Notes from Windward: #68
Fussing Over Luna
Monica hatches her first duckling
What an exciting few days! Gina and Annie had been
incubating duck eggs, and they were overdue to hatch.
We decided that most of them might be dead or
unfertilized, so we cupped them in our hands and felt
for any movement.
In one egg you could feel the baby
duck bumping all around. We transferred this egg to
the warm-e-rator to give the little one a better
chance to live. The next morning, there was a crack
in the egg! After that first crack, there was very
little movement until later on that evening.
Suddenly, the duckling was going at it. The progress
of breaking around the egg was slow but steady. You
could see her little beak poking through from time to
time, and she was peeping constantly.
I felt a little
sad because I read that ducklings peep to their moms
and their moms quack back. I thought the duckling
must be a little lonely hatching by herself. I
decided her name should be Luna, as there was a full
moon the day she cracked her shell.
It was very
difficult to fight the urge to look in the
warm-e-rator every five minutes to check her progress,
and not to help her crack open the shell. The next
morning, I woke up much earlier than usual, after
dreaming about baby ducklings, and ran over to check
on her. She still wasn't finished! What a tiring job.
She had broken the shell about a third of the way
around. Later that day, she finally popped out, weak
I cleaned out the brooder, lined it with new
paper, and turned on the heat lamp. I found out that
ducklings need water but not food for the first 24-48
hours. We transferred her over to the brooder. She
seems to be pretty scared, but thriving.
I have been
trying to leave her alone so as to keep her warm and
not to scare her too much, but I have already gone in
a few times to hold her.
After the lack of duck eggs actually hatching, I was
nervous about the chicken eggs. I now know that I had
nothing to fear. We have baby chicks galore!
Every day so far, four or more suddenly appear in the
warm-e-rator. I was in Portland for a few days, and
on my return the brooder was teeming with them and
they have all grown immensely and are starting to lose
their fluff and get real feathers on their wings.
Yay for incubation!
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68