Wednesday, 31 March 2010

An Influx of Ducks

We introduced Nobbler to Nibbler several months ago. He was seen trying to mount her head a few times before he got his orifices sorted out and Nibbler laid 12 eggs and sat diligently on them for the prescribed time period, only getting off to harrass our ankles and to take a quick drink. We went away for the day having heard the peeps of little ducklings in the shell that morning. We returned expecting ducklings and indeed there was one. Dead, the rest of the eggs scattered over a metre area, the nest torn apart and one disorientated duck. The eggs were cold and silent. Caleb and I took them up and hurried them inside where we warmed them under the fire, in a box with a hot water bottle. Most died inside the shell, but three eventually struggled out of their shells, fixed their apple pip eyes on us and imprinted on the wrong beasts.

We raised the wee darlings for weeks in the warming drawer and Caleb made a great mini mobile duck house for them to stay in during the day. A paint tray made a great sloped swimming pool. I wanted to call them Gold, Nugget and Bouillon (as in the soup not the gold bars). But they have firmly remained generic 'duckies'. We've tried to reunite them with Nibbler and Nobbler, who harrassed them horribly. They're in a large cage close by and hope we can get them gradually used to each other before trying to reunite them again.

As it is Nibbler has complicated things and is currently sitting on another 10 eggs.


Anne said...

Oh Dear. We bought four ducks and they laid prolifically and then one sat on about eight eggs for three weeks. We then realised the other three kept laying..we had no drake. We now have a borrowed drake but they have stopped laying. Hope when they start again that they will hatch some ducklings for us. Your post made me think it may not be that easy. Maybe we should just sit some eggs under out silkies, they are the best mothers.

Denise said...

For some reason our property is a muscovy duck magnet. They just appear out of thin air. When it got to 42 hanging around the chook shed about 8 months ago I found a local who wanted to rear them and I gave him the whole lot. Peace reigned for a month or two but magically more have appeared, ducklings in tow - there are now 14 roaming between dams, making a mess in the chook sheds when they sneak in. At first when any got ill I would have them lined up in shoe boxes with water and straw but in the end told the kids to not bring me any more sick ducklings as I was worn out crying when they died. They are friendly happy creatures though so maybe I will just let them fend for themselves and see what happens. It sounds like your house will be weatherproof with windows before winter hits so that must be a big relief. It must be amazing when you look back and see how much you have learnt about building and about yourselves.