The babies in the big bird yard!

Well it happened. On Mother’s Day no less. My babies are gone. Ryan the Gosling, CB the Duckling, and Phoebe (now called Nancy) the Chick moved outside to the big coop. Last night was the first night. I’m not sure who it was rougher on, me or them! I felt like a new mother all over again; fretting all night over how they’d sleep, if they were safe, if they missed me, and so on.

But lo and behold this morning when I went to let everyone out of the coops, there were my babies safe and sound!

We had originally intended to wait two to three more weeks to move them outside, but Ryan is absolutely enormous now and our bathtub brooder is just too small for her. During their outside time in the bird yard getting to know the rest of the flock we had an idea. Let’s just build a temporary brooder situation inside the main duck house! That’s usually our go-to solution to anything here on our farm…let’s just build it. And so off Jason went to construct some sort of temporary barrier inside the duck house so that the babies would be safe at night. Ok, let’s be honest here. It really was for me, so that I would be ok at night! I’m sure the babies would’ve been just fine sleeping inside the main coop with the ducks. But I was freaked out with worry.

Here’s what we came up with:

Basically it’s just two wood panels with poultry wire inside. Just tall enough that no one can fly out or in, and that I can still reach over to pluck out the babies and their food or water dishes.

This morning I let all the big ladies out of the coops and runs, and grabbed the babies and put them inside the duck run. I am still keeping them protected during the day, as we have many hawks and other large predatory birds. I feel like Nancy the Chick is still small enough that one could grab her. So they get to spend their days outside now, and integrating with the larger flock, but are still protected.

The babies safely protected inside the duck run

Ultimately this bought us a few weeks to construct the new coop. We recently dismantled an existing Tuff Shed that we were using for storage. It’s been taken apart completely and the pieces saved. We have moved it down to the bird yard (outside existing fence) and will be re-constructing it soon.

This will be a much larger and nicer, more permanent coop for our entire flock. Plus, it allows me to get more ducks!

Stay tuned for another post on that whole journey….