I have been working to integrate the new ducks into the flock. It is similar to last time, but there are only two to integrate into a flock of 8, rather than the other way 'round. I must stay, it made me a little nervous. These two littles are ready to join the flock, it is just the big ducks that are resisting. The little ducks will follow them around and snorffle at a respectful distance from the big ducks. I don't leave them alone with them for extended periods of time as I am afraid that the big ducks will ditch them someplace in the yard and they will get lost or snatched by the very large hawk that seems to be hanging out in the church lot next door. I still have them sectioned off when they are in the pen, so that they don't get tormented and so I can be assured that they have access to food and water.
This morning I was going to be in the garden for a bit and thought I would let the littles hang out in the pen in the same space as the big ducks to see how things were going to go. As usual, the big ducks started making ugly faces at the little ones and giving little charges toward them. Agatha, our little female shocked me by giving it right back to the other female ducks. She was taking no shit from those old ladies. Go Agatha! Both of the little ones are still afraid of the male ducks, but I think they are off on some good footing.
Total integration is near, which will cut down a tiny bit on the morning feeding/watering chores, though I will make sure there are at least two food bowls in the pen for a while so that everyone has the chance to eat. The males do seem to want to chase the babies off of the food, but they aren't super diligent about it. Short attention span those ducks.
Here is an old picture of the babies, when we still had three. The little yellow one is the one that the snake tried to eat but only managed to kill. Probably selected because it was the littlest. Agatha is the brown duck on the back right with the bi colored bill. Both she and the other one are Khaki Campbell/Runner crosses (at least that is what we think).