Lucy- day 23

This morning I noticed that Lucy had kicked the plastic ball out of her nest which was interesting to me. I wonder if she finally got tired of caring for a plastic ball and kicked it out as if it was a bad egg. I thought maybe it might be a good time to also take a peak at the eggs.

Egg #1 now has a very small hairline crack in it but not because the duckling is hatching. My guess is that Lucy might have stepped on it wrong or something and accidentally hurt the shell. I am a bit concerned because it is so close to hatching and I would hate for it to have something happen to it that it dies. I candled it and the duckling was still alive so I guess it is a wait and see type thing. I could seal the crack with candle wax but that would mean disturbing Lucy again and I worry that she might hurt the Egg further when she runs out of the nest. So I decided to leave it for now and keep an eye on it. 

Egg #2 is definitely alive and kicking. Literally. I saw a little foot kicking when I candled it. πŸ™‚ it was enough to make my heart melt. It probably didn’t appreciate the bright light shining into its eyes. I apologized and put it back while smiling about what I just witnessed.

Egg #3 is doing well as far as I can tell. I could see movement in it as well. Not as defined as the foot that kicked in egg #2 but I could still see it move. 

We bought duck starter today in anticipation of the ducklings hatching. We hope that they all make it and live but I am also aware that things can still go wrong. I never thought a month could feel so terribly long as this month has. Each day has been spent hoping that there are no problems with the developing ducklings. It is so hard not to get excited as well. I can’t wait till these small adorable babies arrive. πŸ™‚ I bet Lucy is also counting down the days till she can stop laying in that nest all day. πŸ™‚

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We built an incubator!

So we resigned to the fact that Martha isn’t going to sit on eggs. It could be for a multitude of reasons but what ever the reason, she won’t be hatching eggs herself. Unless she surprises us all of a sudden but I have my doubts. So we decided to try to build an incubator. How hard could it be right? 

Well it took a bit longer to get something working correctly than we thought but we got one together. πŸ™‚


We stuck eggs into it yesterday. We have moved the eggs in the mean time as well. I hope to share a post with photos of all the steps showing how we built it but not right now. 

As for progress in how it’s going currently… Well I don’t think we cooked the eggs yet. We almost did but I think we didn’t. We won’t know for another couple of days yet I think. So for now, we are turning the eggs and hoping we haven’t killed them. I think we are getting better at controlling the temperature though. Hopefully they are ok still since we don’t really quite know what we are doing yet. Or at least it feels that way. Lol

Lucy – Candling day 14

Hello again,

This week has been absolutely crazy. I meant to post this the other day since it was day 14 was on Wednesday but time got away on me. So I am posting today because this is absolutely amazing and worth sharing. πŸ™‚ The video I took wasn’t as good as it could have been but it is still pretty neat. πŸ™‚ I still can’t get over that I held these eggs with growing ducklings inside. There is a life forming in each egg. Getting to hold these eggs feels pretty special and surreal. I suppose candling is sort of like doing an ultrasound too in a way. I just wish Lucy didn’t mind it so much. She is a great mama and I feel like I would lose fingers if I didn’t listen to and respect her. I will post links below to the two videos that i got. I didn’t get video of the third egg unfortunately because my camera sd card ran out of room. But I did get to see that it was still alive as well. πŸ™‚

Lucy’s first egg Day 14

Lucy’s second egg – Day 14

Martha still hasn’t laid on her eggs full time and today I decided to take them away because it was only +2 in the duck house and too cold in my opinion for the eggs to survive if I left them out there. So I packed them up and put them in a cool place. We are building an incubator to try incubate some ourselves. I felt that it would be sad to see these eggs of Martha’s go to waste and we really want to try incubating some eggs. So that is what is next for her eggs. Although I have doubts that they are all still even viable as the oldest one is 2 weeks old now. So we will find out once they have been incubated for about 5 days whether any will produce ducklings or not and go from there.

Lucy – day 10

I haven’t posted in a couple of days bc there really hasn’t been much of anything to report. Lucy is still on her eggs and Mary is with her now since I switched Mary and Martha. Lucy and Mary get along fine. Although I think Mary gets lonely bc Lucy spends most of her time on the nest.

Martha still isn’t sitting on her eggs but she did make a new nest in her new house. I have slowly been putting her original eggs back into her new nest. This morning, the eggs felt slightly warm so she is sitting on them over night like she was doing in the other house on her first nest. But I have no idea what she might decide to do. I can only wait and see. I am starting to have doubts but you never know what she might do. So I will let her decide and try not to feel frustrated that she seems to not be able to decide what she wants. Waiting is so hard though!

George and Martha are so happy to be together. He follows her everywhere and gets upset if she wanders off while he isn’t looking and he has to find her. Lol Poor George. He stands guard kind of when she is sleeping. He is very protective of her. It is quite sweet.

Lucy – day 10

I haven’t posted in a couple of days bc there really hasn’t been much of anything to report. Lucy is still on her eggs and Mary is with her now since I switched Mary and Martha. Lucy and Mary get along fine. Although I think Mary gets lonely bc Lucy spends most of her time on the nest.

Martha still isn’t sitting on her eggs but she did make a new nest in her new house. I have slowly been putting her original eggs back into her new nest. This morning, the eggs felt slightly warm so she is sitting on them over night like she was doing in the other house on her first nest. But I have no idea what she might decide to do. I can only wait and see. I am starting to have doubts but you never know what she might do. So I will let her decide and try not to feel frustrated that she seems to not be able to decide what she wants. Waiting is so hard though!

George and Martha are so happy to be together. He follows her everywhere and gets upset if she wanders off while he isn’t looking and he has to find her. Lol Poor George. He stands guard kind of when she is sleeping. He is very protective of her. It is quite sweet.

Changing things up

Hello again,

Today I decided to switch things a bit. Martha has been getting increasingly distressed because of being separate from George. I had hoped her being able to see him through the fence would be enough. But it wasn’t. She was constantly quacking for him and I knew she couldn’t be separate from him any longer. Plus, she would neverΒ  sit on eggs permanently if she was feeling so strongly about being with George. So I moved her in with George around lunch time today. Almost instant quiet. They have been inseparable since. I moved Mary in with Lucy which seems to be working out fine as well. Plus Mary is the new bug catcher in the house with Lucy. lol

Lucy is still sitting on her eggs. Not much happening with her. Although Martha’s constant quacking was making Lucy upset and she kept leaving her nest. I am guessing it was to see what was wrong? So Martha had to be moved for Lucy’s sake as well.

I guess I had it wrong. I thought Martha would get used to being separate from George. But it just got harder on her with each passing day. Like I said in an earlier post, sometimes we have to make a decision with the information we have and sometimes we find out we didn’t make the right decision and hopefully we can fix it. I hope that Martha will start a new nest in the other house and I can give her back her eggs that she has already laid. I have them packed up safe in the fridge right now. Hopefully it will be tomorrow that I can start putting them in a new nest. Fingers crossed.

Candling Lucy’s Eggs – day 6

Candling a process using light to shine through the egg to see if the egg is fertile or not.

Today I got to candle Lucy’s Eggs to find out if they are fertile! They are all fertile!!! I am so excited! I just keep staring at the photos and I am in awe that the dark spot is actually a duck starting to form. Its amazing. A little miracle. πŸ™‚

Martha laid another egg this morning but hadn’t started sitting on them again. But tonight, she was sitting on them instead of being outside. It could mean that she has decided that she wants to go Broody and hatch the eggs. I am trying to not get too excited yet. I will have to wait till tomorrow to see what she does. Poor George is beside himself though. He can’t seem to understand why Martha would choose eggs over him. I feel bad for him.

Below is a photo of each of the eggs that Lucy is sitting on. It’s quite fascinating! #1 is the egg from Lucy. 2 and 3 are from Martha.

Lucy – Day 5

Hello again,

Today is the 5th day that Lucy has been sitting on her eggs. She is still as committed as ever. So committed that I worry she is not taking time to get off the nest and eat. I am unsure how to be able to tell if she is eating or not. I put some kale in front of the nest box and I hope she will eat it while I am not there. Normally, kale is irresistible to them. But she wouldn’t touch it while I was there watching.

Martha has now laid 3 eggs in her nest but still not sitting full-time. I am not sure how many she is planning to lay before deciding to sit full time. Or maybe she has decided that she doesn’t want to sit on her eggs anymore. I have no idea of knowing how to tell since this is the first time I am doing this.

Martha is calling for George so much that we decided to let her in with George for a couple of hours each afternoon until she is sitting on her eggs full-time. She gets excited and quite vocal when we are coming to get her to go in with him. Hopefully these visits are a good idea.

Spring = Broody Ducks

Broody Duck: When a hen (female duck) wants to hatch eggs and raise ducklings.

Hello again,

I have been trying to prevent the ducks from going broody till it would warm up a little more but I guess the ducks had other plans. Despite my best efforts to delay it, it happened. Lucy (Silver Appleyard x) decided last week that she would start sitting permanently on one single egg because she probably knew that was all she was going to manage to keep. I (the mean human) kept stealing them every day so she wasn’t able to accumulate any. I had hoped that she wouldn’t get truly broody then. But once they start sitting, they stop laying, so it was no sense trying to prevent it any further. Lucy won out. I decided to give her two more eggs that Martha had laid to make it worth it because I figured if she was going to sit for a month, she might as well have more than one. So she got three eggs and a ball (that she kept pushing into the nest box) as well. This ball was supposed to be a toy but the ducks decided they wanted to use it as an egg. No matter how many times I threw it out of the nest box, it always ended up back in the nest box. The ducks are little rascals and I love them for it. πŸ™‚

I had hoped she wouldn’t give anyone (Martha) any ideas. Martha has also been trying to go Broody so I didn’t need her getting encouraged. But I figured why fight it and gave in. Martha (a Welsh Harlequin that I raised from a duckling) has now accumulated 2 eggs as of this morning and not sitting permanently yet. It is kind of cute because she buries them to hide them from the mean human who comes to steal eggs every morning. Lol

Yesterday we had to separate the pen into two bc George (my male Welsh Harlequin) is chasing and attacking Lucy so we had to do something. We decided to split my 4 Ducks into 2 groups. Martha and Lucy in the house where they have nests and George and Mary (my other silver appleyard x) on the other side in the small house. Martha and George grew up together as 2 of my 5 ducklings I raised and are bonded. Since they are bonded, they are pining for each other but her nest is behind Lucy’s nest and George can’t have access to Lucy. So George and Martha will have to get used to seeing each other through a fence for now. I hope I am doing the right thing. One lesson I have learned is that you often have to make a decision without being sure it is the right one. There isn’t always a clear right answer and you can’t just sit and do nothing so you have to decide and hope it is the right call. If it isn’t, you learn from it and don’t make the same decision next time. Anyways, Martha and George will have to play star-crossed lovers for a while. Luckily for them though, the distance isn’t that far. πŸ™‚

So now you are up to date. πŸ™‚ With any luck, by the end of April, I should have more baby ducklings. πŸ™‚ I will hopefully be able to keep sharing updates each day or two. Below is a photo of Lucy’s nest. I took the photo when she stepped off the nest momentarily. πŸ™‚ the ball was supposed to be a toy for them to play with but instead has been used as an egg to sit on. I also share photos of all of my ducks on Instagram if you want to check those out. πŸ™‚