As I write I'm listening to the final rustlings of our latest hatch. Two weeks ago we had 15 viable Saxony eggs; yesterday 7 hatched out. Today there are two more to add, for a total of 9, and a couple more that have broken shell and will probably hatch today for a grand total of 11. Of the four that haven't pipped, two were actively trying to break the inside membrane (gotta love that candler!) and two were...well, they weren't viable anymore. It happens. I'm still deciding whether to help the unpipped eggs hatch out, but my rule thus far has been that they need to at least crack the shell before I do midwifery. I'll candle again today to see if they've at least broken through the membrane and we'll just have to see from there. By the end of today we are going to have all of the ducks that we're going to get this year, and more than we genuinely need.
11 Saxony, hatched onsite
9 Saxony from Holderreads
2 White Runners from Holderreads
4 Silver Appleyards hatched onsite
2 Indian Runners hatched onsite
3 Chocolate Runners from Metzer
9 Cayuga from Metzer
3 Golden Hybrid from Metzer
2 Khaki Campbells from Metzer
- 1 Cayuga (died of unknown causes)
- 1 Chocolate Runner (drowned)
- 1 Chocolate Runner (sold to friend)
42 ducks on premises. As in, right now.
For the love of little green apples, what was I thinking?? Thank goodness there are too many of them to name, otherwise I'd be in real trouble! So far only a relative handful have been handed monikers, and only the Indian Runner ducks have been labeled Untouchables. Of all of the ducks so far, the Indian Runners have the most personality. They chatter constantly and they're insatiably curious -- which sort of means they fit into the rest of the household just fine. I haven't gotten the courage to sex any of them yet; here's hoping for majority female.
The Banshees have decided that the 4H thing looks sort of interesting, so I'm going to have to get off of my own tail-feathers and get proactive about it all. DBS still thinks the ducklings are cute but is starting to get this glazed look in his eye. And everybody has decided that if a duck goes to the chopping block, only Mom is heartless enough to go through with it. Of course that means I get stuck with plucking duty too, but such is life. I know down makes great fill; I wonder if feathers can be composted....
DBS is going on vacation here in a couple of days and we're going to spend the first part of it getting permanent duck housing put together. He's probably going to spend the rest of it with his feet up, ice tea in hand, while I go about clearing brush and (finally) breaking ground for the garden.
Personally, I'm finding that the ducks are wonderful motivators. My master bath, which has been an impromptu nursery for newly arrived and just-hatched duckies, has been cleaned of more than the top layer of grime for the first time in ages. Gradual dust and mayhem I can handle; duck dust and mayhem on top of everything else is way too much. My back yard is getting shaped and played in because I have to be out there at least a couple of times a day to check on the web-toes. I may get that garden in this year after all.