You might remember Maybelle was sitting on 4 duck eggs and 1 goose egg. I had no idea when she actually sat, but my guess was March 24th-ish, putting her "due date" around here sometime. Well, on Saturday, after I came back from picking up Dulci, my son tells me he thinks he saw a little baby in with Maybelle in her house. Of course, I had to check it out, and lo and behold, there was! But it wasn't a duck. It was this little one:
|Was kind of hoping it would be a little Maybelle, but it seems it might be a little Arthur, instead. OY!!|
The next night I went to check and see if there were any more developments, and I found Charles in the house with her, harassing her. She was very agitated, and had crushed two of her eggs. One I could not save. The other was peeping and wiggling, so I brought it in, away from the insanity, to hatch. I also removed Charles and shut the door on Maybelle to give her some peace. The little one hatched, and it was this little one:
|Mutt duck: Khaki Campbell/Welsh Harlequin cross. |
A Khaki Harlequin? A Welsh Campbell?
All seemed fine until I went to check on her last night. Turned out that the two eggs hatched during the day, and for some reason I cannot understand, Maybelle killed her babies. When I got to them, they were both crushed. How heartbreaking. Needless to say, I was very upset at how senseless it all was. I removed the last duckling from under her (the one that hatched previously), and put it with the four that are in the brooder currently. I left her the gosling. She'd had it since Saturday, and it had a tendency to sleep in her wing or on her back, so I didn't feel that it would be crushed. Possibly she just did not understand that ducklings do not do that and misjudged. I don't know. I didn't want to risk any more lives, so I left her with her "own kind".
Fast forward to this morning, when I get up to do the morning feedings, and found the gosling wandering around out in the goose yard, being attacked by every goose out there. Where was mama? Inside her house (which was open, by the way), not a care in the world.
Motherly instinct, my eye. I tried to give the baby back, but she went starkers. I took the baby inside to be in the brooder with the other five ducks. The little one settled right in.
|As always, the gosling's the one with the big mouth!|
Compare that, if you will, to Ginger. She's a pariah with the gaggle, and she only hatched ducks, but she is so vigilant and careful with them, it's not even funny.
|"I keep telling you! Stay AWAY from my children!!!"|
|"We are SOOOOOOO outta here!"|
Maybelle, not so much. I played the shouldawouldacoulda game all last night, while I beat myself up for not doing something sooner. Or seeing this happening. But how could I have? It was a tough lesson to learn though, and it cost two lives to learn it. I don't ever relish adding to our cemetery, and it seems I've been adding to it too much lately. This one was a tough one, I'll tell you that.
This life has so much joy, and so much sadness, doesn't it? This is one of those "mixed blessings" kind of times, and it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Hell, maybe I'll do both.
Be happy, friends,