Questions?Darwin & Edwin's MumNext pageArchive

I now have a bearded dragon called FF living with us. It’s been fascinating getting to know a reptile and comparing their behaviour to the birds I’ve known. ~ River @ whatducksdo
Apologies for the long break! The new house, the day job, art, animals and a new relationship has swept me off my feet! Darwin’s grown into a curious, playful young puppyduck! He tricked me into believing I had a female on my hands with his gorgeous slenderness for quite a while… I am still expecting him to bulk up come spring but I’m enjoying this softy learning how to have more authority over his older brother! Here he is watching me clear out the basement. ~ River @ whatducksdo
I am in love with Darwin’s dark eyes. I’ve always had a preference for brown-eyed ducks, but these are so big and deep! What a puppy face… ~ River @ whatducksdo
Little Darwin wants to go places! But their legs don’t work properly yet! ~ River @ whatducksdo
Darwin at under an hour old. When I moved into my new place with Edwin I decided to get him a companion, now he’s not a duck-duck, he’s a people-duck, so this might take a little time… Darwin is the cutest little button, a little chocolate Call :) ~ River @ whatducksdo
Alice was a joy to have in everyone’s life. She came across as this mad, ditsy, hyperactive, climbing duckling, and then we realised she had sight problems, and then she was this mad, ditsy, hyperactive, climbing duck. Nothing stood in her way, and she learnt fast. She knew her name, she listened for the sound of food intently, she would just WALK out of anything, no matter how big or small the problem was, Alice would use the power of legs. We got lots of Alice-o-saur scratches. She fell in love with Monty Senior, and we’re pretty sure they had Billy together. She just lived and she loved it.You run out of things to say eventually, I don’t know, I have friends who can testify I once drunkenly proclaimed my tear-filled love for her… She was such a delight, you should never have favourites, but she made the flock just so much brighter. I don’t know how much I want to go into the cause of her death, it was incredibly unfitting for such a happy animal whose memory can’t help but be tainted by it. My partner and I split up a few months ago, so how he deals with the matter is respectfully in his hands. I will only say that if I were in his position, the bird in question would be dealt with humanely. You need to be able to trust your flock.So, Edwin will be coming with me, Jemima, Lillibeth, Bea, Monty Jr., Billy, Teddy, Dylan and Georgie will be staying with my ex. I have set things up so he can now update you on things his end. Thank you for enjoying this chapter of our lives, and onto the next… ~ River @ whatducksdo
A photograph of mother and son, Alice and Billy, you can see the facial similarities, especially the way they hold themselves! whatducksdo.tumblr.com
A quack of skinny Campbells and Campbell x Cherry Valleys! whatducksdo.tumblr.com
Petite little Dylan with beautiful, big Jemima behind her. I will never get tired of the different builds in ducks. I also think Dylan has the deepest brown almond-shaped eyes ever. After having to intervene with her hatch (and thinking I’d lose her) I am delighted to watch her enjoying life.whatducksdo.tumblr.com
Alice obviously sees the similarities between Junior and Senior. It’s quite sweet and sad at the same time how she misses her sweetheart.whatducksdo.tumblr.com
Monty Junior still looks the spitting image of his late father!whatducksdo.tumblr.com
Teddy and Dylan who have told us they are two pretty girls :)whatducksdo.tumblr.com
Billy is developing into a striking young man. We see a lot of similarities between him and Alice… Alice is a mummy :)whatducksdo.tumblr.com
All seven Monty Senior babies! Monty Junior, Dylan, Teddy, Billy, Georgie, Thea and Angel. This is from the first time they ever went into the garden, all anxious and on tiptoes :)whatducksdo.tumblr.com

rhinestonesandroses asked: I'm thinking of buying a duck! So I have a few questions :) what breed of duck is the best for a beginner? Are they much work? And some positives and negatives of having a duck? Thank you! :)

Hi, thanks for asking! I think I always talk about the positives, so let’s be more honest… The first thing you need to know about ducks is that they are very, very messy.

The amount of mess is equal to the amount of duck, so it does depend on how much space you have to keep them.

For a small garden or semi-indoor set-up I would recommend Calls, they’re at least one of the smallest ornamental breeds widely available. The females can, however, make a noise equal in volume to a cockerel, but generally speaking, she will not need to make this call often when happy. You need to be much more careful regarding birds of prey, cats, rats and ways they can escape, however.

If size permits, I would personally go for a larger duck at first because of the risks from predators; you don’t know how many you have in your area until you have poultry…! A breed such as Cherry Valley, Orpington, Campbell, Aylesbury or a shiny Cayuga would suit well.

But on the nature of local predators; if your ducks are not secure, they will get them.

I cannot emphasize this enough, when unattended an outdoor duck will need to be in a secure run and preferably locked into a hutch at night. Omlet do a very solid range but there are other alternatives.

An indoor duck (who will need to forage outside still!) can be kept in a large rabbit cage (two-tier preferably) and let outside regularly either with their human or in a secure pen. You can get them nappies from The Gooses Mother & Father, which are brilliant, how much your duck will like them, is up to them… ;)

Ducks should be kept on straw, not hay as this can cause fatal lung infections. It should be changed at least weekly.

They always need clean water and access to a poultry feed that can be picked up from local farms and farm suppliers, you buy a sack at a time and it’s low cost. They will also enjoy lettuce and dried mealworms you can buy for wild birds (never live). 

They don’t need a pond, but a paddling pool or children’s sandpit you can keep clean easier will do them nicely ;)

They can mess up gardens if you don’t keep an eye on them! But they are insect-free messy gardens. Bigger the land, smaller the duck, less the impact!  

But that’s the practical side of it. I was given my first ducks at 8 years old and I fell in love with them, they are the most transparent, honest animals I know. They have wildly unique personalities and then when you put them all together it’s like watching handless children playing adults… It sounds daft but sometimes the greatest pleasure of keeping ducks is stepping back and watching their soap operas :)

I hope that helped, let me know if you have any more questions!