Thursday, May 26, 2011

if it quacks like a duck

After a beautiful walkabout last night, which including a note to self "get bird netting onto blueberries before all blueberries are gone", there were ducks in our kitchen! Brand new, soaking wet, pipping ducklings, with a couple of additional eggs making the pipping sound too.
Our incubator has been filled to capacity by our 4 hens and one drake Buff Ducks. One duck hen has gone broody, and built a magnificent nest in one of the shelters, formerly occupied by the beef cattle, how are now out on pasture.

We had to put a blockade up, because her spot has been upsetting Clover, the mean goose, and he was chasing her off the nest.

Ducks grow at an incredible rate. Almost seems like they double in size daily. That means twice the food each day, and twice the poop too. We have not enjoyed having them in the house, and all other brooders and lights are in use right now over our turkey and chicken peepers. Late last night Homer went outside with the hatched duckling and the 3 peeping eggs. He put them right into the nest this hen has been sitting on. The nest is massive, deep, and was toasty warm last night. This morning he reports the 2 ducklings are doing fine under her, and she is taking good care of them. As for the other 18 eggs under her, time will tell. It appears that all of the ducks are putting their daily eggs in this one spot..I believe that is the original usage of the term "spread thin", as the hen (I have seen chickens do this too) will thin themselves down to be certain and cover every egg.

The goose is still sitting on her nest too. We have seen signs of hatching, but no goslings wandering around yet.

and footage of the ducklings with her in the nest:

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