|Ducklings at Eco-Gites of Lenault - March 2014|
Take Hilda my mother duck:
Nobody told her to stand whilst Harold are drake mated with her.
Nobody told her to lay all her eggs in a nest somewhere safe.
Nobody told her to to pull out some of her softest and warmest feathers to line the nest.
Nobody told her that once she had laid all her eggs she should sit on th enest for 35 days only coming off to briefly feed, drink and relive herself.
Nobody told her to gather her newly hatched ducklings under her.
Nobody told her to leave the 3 un-hatched eggs and take her young to another nest.
Nobody told her to guard her babies with her life and peck anyone who came too near.
No - she did all this by instinct. Nature really is wonderful.
|Deformed duckling - 2013|
I searched online to try and find out what could have happened but found nothing. No mention of anything similar and no pictures. I was stumped. However despite not growing as fast as their 3 normal siblings they did grow and ate by turning their heads on their sides. Later in the year I was talking to a friend and he said he had had a similar thing and his reckoning was extreme temperature fluctuations when the eggs were being incubated was to blame. His had been in a very hot summer, where-as Hilda ended up sitting this time last year - remember... when we had all that snow and temperatures down to - 12ºC? When the snow fell it had blown in and surrounded her nest. Instinct told her to sit tight but the snow must have lowered the temperature of the outer eggs whilst the 3 in the middle were kept warm and eventually hatched into the non deformed ducklings.
It is therefore with a great sense of relief that Hilda hatched these 6 perfect looking ducklings this year - no beak deformities, no scabs. Just perfect little ducklings.