Tuesday, July 24, 2007
SILKY BANTAM DUCKLINGS
We have discovered there is a reason this breed is so rare. With the limited feathering these ducks have they are more susceptible to the cold and weather changes. The hens do set their nests with dogged determination, but find it hard to keep all the eggs warm and moist, since they don't tend to dive into their water like our Australian Spotted Bantams do. We lost most of the first hatch, but did manage to get the hens to lay and set yet again. The second time around we came close to losing all of them yet again.
One stalwart duckling we named Einstein made it out of the shell in one nest before losing the rest of his/her siblings to weakness. He weighed in at a whopping 1.1 oz. at two days of age. I ended up peeling another four ducklings out of parts of their shells in the other nest, so Einstein would have some companions in his box on our kitchen table. The ducklings above are Fermi(dark with white spot on head), Einstein and Newton. We also have two black silky ducklings named Madame and Curie pictured below:
We will retain the above five ducklings and have sold off the mature stock from Oregon in hopes that the above will harden to our climate more. We also have saved our best Australian Spotted Bantam ducklings from this season and one silver female from last year along with a couple black crossbreds to continue working with ducks we know do well in our climate. Will post photos of this other flock sometime soon.