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Bye Bye Ducklings!

24 Jun

It’s been rather a busy time of late here at the Goofy Chicken HQ. A couple of weeks ago, we said farewell to our 2 Runner ducklings which were reared by our broody pekin hen, Zippy.

Zippy’s adopted ducklings have grown twice her size and she was getting rather tired of being drenched by the little dabblers! Fortunately, for Zippy, the Runners have moved into their new home complete with a much larger and deeper paddling pool to dabble and play in. They love it and the owners apparently have great fun trying to get them into their coop for bedtime…

After all the worry over the  young Runners becoming too attached to their mummy Zippy, all has turned out well. There is only just one last thing to mention and that is how well the adorable Zippy did raising these ducklings, bless her! Well that’s pekin bantams for you…they make the most wonderful and loving mothers of all.

Here are some reminder pictures of Zippy and her adopted young, always close by.

 

 

 

Zippy and Ducklings have fun outside!

26 May

The little Runner Ducklings are growing at an incredible rate!

Today saw some glorious sunshine and it is time to let the little ones and Mummy Zippy out into the sunshine for some fun!

I think Zippy is grateful she can get a little break as these fast growing ducklings are quite a handful!

 

 

Zippy’s little ducklings!

25 May

Zippy the pekin hen has taken to motherhood once again like a duck to water!

This time, instead of brooding chicks, she is brooding 2 sweet little runner ducklings who hatched out last Saturday. Already the ducklings are growing fast and Zippy is wondering why her little ones are determined to splash everywhere, getting her and themselves wet through!

However, she is such a loving and caring mummy that she welcomes them back under her warm feathers to dry off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-sw38esupk

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Hatching Ducklings – Day 28!!!!

18 May

The day has finally arrived!!

4 weeks has gone by since we put the Runner Duck eggs in the incubator…

Just 4 weeks to go!

 

We candled the eggs at 2 weeks and found that only 4 were fertile.

On the eve of hatching day, a tiny pip appeared in one of the eggs…

 

Tiny pip, bottom right

 

The hours passed and the little crack became much bigger…

 

“Im a CUTE Duckling,
Let me out of here!!”

 

At 8.30am on Saturday 18th May, a cute little Runner Duck entered the world!

He was very sleepy (just like me) and a little out of puff after all that hard work but nevertheless, he was enjoying the warmth of the incubator and having a little snooze to recover! What a little cutie!!

 

Hello Little One!

 

A second egg out of the four had also began to pip. A good few hours passed and I started to worry. But by 3.00pm, the 2nd Runner Duckling had hatched!!! Yay!!!!

 

Little Sweeties!

 

Throughout the day, I have wondered backwards and forwards into the house to see if I can see any sign from the last remaining 2 eggs. Unfortunately, no sign of pipping can be seen. I turn the humidity up a touch and my fingers are tightly crossed.

Sometimes eggs can hatch late. I am not going to give up yet. There is still time. But for now, I have to give my 2 new little babies a nice warm, safe place where they can start their new life.

Zippy, the pekin hen, has been broody for 2 weeks. She has been sitting on 3 pot eggs, determined that these precious eggs which she has tenderly nurtured and loved will hatch into little chicks and grow strong and healthy. My hopes are to place the little ducklings under Zippy where she will bring them up and love them as though they are her own chicks. I just hope she does not notice they look slightly different to the chicks she has brooded in the past!

Tonight, at 9.30pm, I gently take out the 2 little ducklings from the incubator, placing the lid back on quickly to prevent too much humidity loss in hope the last 2 eggs hatch at a later date.  The little ones are strong and eager to see what is going on around them!

 

We’re off to meet our new Mummy!

 

C’mon We’re ready to go!!

 

Carefully, I reach in to take out an egg from under Zippy…

She has hidden them well and it’s difficult to find them at first. I feel I am being too slow and Zippy pecks me in disagreement that I am trying to touch her eggs. Finally I manage to collect all 3 pot eggs. I then gently lift the first little duckling and place it close to Zippy, trying to coax the little one to go under her tummy to keep warm. Zippy pecks in disagreement again and I worry she is not going to accept the newly hatched ducklings.

Clucking and pecking the little ones head, I wonder whether to take the duckling away from Zippy but I wait and watch, hoping that this will be ok.

Then, I  notice she is not actually pecking in aggression but instead is trying to pull the duckling towards her. The duckling is being a little slow and not sure what to do but Zippy is persistent and insists the little one must behave and get under her tummy where it is nice and warm. I continue with the 2nd duckling and the same scenario happens. Finally, after a little shuffling and grumbling, all goes quiet in the nest.

I go back after half an hour to check on the new mum and her babies…

All is quiet. Zippy is asleep and the ducklings are warm under her.

Now all I can do is try and get some sleep and prey that all is well.

Tomorrow, as the sun rises for a new day, I just know I will be up with the dawn chorus to check on how these little ones are doing!

Fingers crossed. I will keep you posted!!