Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ducks and Chicks

I posted a little over a week ago about sending Noah out in his pj's one night to check on the ducks because they were quacking and running around our front yard in the dark. I had suspected at that time that something was after their nests, but Noah must have scared it off. Unfortunately, whatever it was came back. I am thinking it was a raccoon or maybe an opossum because it cracked all the eggs open in the Indian Runner's nest and ate the contents. We found egg shells and one dead duckling fetus strewn across our front yard. I felt so bad for the mama duck who has diligently sitting on the nest for weeks. Although I think the mama is secretly happy that she can run around with the flock again and swim in the pond. Here are some pictures of the tragedy.
Our Rouen female is still sitting on her nest and she seems a little more protective and defensive over her eggs. I am hoping these ones will hatch as I think ducklings are just about the cutest little things! Here is the mama on her nest.

Last week, Noah called me excited. I thought he was calling to tell me that we had a baby alpaca, but he was calling instead to say we had a baby chicken. Our silkie hen has been sitting on eggs for a few weeks. He said he was in the barn and saw a chick stick it's head out from under the hen. When I got home, I went out to see the chick and lifted the mama hen up (which she did not like and kept pecking at me) and there were NINE baby chicks under her! I can't believe it! I am not sure when they started hatching; it must have been in the few days previous. I ran out and got some chick food. We locked them in one of the stalls in the barn, so nothing can get to them. I love watching the Mama hen teaching them to scratch the ground and find treats! It just amazes me that animals naturally know how to take care of their young! They are so adorable! Here are some pictures of the little fluffy things!

Our niece Evelyn checking out the chicks.

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