The newly hatched 12 little ducklings I posted about last time are now 2 weeks old. It's hard to believe how fast they grow unless you see it for yourself. Here's a photo of them at 1 week of age:
And yesterday, at two weeks old:
For the first week, they had shallow bowls of water to drink from (and inevitably sit in). At a week old, I introduced a child's plastic paddling pool for them to swim in, with bricks stacked so they can get out, and a non-slip ramp to get in, as they are not yet big enough to get over the side. They took to it like, well, ducks to water. :-) I haven't got a good pic of them swimming yet though - as soon as I go near, mama duck issues the alarm call and they all abandon the pool and run to her. I did manage to quickly snap this one through the mesh. Ducklings being raised without a mother should not be allowed to swim, as they don't have the oils that make them waterproof until they are feathered, and they are prone to becoming chilled and hypothermic. But since these guys have a mama, they gain oils from her feathers when they cuddle under her.
Yesterday, at two weeks old, I briefly let them out into the bigger run where they met the other ducks. It's not protected from cats though, so I won't leave them out there unattended until they're a little bit bigger.
Ducks love their greens, and these babies are no exception! Today I gave them a bunch of silverbeet from the garden, and they fell upon it with gusto, even though they'd just had their breakfast.
I have another duck sitting on 8 eggs in the neighbour's hedge, due to hatch any day. So, undoubtedly, there will be more duckling photos here in the critter blog soon!