For weeks now we have been wondering what was going to happen with momma duck and her little nest under the baby bird house. Every day we would go to feed and water the 11 babies that were in the house and be amazed at how fast they were growing and how much they were changing, and every day we would see this other duck come out from under the house, get a drink, have something to eat, peep at all the other birds as she did her rounds, and then head back under the house to keep her clutch of eggs warm. We’ve been lucky to have a pretty warm fall and not much real frost until recently but I still didn’t give the eggs much of a chance.
Then two days ago Hubby comes in from farm chores and says “we don’t have any starter do we?”. *we usually give the birds three types of feed. Starter is for babies and is tiny crumbles. Grower is for the older birds and can be crumbles or pellets. Layer has more calcium for the laying hens* So when he asked me that I knew that he must have seen some tiny little beaks poking out from under the house. Sure enough there were the little fuzz balls! Momma wasn’t letting us anywhere near them and that was fine. They got some food and water and we left them for the night…after everyone tried to get a look. How exciting!
Next day we still couldn’t see much but I knew they were eating and drinking so that was a good sign. I worry though that it’s cold, the leaves are on the ground, and we even had snow yesterday. The other ducklings we have were born in the bird house with a heat lamp on, tons of clean shavings around, and we didn’t let them outside for a couple of weeks. I shouldn’t worry so much though. Those ducks aren’t going to let anything happen to their babies.
I finally got a good look at everyone this morning when I was feeding the rest of the animals. Momma came out to make sure everything was ok and then one by one the babies all came out to get a drink. First they lined up along the edge of the house waiting to see if momma gave them the ok and I could see 5 for sure. Ok, I was pretty happy with that many. Then they kept coming 6,7,8. That’s even better. Oh they moved too quick, count again. I see 10. no maybe 9, no maybe 12. Man they are quick. Finally I count 11. And then I count 11 again. And just to be sure I counted them a dozen more times. Yup, 11. Must be our lucky number. We had the same hatch last year, the same in the first hatch about a month ago, and same this time.
I stood there watching them for about 20 minutes and I could have watched them all day if I had nothing else to do. They would run around and play, pick at the grass, have a drink, pick at the grass, run in circles, have a drink, play in the water, but never more than a few inches from momma.
Aside from having children, having this little farm is one of the coolest things we’ve ever done!
Happy fall everyone. Have a beautiful day.