The Duck ICU

Two weeks ago, a shipment of 100 teeny tiny baby ducks arrived at the Post Office for Apricot Lane.  Perfect timing in preparation for the on-slot of snails in the spring, these Khaki Campbell ducks will be replacing many hours of labor spent spreading organic snail bait.

And I thought baby chickens were cute…

Little bitty bills combined with whittle tiny webbed feet was nearly too much for my heart to handle.

Here’s what we learned – 100 ducks is a whole lot of ducks.  The weak ones can get trampled, and two were dead on arrival.  We had their heat lamps set up in the barn, but being winter, they crowd under the lamps something fierce, making it even harder for the weak ones.  We added a third heat lamp, but it still became obvious that a few of them needed extra care.  Enter the Duck ICU.

On a foyer counter, a little too close to the kitchen, a revolving door of ducks healed in a cardboard box under a heat lamp before returning to their flock.  When they arrive, they look a bit rough,  like the guy in the upper right-hand side of the picture above.  When they leave, they look like “Spunky” in the front.  He was originally found with his flock upside down in his water, hanging on by a thread.  After about 2 hours in the ICU, he burst back on the duck scene with a pizazz that earned that name and then some.

It took us a couple of days to realize something obvious.  Ducks need water.  Unlike chickens, ducks bathe themselves constantly, and without access to water, they get covered in food and who knows what else.  Their feathers sticks together and eventually get pulled out, as they preen each other.  Water fixes all of this.  However, they splash around without a bit of concern, so we eventually lined the ICU box with bubble-wrap.

The Duck ICU got dismantled this morning.  Everyone’s healthy and back with the flock.  Our team swore I’d never let go of Spunky.  They kidded me about needing to wear a sling to carry him around.  For a minute, I wondered if we would have a pet duck.  There was really only one reason we don’t – they stink.  But one last time, here’s Spunky in all his adorable glory.

 

xo – Organic Spark

One comment


  • Fatimah

    Such CUTE ducks, my son LOVED this video!!!!!

    April 5, 2012

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