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We were so excited to partner with Meyer Hatchery to expand our hobby farm by welcoming Buff Day Old Ducklings. We have received multiple orders from their hatchery through USPS and we are always pleased with the health of our poultry. You can’t beat their customer service! Their ordering process is easy and our shipment was delivered seamlessly (even with COVID-19). Our local (small town) post office always calls early before opening to let us know our order has arrived. It's a happy day for our girls!
We drove right down and opened the package to meet these sweet ducks.
We ordered 3 females so we will someday soon have fresh eggs.
Our girls love to interact with their new ducklings. The Buff Ducks are intelligent, fun and so enjoyable to watch.
We always set up our brooder ahead of time so we are prepared when our poultry arrives. A stock tank works great as a brooder for us. It is easy to clean and we can transition it to the garden when the ducks are ready for their coop. If you are a newbie to raising ducks you'll need:
- Heat lamp
- Pine shavings
- Chick feed - regular (chicken) starter feed is fine as long as it is unmedicated
- Brewer's yeast
Ducks are messy, but grow very quickly! We kept our brooder in our breezeway so we could control the temperature and check on the ducks frequently. As a best practice, I would recommend cleaning the brooder a few times per day to keep it dry and water fresh.
Tips for Raising Friendly Ducks
When it comes to raising friendly ducks, start talking to them as soon as they arrive! Our girls would often sit in the breezeway to interact with them. The ducks will quickly learn your voice and begin to associate you with safety. Consider speaking to your ducks by name and hold them as much as possible!!
While I would clean the brooder, we would often get the ducks out to explore in the breezeway. The girls would offer treats so the ducks would learn to come to them. In the beginning, offer treats in your hand so they learn to trust you. Our girls are younger so they always sat on the floor while holding the ducks. I really think allowing the ducks to explore and come right up to our young girls helped them to become friendly as they felt safe around us and knew our voices.
Once the ducks were a few weeks old, we began to give them time outdoors in our fenced in backyard. This allowed them time to hear and see our other farm animals, but in a safe environment.
Once our ducks were ready to fully transition to their outdoor coop, we kept them locked up for a few days for safety purposes. Currently, all of our other poultry free-ranges. We wanted to give our other large animals (sheep, alpacas and llama) a chance to get to know the sounds and smells of our new ducks. Our other ducks are Jumbo Pekins so they are quite a bit larger than the Buff breed.
Now that our Buff Ducks are fully grown, they are free-ranging and interact so well with our other farm animals! Our guard llama, Bleu Sky, readily accepted them and is so gentle!
For reference, we have around 3 acres fenced in for all of our farm animals and they have constant access to our pond. Our new ducks quickly learned how to access the pond and love to swim multiple times per day! We barely have to open the back door though and they hear us. They immediately start calling and come running toward the pasture gate.
One rule I've always had with the ducks is that they are not to be chased by our children (or friends). We want them to feel safe and come to us. We usually have food or treats so they always come running and even let us pick them up.
Overall, we couldn't be more thrilled with our new little ducklings. I would like to think they are adjusting to their new life with us and enjoy free-ranging on the farm. We all love to sit outside and watch them!
If you are considering adding poultry to your farm, I would encourage you to look at Meyer Hatchery’s website. They offer small minimum orders, a 48-hour live and well guarantee, and a 100% gender accuracy guarantee. Summer is a great time to place an order! You simply can’t beat farm fresh eggs!