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Today marks the ducks first complete year of life on this planet!  Tomorrow a year ago, they were packaged up at the hatchery and shipped via USPS where 2 days later my husband and I picked up our little quack quacks to begin this journey of ducks!

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Spot the Drake walking through the icy yard keeping an eye on the world, keeping  his girls safe.

It’s been an awesome experience.  I can’t wait to see what is in store during the coming years with the Squawk Box Gang.

Here are some things I’ve learned a long the way:

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Split the duck standing her feet covered in water, ice and 3 of her flock mates around her

  1.  I’m really, really glad I did my research and homework before getting the flock.  Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks was an excellent resource I found.  As was info at Back Yard Chickens (more for general poultry raising info and helping me decide between ducks or chickens) and information especially on health testing and bio security at the Mass.gov Poultry Program
  2. Ducks are way easier than chickens.  So much less worry.  And so much easier to keep contained.
  3. I’m really glad I have Spot (the drake) as he really does watch out for his girls which helps keep them safe from predators (the neighbor’s cats and hawks).
  4. They are very good at expressing their annoyance if the weather forces me to keep them in their 10×20 coop for too many days in a row.  They would knock me over if they could as I open the door.
  5. My 10×20 coop design has some flaws, primarily when snow piles up against the sides the door doesn’t shut properly.  Then I have to jury rig it making it less safe from a predator if one really really really wanted to break in.  I need to think about a solution and fix it before next winter.
  6. I care about them a lot and worry they aren’t getting enough enrichment.  My husband thinks I’m ridiculous.
  7. They are super soft and nice to pet when they let you
  8. They are very easy to train and very much like routine.  They make it very, very clear when I am late getting them in.
  9. Duck eggs are delicious and I like them so much better than chicken eggs.  They make every thing you cook using them 10x better.
  10. Getting ducks was one of the best decisions!!  I say nearly daily “I love my birds and am so glad we got them!”

As a birthday gift, I’m letting them destroy the backyard (or at least what they can find of it) for a couple of hours.  We have to reseed it in a couple of months anyway.  And they are getting some special veggie treats in addition to their usual lettuce.

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