And there they were. Sitting on two nests of eggs, one on one side of the house, one on the other. Well, I got out the candler and took a look to see if they'd just sat down and possibly I could just pull the eggs out and dispose of them. They were too far gone, however, and there were babies that were visible and kicking. I have a problem disposing of babies that are that far along, so I had no choice but to leave them under their mamas and see what happens.
The blessed event was this week. First it started with a mishap that was a duckling who was not quite ready to come out, but did anyway.
The little one's egg was damaged, and I guess that forced him/her out. The many ducks in the house was not working to ease the little one's emergence, so we brought him/her in and let him/her finish hatching in the incubator. It was messy, but the little one is now doing very well. The downside? We kept him/her in the house too long, figuring that since he/she had a belly button that didn't close, he/she'd be better off protected. My daughter played with the little one too much and well, you know about imprinting, right? We've tried to give him/her back to his/her mama twice, but though mama duck would take him/her, he/she wants nothing to do with mama. So my daughter is the little one's surrogate mama until he/she is old enough to act like a duck.
So there's a duck living in the house in a box. And we went to a party yesterday, and yep, had the duck in tow.
Typical stuff for us here at Chicken Scratch.
In the meantime, Susie, who is one of the duck mamas to be, has been busy sitting and hatching her own little brood.
When we went out to give Susie back her baby (the one hatched in the incubator) the first time, she had a surprise for us. A little wet baby of her own, seen here under her wing.
And she's only been busier. After those two, it was like hatchapalooza out there. Susie now has her own very fine family of four.
Yep, Suzie's got her family. Are any of them hers? I dunno. I know some are definitely not, how's that? She's been taking every egg that she can find, as well as anything else she thinks she can hatch. Every time I go in there, she tries to steal the egg candler and sit on it, and today she thought she'd hatch my hand. So she seems to be the adoptive mom.
There are three more to come, if she sticks it out. Right now I've got to get her some water and food for herself and her babies, as she doesn't get up and lead them outside just yet. Luckily, Suzie trusts me. She's the lone survivor of that terrible day back last year when every duck we had was killed. Save for Suzie, who lost her right eye and made it through. She's a trooper, that one, and I know she trusts me because she uses her only eye to watch her babies, not me. I guess that means we're friends.
The other duck, however?
Not so much.
That picture is of a duck giving me the stink eye. She's got three eggs, two of which are from one of the ducks, one of which is actually a chicken's. She wants to hatch them, and badly. But she doesn't want me anywhere near her when she does it.
Fair enough, I let her be. I just make sure she's not collecting extras (eggstras, get it??) and she stays at the three. Too much of a good thing is too much, you know?