Monday, 11 June 2012

Ducklings

Posted by Rosie

Hilda and her 3 ducklings
Earlier this year Hilda, one of our Muscovy ducks, laid a clutch of eggs but sadly none hatched. It is possible the cold weather was to blame as they were all fertile but died early on in the eggs. She soon laid another clutch and this time she was successful, although still only managed 3 ducklings from 13 eggs. Investigation of the remaining eggs showed 2 with dead ducklings inside, one addled (so never fertile) and the others black, so most likely fertile but the embryos dying early on. This time cold could not be the culprit but possibly an infection was. She laid her eggs in a very dirty nest and although I did my best to clean it out, I may have already been too late. 

Hopefully all is not lost though and her sister, Matilda has been dutifully sitting on 16 eggs. A quick investigation this evening, when she popped off the nest for a feed, showed several eggs piping (starting to hatch) and one live duckling in the nest. We won't make it to the 25 ducklings we had last year but fingers crossed Matilda will have a good hatch rate and we will at least get into double figures.

4 comments :

  1. yay hope for a good second hatch then :)

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  2. Crossing fingers, toes, and eyes for you!

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  3. This morning Matilda has 3 ducklings and I could see several other eggs pipping.

    ReplyDelete

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