Notes from Windward: #68


Fussing Over Luna

Monica hatches her first duckling

  May 26:

      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 and wet.


      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.


  May 30:

     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