Baby Duck-Chicks

     I have totally confused the grandchildren.  "Why is the chicken on the baby ducks?"  "Because she's their mama."     ?????? -- comes up on their face.

     The banty hen hatched out the duck eggs -- 28 days sitting.  She did a good job.  However, I have a little to learn yet.  Of the 5 eggs, she has 3 ducklings -- because of me.  The first one to hatch in the chicken coop in the bucket evidently was trampled upon (or pecked to death) by another hen who layed an egg in the bucket. (With the ma-ma hen in it yet.)  The duckling had a cute "tophat" just like Elton.  Perfectly healthy one minute, and dead the next time I peeked.  Uggh!

     I quickly moved her bucket and all to a new outside pen, laying the bucket on it's side.  She hatched out 3 more ducklings.  Then I decided to pull the bucket out as it was rolling about some.  I was careful to pull the whole nest out of the bucket, they still were in an old dog house for cover.  The unhatched egg was in the middle of the nest.  She then proceeded to take up caring for the other 3, and quit laying on the egg.  Uggh! ....and it was ready to hatch.  It wasn't a dud.
     Lesson learned -- once I get that broody hen going next time, she has to have her own little pen -- and no disturbing her!  I'm sure there would have been 5 ducklings if not for me.

Grandsons Ryan and Riley holding the new babies.

They love her and she loves them.  :-)

.....dr momi



TexWisGirl said...

oh such cute little ducklings! don't squeeze too hard, boys! :)

dr momi said...

"don't squeeze too tight, but don't let them get away...." I think were my exact instructions. :-) They did good!

Unknown said...

Your story of a bantam hen tending the duck eggs really touched my heart. We wondered if there were success stories with this method. In spite of the loss of the one little bucket baby, I believe you can deem this a success!

We're turning our ducklings outside this weekend, at three weeks old, in what we call a hoop house, a movable ranging shelter. Our ducklings arrived via U.S.Postal Service just after hatching.

dr momi said...

Hi Ronda, the bantam hen just thinks the ducklings are hers. She must think it's a little odd how long they stay at the waterer, but she's taking real good care of them. They are little bug snatchers already. Your ducklings will love their hoop house!

loves2spin said...


Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Most of us newbie homesteaders learn as we go. So don't feel bad. Instead of thinking of the two that were lost, just think of the three that you saved. ;)

Thanks for linking to the party. Come by tonight, and see yourself featured!

Have a terrific weekend!
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

dr momi said...

Thanks so much for the feature Liz!!

Unknown said...

Such a heartwarming story. . . you will really enjoy my post on Friday. I promise!!! ;0)