You may (or may not) remember back in November, I posted about Ducky, who was the duckling hatched out on Halloween night. The kids found him half dead laying in the yard, left behind by mom and siblings early on November 1st. They brought him in the house and saved him, warned him up by snuggling with him for hours.
Unfortunately, its winter here in New England. Ducky couldn't go outside by himself in that weather, and he couldn't keep up with his mom and siblings. He seemed to be a bit premature, and wasn't really good at walking for a few weeks, and really didn't have much of an inkling to follow and stay with them.
So we've been raising Ducky in the house, since its too cold for him to go out on his own. He has a dog crate for safety, and an x-pen that we let him out in when we are around to make sure no cats or dogs are interested.
Ducky is doing well, but, well, he doesn't know he's a duck. See, he thinks he's a dog. He gets upset when the dogs leave the room, and he weaves at his fenceline. He plays with the dogs through the x-pen, reaching his beak through to grab Skippy (the corgi) in the tail or foot, or even her ear. He'll grab Shouey's fur and pull it when she is laying next to the pen. He stands at the pen and "air bites" with Skippy. She snaps, he snaps, and the two of them snap at each other. Its very, very funny, but I'm not sure how safe it is for Ducky.
The kids take him out to the garden when the weather is nice (unfortunately not that often), and he has a blast investigating everything, digging, eating weeds, and just being a duck.
I opened the x-pen the other day to let him explore the living room a bit. He's getting quite bored with nothing but shavings, food, water, and newspaper, so he grabs stuff through the pen and pulls it in. He pulled in a shoe (which he proceeded to poop on, so now its his), he pulled in a sock (don't ask), a dog leash, the sleeve of my jacket, and he opened up the curio door and pulled out some of my elephant figurines.
Ducky has an angel wing. One of the males had an angel wing, and one other of the 9 outside has one as well, the rest are all normal. So I have a feeling that the non-dominant male snuck in and had a little fun before he got taken (shortly before this clutch hatched).
I tried wrapping the wing, but my attempts failed miserably. So we are just going to have to resign ourselves ot the fact that Ducky is going to need a little extra care.
I guess these pics are a little old now, 12/13 and 12/17, but I'm finally getting around to posting them. Sort of a comparison picture. Now, please don't look at ME in this photo, its just positively awful and must have been taken pre-coffee and pre-shower. But its cute to compare it to the older pics.
Here is my pathetic attempt at correcting an angel wing. It didn't last long. Oh, if you don't know what angel wing is, its when the last joint of the wing turns out, so the feathers don't lay flat against their body, they stick out sort of sideways. It could be from too rich nutrition, and the feathers growing in too fast, the weight of which subluxates that joint. Or it could be genetic (which I suspect is in Ducky's case, because they all ate the same thing, and only two ducks one inside and one outside, developed it).
I thought I had some photos of his siblings, but they don't even have feathers in those photos, wow they got big fast! I'll try to snap some tomorrow, they really are gorgeous. There are three whites like Ducky, 3 blue & white, and 3 black and white. One of them is really, really mild in temperament and doesn't wander away from mom at all, just hangs with her, and is really quiet. Maybe she can be a companion for Ducky in his rabbit cage. We'll see when spring comes.
Updated -- here are the photos of Duckies siblings that I promised.