Sunday, April 15, 2012

 We started off this spring with 3 duck nests with 29 eggs. Well the cows got one nest (it was in a bad spot anyway) and then Andy let the PBPs out and they got the other nest; but Daphne picked a great spot up in the loft and after 35 looooong days (for me!) they're hatching!!

I candled all the eggs the day before they hatched, because I wasn't quite sure of her hatch day I've been keep careful track of when they're going to hatch.

I could see movement in 5 of the 7 eggs, and put Xs on those ones with a sharpie. The 6th had a duckling in it, but he doesn't seem to be moving, so that one has just a / on it & I put it back under mom just in case. The last egg was rotten and got buried in the compost.

One thing I learned this week is that duck eggs take a long time to actually hatch! I thought they'd be more like chickens who barely take any time between the first pip and when the chicks are out & running around, but they can take as much as 24 to 48 hours between that first pip and actually hatching.

Once they do hatch they're absolutely adorable!! Little tiny muscovy babies, we're all so excited to see them.

I put food and water up there as soon as the babies started hatching, because they're up in the loft they aren't going to able to keep using this as a nest spot for the ducklings as they grow (because they can't fly up there with mom). I didn't want mom trying to take them too far for food until I get a chance to move them all once they've all hatched.

Daphne's pretty pissed at me for mussing with her but she actually looked relieved (if that's possible for a duck) and stopped hissing at me as soon as I brought the food up.

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