Meet Gabby the duck teenager at PumpjackPiddlewick

It’s almost six weeks since Gabby was hatched and my duckling is growing like a weed. He has now, in human years, become a teenager. And is going through growing pains.

As with most young teenagers, life is so very tiring. I often find Gabby sitting and simply watching the world move around him. Or more often, asleep. He sleeps a lot. I guess it is all those sudden bursts of activity. They wear him out.

Growing Pains

He is currently fledging, exchanging his duckling down for his duck feathers. It’s a painful process as the feathers grow they pierce the skin, coming through in calcium tubes. Growing pains, if you will.

He then spends all his time, when not sleeping, pulling out the down and then breaking up the tubes, bit by bit. Finally a little feather is revealed. It’s a rather messy process, as all these calcium bits are strewn about. And a long process as he has to do each feather, one at a time. No wonder he likes to rest in between.

Piebald Ducks

Gabby is a piebald. A wonderful mixture of brown and white. A unique combination of Maggie, a mallard, and Louis, my white call duck. So far his neck, wings and underbelly are white, whilst his breast looks like it is going to be typical mallard.

He has this amazing straight line across his tummy, delineating white and brown. (You can see it at the end of the video below.) It just makes you want to scoop him up and tickle him just to see it. His back is still a fluffy brown down, so I wait with great curiosity to see what comes next.

Body Changes

He has the most enormous feet. And his duck bill looks a bit too large for his face. It’s also changing colour, from a dark brown to a current beige. Looking at his body catching up with itself, really reminds me of when my brother went through his growth spurts.

It won’t take long for his body to catch up to his feet, as he grows so fast. But until then, this is very definitely the ‘ugly duck’ phase. (Think unkempt, unwashed teenager and you got the idea.) And very soon his voice will change, too.

As he is a he, his voice will deepen and become raspier. Like a smokers voice. He was named Gabby because he talked so much. But with adulthood, hmmmm, maybe he won’t so much. Or at the very least he will be quieter.

PS: Love Ducks?

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