I've mentioned that we've had a female Muscovy duck sitting on a clutch of eggs in an out-of-the-way spot in the chicken house for a while now.
Several days ago she hatched out a little peeper. A little chicken-type peeper. Well, when you make your nest in the chicken house, these kinds of things can happen.
Chicken eggs take 28 days to incubate, duck eggs 35. We were concerned that after this one little chick emerged, Mama Duck would abandon her nest as birds will do shortly after they have a live hatch, and no more appear within a day or so.
But dear, determined Mama Duck (muttering "my work here is not done") just kept on sitting with her one little chick, and a bunch of eggs, under her. Then two days ago, we spied another little fuzzy body. Another chick. Oh, dear.
Early this afternoon our daughter was walking through the poultry yard when she heard a cacophony of distressed peeping and chirping sounds. She first looked in the chicken solarium and saw Mama Duck. Quickly dashing around to the back of the chicken house, she peered in to see . . . ELEVEN little ducklings and the two chicks scampering around the chicken house floor yelling for their mom. Then Mama Duck dashed back in to her nest area and gathered her brood under her.
Dear daughter ran to get her camera and was able to get only this picture. (Do you see the little duckling head sticking up in back?)
Mama Duck asks that you forgive her disheveled appearance. She's had a long and rough several weeks getting this multi-cultural batch of eggs to hatch.
More pictures as soon as we can get them.
Garden Bounty ~ King
3 hours ago