Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Segregation and Integration

The ducklings were getting so big and making such a wet mess of their little cardboard pen, that when they were about 2 1/2 weeks old, we took away the cardboard and gave them the run of the 8 x 12 brooder house, except for the small cardboard pen that belonged to the chicks.

On April 3, when the ducklings were almost 3 weeks old, and the chicks were 2 1/2 weeks, they finished the last of their medicated feed--and there was no longer any reason to segregate them from the ducklings.  So we removed the cardboard pen from around the chicks and sat back to see what would happen. 

For a while, the ducklings huddled in their corner . . .
. . . and the chicks stayed in their corner, although they fluttered around like crazy in their new-found freedom.
They squabbled a bit, too, ready to fly off the handle (literally) for no reason that we could see!
Eventually a brave duckling waddled over into "Chick Territory."  He pecked at a chick, who didn't seem fazed by it, and the duckling finally joined his siblings back in "Duckland."
Then a bold chick ventured into "Duckland."  They pecked at him a bit, but he ignored them.
After awhile, the two groups began to merge as the curious ducklings moved en masse to investigate the chicks.  We had hopes that this integration would work.
Then suddenly a duckling grabbed a chick by the neck and began chewing on it.  The chick chirped loudly in distress, but I waited to see if they could sort things out on their own.  The duckling kept chewing and the chick kept cheeping, and I had to intervene.  I snatched the chick to safety, picked up the duckling, looked him in the eye, and said, "Bad duck!"
And then, having been fowl-ly disappointed in the possiblity of poultry integration, Herb and I set up a divider across the middle of the brooder house.  Until they are old enough to leave for the chicken tractor or the barnyard, henceforth ducklings and chicks will live in peaceful segregation!


  1. Well, I didn't really think the duck was going to be affected by my scolding; that's why we proceeded with re-segregation!

  2. I'm sorry everything wasn't "ducky", but we enjoyed the story anyway. J enjoyed it this morning as part of his unit on narrative writing--he learned even ducks and chicks can be "characters"--literally! :)


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