Shake a Tail Feather

The girls have been with us now for nine days, meaning they’re probably just a few days shy of two weeks old. In those nine days, they’ve turned from these little puffballs:

To these bathing beauties:

They’re about three times the size they came here — tall enough that when they stretch, their bills are almost at the top of their Rubbermaid home. (New digs this weekend!) They’re just taking on a more duck-like profile. And last night I noticed something else. Look closely at their tails…

They’re growing feathers! You can see the spines growing out. I thought they were dirty last night, seeing that their soft fur was looking a bit less even, but upon examining one, I realized that the fluff is turning into feathers. It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks, these girls will be feathered and big enough to be in their outdoor coop.

Max was also very proud last night that he’s able to tell them apart now. We were always able to tell the two Khaki Campbells, with their all-brown feet and nearly all-brown bills, from the Blue Swedish with their orange and brown bills and feet. But within the breeds, the ducks are now taking on distinguishing characteristics, which means we’ll be able to name them soon. Phil has suggested naming them Poopy, Poopsy, Sir Poops-a-Lot, and Poopers, but the kids and I are looking for nuanced names that better capture more than one aspect of their being.

With their half-fur/half feathered bodies and their awkward feet that seem three times bigger than those bodies, I think we’re imminently heading into the awkward teen years.

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