herself. I would let all the ducks out in the afternoon and we had the mad stampede to the pond. She would walk out and just kind of look at me so I slowly herded her to the pond. Only took twice. She learns fast.
At the time, we got the first two drakes, my husband built a pen for them. It is about 8x16' with a doghouse style house on one end and a baby pool on the other. It has wire over the top because there are woods less than 10' from the pen. It must be strong enough because I have never had a duck hurt in there and have even had coyotes trying to figure out how.
Next time, I'll post a picture of our duck mansion. It has just recently been "remodeled" since we have more ducks but that is another story.