One Special Duck

We had eight of twelve duck eggs hatch. The eighth I’m hoping will make it, he’s been looking better but I’m still cautious to say we are in the clear with him yet. All animals have a “best outcome method” (my own official term) of birth. Cows it’s best to see the two front hooves and nose coming out first, goats too. Egg hatching birds (all that I am aware of) are supposed to peck around the top of the egg which is the more round end, the bottom being the pointed end. These don’t guarantee a healthy baby but the odds are much better.

Duck8 started pecking at the point of the egg. With a very small hole pecked he made no progress what so ever for about 24 hours. There was still a little wiggling in the shell so Mike decided to help the little guy out. This is not recommended by the way, but we can only watching something struggle for so long before we have to step in and help in hopes of saving the little life. Mike pealed back some of the shell leaving the inner lining intact. It reminded me of a beating heart, the motion of the lining (it was white though, not red and bloody). Then he left to go disc the hay field.

I kept checking on the little guy and could see that he was still making no progress. I pealed back some of the lining, which I would guess could cause more damage than just removing some of the shell. It was still a few hours before he was able to push out of the shell.

He didn’t look good. For most of the rest of the day he laid in a twisted ball as if he were still in the shell. His head was turned back and legs weren’t under him. He looked like a mess. When Mike got home that night he carefully stretched Duck8 out a bit. At least he looked like he was in a little more normal position but I was still pretty guarded as to him making it through the night.

This morning Duck8 was up, walking a bit and pecking at the incubator wall. He seemed to be doing much better. Still not as good as I would hope but he was mobile which was a huge step. By the time it was time for me to leave he was making all sorts of racket in there. I moved him to the box with the rest of the ducks and he was quiet. He tucked in next to the rest of them and seemed to settle nicely. Hopefully that was the right move in our running list of doing things that you shouldn’t do when hatching eggs.

The other duck news from this morning was one has already been given a new home. A couple weeks ago a message was put out on a group Facebook page that someone’s son lost his duck and was heartbroken over it. They were looking for another duck for him. I sent her a message and let her know with any luck we would have ducklings and they could have one of ours. I know how much my little ones love their animals and I think it’s really good for kids, even toddler age, to have an animal of any sort. This was his morning.

My oldest was having his usual “I want to stay home with you and farm” morning melt down, which just kills me because that’s what I want too. The little Miss had brought a box of shavings to the house for me last night and was so excited to see that it was going to be used for the ducks. Once the kids were settled and in the car I put one of the ducklings in the box and we headed out.

There’s no hiding a duck in the car. The little duck was chirping the whole way. That led to lots of repeated questions. “Why is there a duck in the car?” “Where is he going?” “Why?”

We’ve been learning about sharing, more specifically sharing with those who don’t have any or enough. The lesson is we have enough for us and they have none, so we can share our extra so we all have some. This happens with toys, clothes, food, and now ducks.

I explained that there was a little boy who lost his duck and was very sad. We have lots of ducks so we can share with him so he has one too.

By the time we got to daycare they seemed happy to be helping the little boy, especially after being reassured that they still had ducks at home. They peeked in the box and sad goodbye.

It was perfect timing, when I arrived to work the family getting the duck was right behind me. When that little boy saw his new duck his eyes lit up and you could just see his excitement. That made my day. I wish that my kids could have been there because I’m quite certain that then they would have fully understood the lesson at hand. I’m sure there will be another opportunity for them in time.

This also adds to the list of animals I’ve traded at work- laying hens, Guinea eggs, and Ducks. When I bring a goat then it may be time to worry. Ha!

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