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WW: Ducklings, Growing Up

I just switched over to wordpress so I apologize for anything wonky.

If you notice something *off* please let me know!

Ducklings are growing, they are almost as big as their Mama now!
These little guys are a constant source of amusement. They around the lawn in a big clump stopping to visit the garden, chill under the deck and run from the pasture to the water to the barn in dizzying loops.
Can I just say how much I love the fact that I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with raising these guys? Mama ducks are awesome

The Story of a Miracle

Raising livestock isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
This should put it in perspective for you:

Sometimes your tiny silkie hen disappears and you think one of the many local foxes grabbed her.
And then you get a call from your neighbor apologizing for finding a nesting chicken, with his hay mower. 

Then when you’re out walking to fence line looking for the pieces and you find your little silke dead, not far from the remains of her nest. And you find this:

A single tiny egg. Smeared with it’s mothers blood. Left out in the hot sun for hours.
But you have to be stubborn to have farm.
So you put it in the incubator.

In the mean time your other silkie hen hatches her two eggs and she gets moved into a large fish tank in your spare room.

A week later your do your weekly candling of the turkey eggs and the silkie egg. But the hole for the candler is too big for the little egg, so you can’t see much.

That night your fiance wakes you up at 1 AM saying he heard peeping in the living room. Of course your first thought is the cat got the door open and snatched one of the week old chicks. But then you realize the peeping is coming from inside the incubator.

Crap. Did you know you’re supposed to take eggs off the turner 3 days before they hatch? Oops.

You open the incubator and the top is completely off the egg. You snatch it and almost immediately a wet little body flops out.

Silkies have black skin, when this little peeper dries off he’ll be buff colored like the others

Unfortunately the hatching incubator won’t heat up past 85 degrees. Double crap.
Little soon-to-be-fluff-ball goes in a plastic dish in the incubator on top of the egg turner. Mama silkie doesn’t want him, she does a nice little tap dance on his head. Back in the incubator he goes. Between messing with a heat lamp and a giant pot (might be the one we use to scald roosters…) and checking on the little guy to make sure he doesn’t flop out of the dish and get caught in the turner time flies by.
By the time you get it all working it’s 5 am. You normally leave for work at 6:30. Triple crap?

(Luckily my boss is awesome and I didn’t go in until 10. Also, my cat found a mouse and played with it in my bedroom during my 3 hours of sleep)

Like most miracles this one ends happy. The silkie mamma decided she would take him after he was all dried off. The little one in the back is 1 week older than the one shes semi-sitting on.
If you follow me on FB you might have heard about the ducklings hatching last night too.
14 little peepers
A lot of real farms out there are having problems much bigger than mine. A Rural Journal has a widget to donate to a fellow blogger Go West Feral Woman who lost a lot in a recent wildfire. If you head over to GWFW you will cry.

WW: Hatching Duckling (6/90)

I [tried] to take a series of pictures of a duck hatching, but the lighting sucked and they move a lot. Funny how you can’t control baby beasts!

 The part of hatching that takes the longest is from the initial ‘pip’ to when they break the shell all the way around. After than it goes pretty quickly. There is a lot of flailing and some nasty looking membranes. All six of these eggs hatched and they were moved out to the barn earlier this week. If all goes well we should have some turkeys hatching next week and we needed the tub.

All dried off

Summer Blog Challenge – Nicknames:

Beans – My dad’s parents sometimes me that because I used to play with a jar of beans

Rosie – My dad’s father calls me that because my middle name is Rose

Quack – Long story but that’s what Mike calls me (it’s a reference to ducks)

Unplanned Birthday Suprise

6 Muscovy ducklings

Bittersweet moments are pretty common with farm animals.
After sitting on 6 eggs for 35 days the mamma duck is missing.
Luckily we had the incubator out so it didn’t take too long to get it up and running to dry off the ducklings. Now that they’re dried off they’ll be moved to a tub until they are old enough to live in the barn.