What the Duck

I’ve got two duck hens. One began sitting on eggs in early April. The other eventually joined and there spilt the nest. I figured I’d have a huge number of ducklings with all the eggs in the nests…

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Then they began to hatch. One by one.

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Quite literally. One a day. The hens began fighting and killing anything that hatched. I finally separated them and the lone green with the eggs began accepting the hatchlings.

Until she got 4. 4 that took 3 days to hatch. After that she decided “I’ve got 4 babies, active else isn’t mine!” And the killing began again. I don’t have an incubator, so I think and try to put a few in my dehydrator…. And I got them temp wrong and cooked them. Oops. I didn’t have a solution so I put other hen back in hoping she would claim new hatches. Nope. 4 ducklings all they would keep.

It should take about 28 days to hatch. These girls had been sitting on the eggs since early April. By end of may we are way overdue. So I figured we were done. I went into feed one day and i found a beat up dying duckling. still, 4 running around, the one was an older one and the unlucky one who got stomped.I gathered up the last eggs to give to the pigs not seeing any other solution. I pick one up and all the sudden I hear “peep! Peep! Peeppeeppeep!” One egg had pipped and someone was ready to hatch!

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I gathered the last 4 eggs and tried my dehydrator again. Lots of water and a wet towel to keep the humidity up, a thermometer to help me get the temp right, I sat and watched. This one egg had started having a little too early and the Duck wasn’t quite ready, and the membrane kept drying out so I had to keep wetting it.

Eventually….

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Well hello little one!

All 4 hatched though one duckling didn’t make it the first day. So momma duck has 4 and I’ve got 3. Mine are friendly, the 4 raised by mom are terrified of me. But they are adorable little trouble makers who slip in and out of the pen driving their mother crazy since she can’t protect them. I’m… Kinda enjoying watching her go crazy. Hah.

Learned alot about using broody hens, though. Never again will I let two share a nest !

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