Friday, March 19, 2010

Fuzzy Butts

A second sign of spring arrived as of last Saturday, that was when our first clutch of our own ducklings hatched.

Out of a possible 14 Ancona eggs, 13 hatched, and 12 made it. I consider this a smashing success and I think I will only use broody hens to hatch from now on. We let two girls start sitting in the middle of February, which is not the best time to sit on a clutch of eggs that are heat sensitive in an unheated barn in north-most Indiana. But clearly those ladies did their job.

We are now waiting for the remaining eggs under Momma D to hatch. She had 6 Muscovy eggs under her origionally, but earlier this week one was oozing so it had to be disposed of. Oozy or stinky eggs are a BAD sign. Rightly it was quickly removed and thankfully no disaster occurred. Muscovy take an extra week compaired to Ancona so these 5 are expected to hatch today, tomorrow, Sunday, or Monday.

This morning when I checked on the little fuzzy butts there was a new hatchling under Momma D so things are going well. It is a little lavender and white Muscovy babe. I am super excited. 1 down 4 to go! Another egg has a pip, which is a wee little broken pushed out piece, so I am hopeful we will have #2 by days end. I hope to have one more, really big, Muscovy hatch this spring and then we will be all set for duckies this year. A Muscovy hen can hatch and raise as many as 18 ducklings per hatch, we are only looking for about 12 more if all 5 of this hatch make it.

And, we downsized the Ancona flock before the hatch, I am not totally crazy I mean who wants 35 ducks!? Well I do, but we don't have anywhere to house 35 ducks right now, maybe someday. We used to have 15 Ancona adults and now we are down to 9. One or two of whom I think will go in the next month or so. I don't really need that many adults, but the buyer for my other 6 wanted trios, so that is what he got.

Now we just need to get the old truck topper converted into a duckhouse and get the little duckies feathered and the way will be cleared for our other poultry projects.  We will get our goslings in May? I think, and maybe turkeys then as well, I am still wresteling with the idea of chickens as well, I think or how wonderful it would be but then I remember how much I really don't care for live chickens...

For now spring has been good to us, much has been accomplished, and there is much more to do. I fear poor weather is on its way, at least that is what the weather people are telling me this week. But that is midwest living people, 68 degrees one day and 20 with an ice storm the next. It is only March in northern-most Indiana after all.

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