We got a good look at Coraline’s ducklings this morning, and they are cute as can be. One of the quick photos we snapped before she got too huffy showed eight little ones. We also thought we spied one unhatched egg, which is still within the “normal” hatching timeframe – actually, it could conceivably even hatch within the next few days.
Coraline and the ducklings drank some water (we put a small chicken “fountain” waterer in there, too small for any of the ducklings to accidentally fall in), ate some food, and mom even took a couple of bites of the slightly out-of-control vegetation growing in the duck enclosure; we noticed that when she went for the greens, she positioned herself in front of the ducklings on the coop ramp so they couldn’t come out. They’ll be chowing down on greens and bugs in no time, too.
We went to the hardware store to get netting to secure the enclosure against aerial predators (it’s already fully fenced and the ducks, at least those that don’t prefer to sleep in the chicken coop at night, have coops that close securely inside the fencing). Our biggest concern is hawks, which have already had more than their fair share of free chicken meals – we don’t want a duckling to be snatched. We also got paint roller trays to provide a safe “pool” for the ducklings, since it has a built-in ramp. Can’t wait to see them use it!
Coraline’s hatch has been very successful, and we hope we have similar results with the incubated eggs. They won’t have a mother duck to show them the ropes, but we should suffice; after all, we did raise Coraline and the rest of the adults.