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Duck Potatoes

December 11th, 2012

If you remember, we added some ducks to Chiot’s Run back in October. When we traveled back to Ohio for Thanksgiving, we left them in a heated room in our garage. They still weren’t fully feathered and we hadn’t trained them to the electric fence, so we figured it would be the safest place to leave them. When we left they were still ducklings, we arrived home to BIG DUCKS!

Not only were they big ducks, they had gotten lazy in their cushy indoor days. When I would open the garage door to let them out to forage, they wouldn’t leave the garage. After two days of this, I finally decided it was time to withhold their food. A hungry duck is one that will go outside in search of food. Low and behold, it worked! Now they’re out and about much of the day eating dandelions and clover in the lawn.

The good thing is, they have now been trained to see an indoor place as a safe place and a place to sleep. I think this will be greatly help in our efforts to keep these guys safe from predators. I don’t have to herd them inside at night, they go in on their own. If they start trying to stay outside, they’ll be herded inside. We’ve already been working on our herding with them, it’s really quite easy with a flock of ducks!

They’re not quite fully feathered and they’ll still get bigger than they are now. Muscovies are pretty large ducks. The good thing is that they’re very hardy, the cold doesn’t seem to be bothering them at all. They’re so entertaining, we really get a good laugh from them quite often. They seem quite curious and love watching us working outside, here they are paying close attention to Mr Chiot’s coffee roasting to see if they can pick up any tricks.

We’re still in the process of building our duck house, we’ve been slightly busy with our work after taking a week and a half to travel to Ohio. Hopefully they’ll be living in their new digs by Christmas.

Have you ever had to deal with lazy pets?

18 Comments to “Duck Potatoes”
  1. Brenda on December 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Wow! They are huge, that’s amazing, it must be like coming home to completely different animals. xxBrenda

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  2. Grannie M on December 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    They are cute! It’s been my experience too that any group of animals having been penned inside is timid at coming out for the first time. It’s fun to watch and see which one is finally brave enough to take the first step out. There’s usually one that has trouble finding the way back in the first day or two at night, but it is amazing how they return each night at dusk.

    Reply to Grannie M's comment

  3. Sierra N Hampl on December 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

    They sound like so much fun! That’s cute that they were watching Brian roast coffee. So far, Stella isn’t really lazy, but I can tell in subtle ways that she is getting older. Obviously, the ducks don’t have age to blame for their laziness. :)

    Reply to Sierra N Hampl's comment

  4. Canned Quilter on December 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Wow they have grown! I have had ducks on my farm from time to time and their eggs are wonderful for baking. My mother always favored duck eggs for baking cakes because she said they were richer : )

    Reply to Canned Quilter's comment

  5. Melanie in Ca on December 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I’m not sure you’d call it “lazy” as much as nature… Great Danes are couch potatoes and our three are all seniors so their place of choice is snoozing on our bed. That’s a collective 400+ pounds of dog! And no room for humans. Getting them off of there at bedtime usually involves treats which work every time.

    Love the ducks!

    Reply to Melanie in Ca's comment

  6. tj on December 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

    …Lazy pets? Hmmph. That’s all we have here! *giggle* :o)

    …It is amazing how fast baby ducks and chicks grow up so fast. Your ducks are cute! Do you have a pond on your property too? We had ducks once but I didn’t raise them from babies and unfortunately I couldn’t get them herded into the barn at night, they were quite wild. Sadly, it was just a matter of time before a fox took each one of ’em. I would like to try my hand at raising a flock but since we are victims of urban sprawl now, we have problems with people letting their dogs run loose. It’s funny how some folks buy a small parcel of land and now think they can let their dogs run free not knowing the havoc their dear precious pets are wreaking on neighboring property. (sorry for the lil’ rant there)

    …Is that the Chiot’s Homestead I see in the background in the 5th photo down? Love it! :o)

    …Btw, do your ducks have names? How ’bout your chickens? ;o)

    …Enjoy your day!


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  7. Donna B. on December 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Gyaaaa! They’re adorable!!!
    Just having the thought of ducks following you around the gardens as you work is killing me… I hope you take plenty of pictures!
    [Do Chickens and Ducks get along in close quarters? Or is it best to keep them separated?

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on December 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Our ducks and chickens get a long just fine. In fact, our chickens think that the duck house is so much better than their house and spend a lot of time in there as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Donna B. on December 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

        I believe that’s a sign that the chickens want their new digs soon! Hee hee hee!

        to Donna B.'s comment

  8. Kara on December 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    These pictures made me laugh out loud this morning, especially the 5th one down.

    I’m loving following your adventures in the new place.

    Reply to Kara's comment

  9. judym on December 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    soooo envious of your babies! I still want some of my own. I’ve been checking out the turkeys and geese in our catalog as well. Maybe if I’m really good, my Santa will give in to my “requests”. lol

    Reply to judym's comment

  10. MountainMisty on December 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Oh wow! They’re so big! I’ve heard that ducks quack at a predator or a human, so they’re like an early warning system. Also, they can co-habitate with chickens right?

    Reply to MountainMisty's comment

  11. Misti on December 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Awww, they are adorable! Now I want ducks!

    Reply to Misti's comment

    • Susy on December 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

      They are so much fun, you do want ducks, you really do!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. dkswife on December 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I love muskovy ducks. We are going to get some this Spring. As far as lazy animals, that would be about every animal we have on our place LOL We call them welfare animals.

    Reply to dkswife's comment

  13. Five Monkeys and a Chick on December 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I am totally offended by the term “welfare”. Do you realize that some people…..Pfffft, totally kidding! I have 5 “welfare” recipients. Have to feed them, put a roof over their heads, pat their bellies. It is endless. And what do I get in return? Muddy floors and they steal my stuff! At least the chickens work!

    Reply to Five Monkeys and a Chick's comment

  14. Angela on December 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The ducks are so cute! The picture where they’re watching Mr. Chiots roast coffee is the best. They’re paying such close attention. Great pictures!

    Reply to Angela's comment

  15. Liz Jones on December 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Those ducks are beautiful! I have been debating raising chickens or ducks for eggs, as I hear duck eggs are very good. I visited a relative’s new chicken coop recently and was surprised to find out how curious these birds are. Everyone raced inside the coop when we arrived, and then slowly came out again, to check us out. Maybe 2013 will be the year I do something about this :) In the meantime, I am really enjoying your pictures and stories.

    Reply to Liz Jones's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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