A duck in the hand…

Santa must have not read the fine print… Micaela asked Santa – because he would know how – to let us consider keeping 6 of the 18 ducks we were trying to hatch. But we didn’t even get there! So, we hadn’t had the best hatching rate I have ever heard of, but the ducks episode is in full swing, and it seems to be turning out as a much bigger attraction than the poor chickens who got kicked out of the brooder.

Even though ducklings are supposed to be tougher than chicken chicks, the duck hatching process wasn’t as easy as “everyone” said it would be. The first two ducklings pipped a few days ahead of schedule – we hadn’t even started increasing the incubator’s humidity yet. Lilly, the second one, then got hatched, while the first one seemed to be stuck. He needed some assistance, so Patricia carefully peeled some bits of shell away and then left him overnight. Still no appearance although we could hear he was alive.

Ducks - assisting quackers

Assisted hatching

So after more careful shell peeling away, Quackers was hatched. Unfortunately he seemed to have a lame floppy foot… and we already knew from Millie the Miracle chick, that it is a hard handicap for a ground foraging bird to live with. Anyway, two days later, Tulip and Iris were hatched closely together.

(A note about the names – the hope is that Quackers is a drake and that the other three are hens, but like with the chickens, this is only wishful thinking. We could be wrong….)

Ducks - lilly

Well, that was it. Apart from three eggs that went bad earlier, the rest were all infertile – not even dead ducks, all just blanks… But we had four, and that is quite sufficient for our own needs. Also fortunately by this time Quackers’ foot had totally recovered and he was waddling and messing about together with his siblings.

My word, they grow fast! Literally four days after the last two we hatched, they were already waddling on the lawn and also went for their first swimming “lesson”. Not that they need any teaching. By the second swim, they were already diving underwater and clambering out of the container by themselves.

Ducks - swim lessons

From the start Micaela wanted to be “responsible” for the ducks. Her interpretation of the word “responsible” is of course totally different to her brother’s interpretation of the same word… Anyway, so even before they were hatched, she was already calling to the eggs the by now familiar “Come… ducky, ducky, duckies”, which we now regularly hear at our place. (Easy to know where she is – just listen for the call!) It seems her conditioning on them must have worked, because they just love following her around.

Well, since the ducks have been hatched, we’ve had visitors from far and wide to come and see them. All the kids’ friends and their parents have been over, and even our neighbour’s grand-kids have come for two visits so far. Each time the duckies happily oblige with either a swim, a follow-the-call waddle or both! So either they beat the 15 chicks on the cuteness scale, or maybe a contributing factor is the fact that the school holidays are on. Either way, it’s fun getting our little ducks in a row. (We won’t talk about the mess yet, because I believe it gets “better”.)

Ducks - in a row

We’ll soon do a chooks update – they’ve quietly been growing up to be amazing too!

Ducks - group

About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (138 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

3 Comments on A duck in the hand…

  1. Wonderful to ‘have the ducks in a row’.. 🙂

  2. Aw, that is so sweet! I love that photo of them all following Micaela!

  3. They’re very cute! I can understand why everyone wants to meet them =D

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