Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Quack-Quack, Peep-Peep

Way back a couple of months ago, we had a female duck start setting on a clutch of eggs.  We were concerned it was just too early and too cold but decided to let nature take its course.

Well, unfortunately, because we were having nights down into the 20s, it did turn out to be too cold for her duck eggs to mature and hatch.  Not so with one chicken egg that someone stuck in among her duck eggs when she wasn't looking.

The result was that one lone chick hatched out and has been thriving ever since under the watchful eye of his/her duck mother.


Yesterday I spotted both Mama and Papa Duck taking a little afternoon siesta with their chickie offspring snuggled in next to his/her very good mother.


Oops, I got too close and woke them up.

It's okay, guys.  Close your eyes, go back to your nap and I'll tiptoe away.

17 comments:

Goatldi said...

Well what a cutie patootie. Was there some tension in the couples relationship after the hatching occurred?

SmartAlex said...

We had Bluebirds in our bluebird house, and I was keeping an eye on it, but I never heard the peeps or saw the frantic feeding. Next thing I know, a House Wren was moving in. I think the Bluebirds failed in that super cold weather we had. :( Mother Nature has not been kind lately

Leigh said...

Aw, at least one made it. Our Muscovies would usually hatch out two or three broods per summer. Do you think yours will have enough time for another try?

Granny Sue said...

That's so funny--I do wonder if it will quack, and what they will make of it as it gets bigger!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Awww! That's adorable! Will they try to get it to go in the water with them? -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - I was not privy to any such conversation that may or may not have happened. But it's been obvious that Papa Duck holds no grudge against the baby. ;o)

SmartAlex - We've often wondered if birds go more by the temperature and environment rather than their "usual" time to lay eggs for their next generation. So much we mere humans don't know . . .

Leigh - Yes, I do think there is still time and we've been watching and waiting for one or another of the female ducks to give it another go. So far, none seem ready to give it a try.

Granny Sue - One would think the parents would realize their new baby doesn't look exactly as they had expected. Or sound just right!

Jenn - Last year we had a mother duck hatch out one chicken along with her brood of ducklings. We, too, wondered what would happen when the mama first took them down to the pond to swim. We soon found out that little chick would go right down to the pond and, seemingly, be content with scratching around at the pond's edge looking for goodies while everyone else was out in the middle of the water. To this day, that now grown hen spends more time at the water's edge than other chickens. We've even seen her standing with her feet in the water which is not usual behavior for a chicken!

tpals said...

So sweet! She obviously doesn't mind raising her foster baby.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - The question always crosses my mind . . . does she know her baby is "different" and doesn't care?

Susan said...

He or she is going to be quite surprised when first jumping into the pond after momma duck! Better have the life preserver handy.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Let's hope his/her instincts kick in and this doesn't happen! Or . . . anybody ever seen a chicken swim??

Michelle said...

Oh yay; a poultry post! I didn't realize it could be too cold to hatch out eggs; I thought the mother sitting on the nest took care of that.

Kev Alviti said...

Ove been flat out on the incubator this year but want some broody hens again, so much easier and I love the interaction

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

Sorry for the lost of her other eggs, but the picture looks like a baby duck and the parents look like a hen and rooster? doesn't matter at least it survive. It's wonderful how mothering ability takes over! xo

Mama Pea said...

Kev - We've resorted to using an incubator a time or two, but the "natural" way is sooo much easier than fooling with the little hatchlings ourselves. Of course, the success rate with an incubator is almost always better than leaving it to nature.

linnellnickerson - Yes, neither picture show the baby chick very well. But he/she is definitely a chicken and Mama Duck is doing a great job taking care of her "only child!"

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Oh sweet!

Retired Knitter said...

loved this little story - and mothers mother no matter what!!

Sam I Am...... said...

What a stitch! That is so cute that they don't care and give it just as much love and attention. A lesson that is being played out in our society right now. Lessons from nature!