Sunday, March 28, 2010

Things Are Just Ducky

I have resisted getting ducks until now. I am not sure why I didn't get any before, maybe I didn't have the mental energy or something. I have a little woodland pond that I am sure they will discover and enjoy until it dries up in late August. I bought nine little ducklings, three each of Rouens, White Pekins and Indian Runners. My plans for them are mostly farmyard ambiance.

Now that is quite a face right there!


I have a one gallon waterer for them and they go through that twice a day. I think I am going to have to give them the five gallon container! It is amusing to sit and watch them in the brooder box go from thrusting their heads all the way under water and then waddle over to get a mouthful of food and then head back to the water.


This is the little "crate" in which they came home to the farm. They didn't want to stay in that for one minute longer than necessary. They spent their first two days in a 20 gallon aquarium in my third grade classroom and created quite a stir. We had lots of visits from other classrooms, and most of the younger kids at my school got a chance to hold one of the ducklings. After getting a chance to hold and cuddle with one of the ducklings, I had a little six year old tell me, "This baby needs a mommy and that mommy needs to be me!" I didn't point out to him the obvious, but that was a nice moment. My school is in a suburb, and most of the kids only have contact with dogs and cats, so a few moments watching chicks hatch, of holding and naming a duckling can be a good connection back to our roots; back to days when we had gardens and animals because we needed them in order to survive.


Sitting and watching these ducks is so fun! They have such little antics. I am going to let each of the students name a duckling. This will be interesting as some ducklings will have multiple names. However, I want to help them make a connection with a little life that is different from anything they have experienced. Maybe we will write in our Reflection Journals about how it feels to name a creature that will live forever in our memories.



"Take a good look," I told my class as they were leaving for the weekend. "These ducklings will be all feathered out and look very different the next time you see them."


After school on Friday, as I was getting the ducklings ready to go home, three 15 year-olds, whom I had in class 6 years ago, came into my classroom for a visit. I realized that the words I had told my class earlier takes place with people too.



34 comments:

EcoGrrl said...

what about duck eggs? i love them more than chicken eggs...

great pix btw :)

Shari Sunday said...

Adorable ducklings. I love their purpose - farmyard ambiance! I'm sure they will accomplish that.

Porch Days said...

I bet those ducklings really made an impression on the children. Good job for letting them share and make the connection.

Susan said...

Awsomely cute ducklings, Don!! They're very photogenic! I saw some at Tractor Supply and had a hard time resisting them.

Loved the student tie-in at the end. I bet all your students come back to visit at least once.

And I know you are NOT going to believe this, but my veri word is:

DUCKE!!!!!!

Carol said...

You are going to love having them on the pond...nice sharing with the kids.



www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Oh Just look at them!
I too was going to get Ducks...Well like 2 ducks.
But it just is yet to happen.
They will be lovely waddling your property!

Grace said...

Beautiful pictures! Ducks are so friendly & great to have around.

Don said...

ecogrrl: I have read that about duck eggs. I'll have to figure out where these ducks will lay eggs once they start free-ranging.

Don said...

shari: every farm needs a cluck cluck here and a quack quack there, maybe even a moo and an oink?

Don said...

porch days: it started to smell like a barn in my room with the 3 week old chicks and the new ducks. This convinced the students that they would need a barn in order to have pets like these!

Don said...

susan: I am going to grab a couple of geese when I see them at the feed store! Ducke?

Don said...

carol: I have had wild ducks hanging around the pond and I love watching them swim around and revel!

Don said...

cupcakes: grab em when you see them! THey go fast!

Don said...

grace: thank you. My wife takes most of my photos. I had ducks when I was a kid and they were friendly and fun to have around!

Debbie said...

I love the ducklings. When we had our farm we had ducks and a pair of embden geese I raised and they were my favorites. The female goose would follow me everywhere and even jump up into my lap and sit. She was my baby. Your students are so lucky to have a teacher like you to introduce them to the advantages of living on a farm.

Debbie

lesleyanne said...

How utterly wonderful!! I just showed my co-workers, "AWWW"'s all around! Wish I could see them before they get big and adult-like. But these photos are amazing, I am so happy you have ducks now. It's perfect.

And I really love what you did with your students, they will remember that forever. Do they all get a photo of the duck they named? You have a polaroid camera? That could be fun.

lesleyanne said...

ps - all the ducks look like they're smiling all the time! I can't help but smile looking at them.

freefalling said...

Love their little fuzzy heads.

Bob Johnson said...

Too cute Don, perfect idea for you guys.

Teresa said...

Baby ducks are just mesmerizing--so hypnotic and soothing. I could listen to their little talking noises forever.

Those kids will take those babies with them forever. I know when I brought a goat kid to school, that is the first thing one of those students asked me about when she saw me two years later.

Ashley O'Mara said...

what a beautiful post! the photos and the message, it brought a tear to my eye

Ginnie said...

Now I'm dying to see a pic of at least one duckie with its head under the water, Don. What a visual delight in both image and word! I'll be very interested to hear later on what you view as the pros and cons of ducks on the farm...and the differences between them and having chickens, besides the obvious eggs. I see you might even have those???

Stiggy said...

What a load of cuties Don!

I'll be looking closely at how things go with these little fellas...

...Jo would like a duck or two at our place, but I wasn't sure about the noise, smell or care of them at the moment - still, at least we'll have more time to get things ready than we did with inheriting the chickens!

I have a lovely little spot ready for them with a very small pond, I just need to build a foxproof enclosure for them!

Great post and great photos - specially of that close up of the ducky2.jpg!

:D

Stiggy said...

....hi again Don - had to come back and check out the ducky2.jpg - it's such a cutie!

julie king said...

adorable little duckies!! how satisfying your job must be! you get to watch young ones grow and develop at school and at home.

the mallard pair that nests in our front flower bed every year is back. they're hanging around patiently waiting for the oriental daylillies to get tall enough so they can build their nest in the seclusion behind.

Spencer said...

If I were to ever get ducks, I would get the runners too. I think they are the best looking....Next to those green ones.

Spencer said...

If I were to ever get ducks, I would get the runners too. I think they are the best looking....Next to those green ones.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I had debated on ducklings for this Spring. But being our last summer on this Homestead, I knew it best not to indulge my yearning for babies. Your pictures are so beautiful. And I do believe when we go for ducklings again, Runners it will be!
I understand your feelings on the comparison. I spent over 3 yrs working with children at the local YMCA. When I see them 5 years now later, I am amzed by their growth. And apparently the impression I unknowingly made on them. From spending every afternoon of school days to being with them all day during summer camp for so many years. It makes me smile to know I shared such an important role in their childhood.

Kritter Keeper said...

your little duckies are sweet! my sis and my dad love ducks. the rescue center in florida gives my sis ducks frequently as she is a local 'expert' who helps raise the babies. nice blog!

hart said...

I am an occasional visitor to your site. I love the pictures, but the little essay is special with the parallels between the children and the ducklings. You might think about submitting to a magazine.--hart

ladybugfamily said...

i love duckies! i finally broke down and got two last year. then while i was there the baby chicks looked so cute, that i had to get two of them too. they grew up together. the ducks turned out to be boys and the chicks girls. the chicks thought they were ducks! the look on a chickens face as they stand butt deep in the ducks' swimming pool is priceless...

the ducks protected those chickens (their girlfriends).

i also had red star laying hens. they weren't so thrilled with the feed store chicks or the ducks. lol
but they followed me everywhere and let my two boys pick them up and carry them all the time. i loved my chickens...

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laura said...

Don, you troublemaker--you make me yearn for ducklings and chicks. They are the cutest!
When I was about 6 my mom, who grew up in a tenement in NYC, brought home 6 ducklings; they lived in our front room!
The yearning must be hereditary.

MD Life said...

Soo Pretty Ducks I Love It..
I wish I had them
Thank You