Ducklings Are Here!

We have new additions to our little funny farm. The ducklings have hatched!

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My sister brought me three dozen duck eggs a little over a month ago for me to try hatching duck eggs in our incubator. I did a little research and Lucian and I loaded them into the egg turner.

A few fun facts about duck eggs:

  1. Duck eggs require a little more time to hatch then chicken eggs. Chicken eggs hatch at 21 days whereas duck eggs hatch at 28 days with the exception of Muscovy ducks which take 35 days.
  2. They require extra moisture. Starting at about day 10 until day 25 the eggs either need to be sprayed with water or dunked to keep them moist enough. Think wet duck feathers setting on eggs in the wild.
  3. Duck eggs need to be cooled off a bit each day starting at day 10 until day 25. I let them cool a bit at the same time I wetted them. Two birds with one stone.
  4. Ducklings take longer to hatch then chicken eggs. I was concerned about this. I had about 7 eggs with cracked shells for DAYS! Chicks usually hatch within a day after the shell starts cracking. Apparently duck egg shells are much harder than chicken egg shells.

I started out with three dozen eggs at day 10 Lucian and Fiona helped me candle the eggs. There were 7 that were not developing so we tossed them. I candled them again at day 25 when I needed to take them out of the egg turner. Several were questionable but two were mostly blank so I left the two out. Exactly on day 28 I had a massive hatch-out of 6 ducklings almost together. After one hatches I believe the others here it cheering them on and the rest really start pushing. Two more hatched later that night and another two, with a little help, the next day. I only had one that started to hatch and didn’t make it. Ten healthy ducklings!

Lucian loved watching the ducklings hatch. We watched the first one together and he was cheering it on.

“I can see it’s feathers.”

“You can do it! Come on push!”

Fiona wanted to watch them all the time with her little nose pressed against the plexiglass of the incubator. We all love our little flock of ducklings.

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Kids are Here!

We had been watching the goats very closely for the last week and finally the kids are here!

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We have two mama goats on our little farm: Nora and Fauna. Nora always has her kids first and that has not changed this year. I went to the bank and when I came back she had one baby on the ground. I sat on a little wagon a ways away and waited to see if anymore would appear. Before too long she pushed out another one and much to my surprise a short bit later one more popped out feet first. Triplets! This is the second time Nora has delivered triplets but last year one of them died soon after birth. All three are healthy bouncy kids.

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Two days later I had to work for a few hours in the morning. Trenton and the kids came into town and we had lunch together before heading home. After settling Lucian and Fiona down for a nap we went outside to get a few boards to start building the duck coop. I could hear the goat kids making noises like they were lost so I went to see who was stuck. Goat kids do not stay in fences until they are at least a month old and don’t fit through tiny spaces you think only a cat can fit through anymore. I looked into their shelter and behold Fauna had triplets also! All I have to do is leave for a few hours and that’s when the goats will kid.

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We have never had so many healthy kids before!

The kids, my kids, love to play with the babies and the babies love to play with them. It is always fun to have spring babies. This picture is of Lucian, Fiona and Natalie (Nora’s kid from last spring.)

 

IMG_1035. Chicks, kids, and soon ducklings. Spring has finally sprung.

Chick Season!

Spring in Wisconsin has finally arrived (I hope) and that means it’s chick season.

I’m going to step away from my own children for a moment and move on to a few others.

Every year I work with a local school to set up my incubator and fertilized eggs in their classroom as part of a science/agriculture unit. Every year for a few weeks the 4th grade classroom is the most popular classroom to visit but this year was amazing.

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Not only was there an amazing hatch-out but it turned into an inter-grade cooperative unit. The 4th grade set up stations, presentations, and reading centers for the rest of the elementary school to visit and learn about the incubation process.

They read books about chickens, ducks, and geese to the younger grades and presented videos on chick development. When the chicks started to hatch each group came in to see the new chicks and watch the rest try to hatch.

Not only did the students learn a great deal about development but a few life lessons were thrown in there as well. They learned that unfortunately not all the chicks hatch and even some that do may not make it. It can be hard for them but I believe this unit is a great enrichment tool for them and I am glad each year that I have the resources to add a little of my farm life to theirs.

In the end I brought home a box full of 26 chicks for my kiddos to enjoy.

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We currently have duck eggs simmering in the incubator and I hope to have a great post about them in 18 days.

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