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We’re always looking for ways to bring down the level of chaos around here.  So when Dylan’s kindergarten teacher asked if we wanted to bring home five baby ducklings for the night, we politely said no.

Well, maybe we said yes. But only because they are so fuzzy!

My track record with small animals is not pristine. In elementary school, I brought home the school guinea pigs for the summer and our dogs ate them.

Completely true.

And in high school, I had rabbits that got loose in the backyard and well… someone ate them too. Some kind of wild animal. I was very upset. Although I imagine less upset than the rabbits.

Of course, I didn’t mention any of this to Dylan’s kindergarten teacher. As far as she knows, I’m the Jane Goodall of ducklings.

Here are our sleepover guests…

Of course, we had zero knowledge of how to care for ducklings. So we just treated them like babies. We fed, bathed and put them to bed.

No, I did not nurse them. I would only breastfeed a duck in an emergency situation. Like if we were stuck in an elevator together for a really long time or something.

The next morning, we returned all five ducklings, safe and sound, back to school. I was enormously relieved.

I pretty much learned the following from the whole experience….

1. If you put a duckling in the bathtub, he will poop in the bathtub.

2. If you put a duckling anywhere outside a bathtub, he’ll poop there too.

3. Chase prefers not to bathe with ducks.

4. He is surprisingly fine with trying to eat duck poop.

5. Despite my mad multi-tasking skills, I was unable to push a double stroller and a carry a box of ducks.

6. The whole experience almost gave my husband a nervous breakdown.

43 Responses to real ducklings: so much better than one of those lame touch and feel books

  • Honest Mum says:

    I seriously cannot handle the cuteness. Thanks for making me laugh out loud about the preospect of you nursing a duck. You are seriously a superwoman!

  • Cville Valerie says:

    I was getting pressured by my son to take the third grade pet hamster for the summer. But it is way more fun to read about your antics with small animals than to experience them personally, so I will pass. Our cats will be disappointed. Cute ducks and kids though!

  • Becky says:

    When I was in 4-H, I participated in the “Broiler Project” – 25 chicks to raise for 8 weeks. My mom thought the whole 4-H group got 25 chicks to divide among the members. Not so much. Each participant got 25 baby chicks and they arrived on the night of my mom and dad’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party. Baby chicks also like to poop anywhere, especially on dressed up party guests who try to hold them at a St. Patrick’s Day party. I “quit” 4-H not long after that.

  • Diane says:

    They only critters they do in classrooms down here in TX are snakes and spiders. We don’t have to many takers to bring home the class tarantula.

  • Rosstwinmom says:

    You are the nicest mom ever! Just thinking about FIVE ducklings in my house makes me want to take an extra Xanex. I mean, I’ve already taught my boys that birds are evil. I would not sleep a wink with those beady little bird eyes in my house…..

    I know, I have problems.

  • Heidi says:

    This is by far the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. My favorite it when you said that you gave the ducks and bath and then lo and behold, you really did! And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why you couldn’t push a double stroller *and* carry a box of ducklings. {I struggle with this every time I want to go to the post office. Not to mail a box of ducks, but to mail any kind of box. I always want to walk there but can never work it out with losing either the stroller or the box!}

    • Kelcey says:

      I never thought about it before. But you’re right… someone needs to figure out a way to push a stroller and hold a box. My god, if we can have our entire music collection on one little iPod, certainly someone can figure this out.

  • Lisa says:

    I seriously thought the ducks were photo-shopped in until the last picture. Maybe all your practice with actual kids helped you keep the ducks alive (unlike your previous animal attempts)

  • francine Kasen says:

    My Aunt once surprised us with a box of chicks at Easter time. We did not celebrate Easter, but we sure did love having the chicks! We kept them in our upstairs den and when they came hopping down the steps to the living room, my mother screamed and we took them to some farm where they were loved and cared for and live to this day!

  • OMG this post made me seriously laugh out loud. It’s totally a new favorite. Especially that picture of the twins in the bath and Harlowe is all “HEY! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER! Please ignore my missing tooth!” and Chase is “Um, are there any more in here? I’m not down with this…”


  • Meg D says:

    Your husband may have been near a nervous breakdown but he looks pretty darn happy in the picture! As does everyone else. Super cute!

  • Steph says:

    I feel so lame. I turned down the first grade teacher when she wanted us to take home the guinea pig. and I only have two children. Thanks for the great pix!

  • Stasha says:

    Before my parents finally bought me a dog I lost a turtle (which I did not notice for weeks), electrocuted full tank of fish, had lovebirds that produced so many eggs the female finally died, followed by the male. Two of my cats jumped off the balcony. No, they do not land on their paws.
    Hope this makes Kelcey feel a bit better about the guinea pig.

    And for the record my dog lived to be 14 before he past away of natural causes. See, not all is a sad story.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    How did you know that bathing the twins in a tub with duck poop was good for their skin? How smooth are their tushys now?

  • MommyTime says:

    This was very funny, especially the ducks in the tub — but Becky’s story of the 25 chicks takes the cake. Mostly because 4-H quite practically named it the “Broiler Project.” As in, “after 8 weeks of watching the adorable fluff-balls morph into chickens, it’s yum yum picnic time!” I love how pragmatic country kids have to be, unlike the suburban kids who, even when they know “beef is a cow” still don’t often put two and two together.

  • Super cute! I especially like the one with the ducks in the bathtub with the kids. Although in reality, I think I would have dealt with it much like your husband – on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

  • Daphne says:

    Do I show my kids these adorable pictures or not? They are pressing hard for some baby chickens of their own. Although now that I know I don’t have to nurse them, it may not be so bad…

  • Charles says:

    You shouldn’t put the duck in the tub.. they should be in the water
    thats why they poop in the tub.. my kids also loves to raise chicks and ducks.

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kelcey kintner