Duck movies!

I edited and posted these movies in 2002, when bandwith and processors weren’t what they are today, so the videos are all fairly small.

One week old (May 2002)

In the brooder (1:18)

Good video of week-old ducklings dabbling (drinking, and you’ll see why it’s called dabbling), eating grit, and interacting in their brooder.

Free range ducklings (1:19)

Their first trip outside, one week old.

First swim (1:18)

The ducklings’ first swim, one week old, in a baby pool outside. Most of the advice we read said not to let them swim until they are at least three weeks old, but it was a very warm day (about 90 degrees), the water had been sitting overnight, and they had plenty of time to dry off in the sun afterwards. And you know what? They were fine. They’re ducks.

When we first put them in the water they were terrified, but within five to ten seconds they all had the epiphany that they were, after all, ducks, and could swim. Within half a minute one of them suddenly dove to the bottom of the pool, swam a lap, and resurfaced. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

By the time I started taking video, they were having the time of their young lives.

Two months old (July 2002)

Grazing (1:54)

Wandering around the yard, dabbling in the grass, and interacting with one another. The barking in the background is Toby chasing his tennis ball.

First flight (2:01)

Assembled clips of the ducks running back and forth stretching their wings, and finally taking off in a few brief flights.

Feynman and her flock (1:25)

One of the most frequent questions we get from friends learning we have ducks is "How do the dogs get along with them?" The dogs we had when we got the ducks never tried to hurt the ducks. Feynman was always mildly interested, though not as much as when they were tiny. As you can see here, she got along with them just fine.

Toby and the ducks (2:04)

Toby, meanwhile, ignored the ducks completely unless they got in the way while he was chasing his ball…and then he just plowed on through. Eddy sometimes nipped him on the butt when he did this. And he got a bit disconcerted when they fly over his head, as anyone might. Otherwise, though, they all got along just fine.

Because it’s Toby, most of this video involves the tennis ball. You can watch him tracking the ball and sounding off when he finds the trail — his own basset hound version of fetch.

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