Life with Ducklings

ducks day 1-4In early May, our family brought home 3 pekin ducklings. We ordered our little ladies from Murray McMurray and, believe it or not, the sweet little things came through the mail.

Ducks Day 1-8

We ordered them a few weeks before their anticipated “hatch date,” so the boys and I were so excited and counting down the days until their arrival.   Finally one morning, about 5:30 a.m., I had a call from the local post office, which left a message: “ummm . . .  we’ve got some ducks here for you?????  Can you call us as soon as possible so we know you got this message?????”

Ducks Day 1-5(the ducks are in this box!  ducklings and bedhead, pure childhood joy.)

The boys and I were at the post office a little after 7:00 a.m. to pick up our girls.  We could hear them peeping as soon as we walked through the post office door, but we had to wait in line behind other early-risers.  The boys’ energy was Christmas-morning high.

We took them home and they settled right in to life with us.  The first few weeks they were in a brooder, indoors, under a heat lamp.

Ducks Day 1-7 Ducks Day 1-6

They are now outside in our barn overnight and free-ranging for most of the day.  They eat chick feed, oatmeal, leafy greens, and particularly love treats like sweet corn, watermelon and peas.  They grew incredibly fast.

Summer Day 6

Right now they are in their “teen” phase, their yellow fuzz is nearly all gone and they are growing their white adult feathers.

peek-a-boo ducks_ peek-a-boo ducks_-2 peek-a-boo ducks_-3 Rosie says hello

Ducklings are the only thing I have found more difficult to photograph than toddlers.

We named our three Jemima, Petunia, and Rosie, after two of our favorite storybooks:


The other day, Wynn said to me, “Mommy, I love you so much my heart could burst right open.  The only thing I love more than you is the ducks!”

Wynn + Jemima

Jemima square

Of all the questions I have received about the ducks since bringing them home, I hear this one the most:  “But what’s the point?  What are you going to do with them?”

For us, they are pets.  I wanted something that the boys could take care of, have responsibility for, and incorporate chores and routine into our homeschool days.  We have several acres where they can free range and a small barn to house them and keep them safe from predators.  When they are 6-8 months old they will start laying eggs.  You can eat and use a duck egg in any way that you would use a chicken egg.  Apparently they are highly favored by bakers and pastry chefs because they are slightly richer than chicken eggs.  I also really want a dairy cow one day so we have access to raw milk, but the ducks were an easier sell (although not easy sell) with Mr. Marvelous so perhaps they will be our starter/gateway animals.

In the meantime, we are staying busy during this hot June weather.  I am now in the third trimester and we are incredibly excited for our baby girl to join us in August.  If you are interested, I started an Instagram page that I have been updating daily with a picture and snippet about daily life around here.

Happy June, my friends.  May grace and peace be yours in abundance!



  1. We have considered ducks – but will they fly away at some point? Also, I’ve commented before, but I’m also due with baby #3, a girl in August. 🙂 We have a daughter, a son, and now another girl on the way. And it IS hot. 🙂 I’m not sure about you, but with 2 children keeping me busy, this pregnancy is flying by!

    • Hey Molly! The pekins are considered too heavy to fly. If you have a duck that can fly, you can always clip its wings. I did a lot of research before committing 🙂 let me know if I can share any resources with you! Congratulations on your little one coming! It is so hot here in North Carolina. The first half of the pregnancy was so long and sickly, it drug by, the weeks are flying now!

  2. Oh those ducklings are precious! I know you guys are making many fond memories with the little ducklings. Great photo opportunities too! Have you read Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey with your boys? My little guys love that book. What an interesting and unique experiment, I can’t say I’ve ever had duck eggs. Thanks for sharing the breed with your readers, I’m going to make a mental note of that in case we ever get to live in the country. Having a dairy cow would be a dream! Raw milk is SO expensive, and it can be difficult to source as well! I think that’s wonderful you can incorporate all of the facets of having ducks into homeschooling: science, math, literature… If you are willing to share I would love to hear about your curriculum choices for kindergarten. We have one more year and I’m trying to really start researching more options!

    • Hey Vanessa! This past year I bought and loosely followed sonlight’s pre-k curriculum. I did a lot of my own “unit studies” based on what the boys showed interest in weekby week. After I got pregnant we didn’t follow any structure at all because I was just too sick! In the fall we are starting Classical Conversations and I am so excited for that! If you aren’t familiar, here is a link:
      I think curriculum choices are overwhelming and that we should let them be little and concentrate on Scripture, tons of time to play and explore outdoors, lots of good books and responsibility for chores and pets. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for replying! You’re so right, emphasis on scripture, natural explorations, and tons of outdoor time is the way to go. I just had a meeting with my local Classical Conversations leader, what a coincidence. I have been debating on whether to start at age 4, but I’m on the fence. Praying about it though. The thought of a community is appealing. I love the idea of a classical education and it’s emphasis on truth, beauty, and goodness. Right now we are doing very relaxed unit studies as well, using Five in a Row and then creating some of my own. Thanks for the link to Carole Joy Seid. I heard her interviewed on my favorite podcast the Read Aloud Revival, but I haven’t checked out her podcast. If you haven’t checked that one out, it is just PURE GOLD. Blessings to you!

    • I’m not familiar with Read Aloud Revival, I will look into that, thank you!! We considered starting wynn in CC at age 4 and decided to wait another year until he was 5. Since he is our oldest and we’ll never be able to get back the days before school, I wanted to wait that extra year and I’m really glad we did. But I’m a big homebody!

  4. I was so happy to see this post! I enjoy reading your blog so much (I especially loved your series on motherhood in the past where you did a couple interviews with older women. So fascinating!). I loved to hear that you are homeschooling and doing classical conversations. We are starting CC in the fall with my 4 year old (I have two boys, 4 and 2). I just went to the homeschool convention in Richmond, VA (where I live) and was quite overwhelmed with curriculum choices. Last year I did the free God’s Little Preschoolers curriculum and also added a lot of other things (thank the Lord for Pinterest!). I was wondering would you (or have you already) be willing to share why you have chosen to homeschool? I know it’s personal, so don’t feel like you have to. I just am a bit overwhelmed by the thought of it, but feel this is the path to go, especially with seeing some things in the public school realm that bother me. Also, you posted once about why you chose to leave your career and be a stay-at-home mom…that so encouraged me as well! (Sorry this is so long!)

    • Hey Jessica!

      Yes! I would be more than happy to share my thoughts on why we are choosing to homeschool. I will work on a post on that topic! I agree that it is a bit overwhelming, I don’t think there is a mom alive who started homeschool without having some fears about her adequacy. You can do it!! And if you’re not quite ready, like I mentioned above, wait and start in another year when your oldest is 5. He’ll be just fine! I’m so glad that my post about staying at home encouraged you, thank you for sharing! Sometimes blogging seems so one-sided and I love hearing from people who are reading!

  5. I was wondering what happened to you and praying you hadn’t quit blogging! I’ve been following for a few years and especially enjoy your spiritual message. Are you considering the name Alice for that precious baby? I had always disliked my name- funny how through the decades I’ve heard different songs (I’m 61 yrs old). When I was a child people sung- Little Alice Blue Gown. In my teens it was “Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know…” !! I guess I’ve grown to like the name – it seems timeless. One thing is funny- no matter if you’ve just met me or known of me for years- there is always someone wanting to call me Allison! God Bless you and your family- Old and New!

    • That’s fun! My cousin recently had her third little girl and they named her Alice! I agree, it’s a timeless name and one that is coming back into “fashion” or “favor.” <3

  6. Oh, ducks are so much fun! We’ve had ducks in the past, but only 1 or 2 at a time. This year, we ordered 6 ducklings, and 2 goslings. The kids love them! Why ducks? Well, they are fun. But they’re egg production is great, too. Our ducks are actually more consistent layers than our chickens are. The eggs are big. One egg is equal to 2 or three chicken eggs. Ducks can fly, but not very well. They’re breasts are too heavy for flight. We’ve had many different breeds of duck and none of them fly. So, if you want to get different breeds of ducks in the future besides Pekins, don’t worry, they won’t fly away. 🙂
    Enjoy your duck family!

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