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The Ducklings Are Here!

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I’m a bit behind posting all of this, but we have three ducklings at the Thrasher Studios Microfarm. All of them are doing very well, too. Out of 8 eggs we had three that hatched and survived. Since it was our own DIY incubator, we’re counting this as a success; however, we’re unsure if we’d ever use a non-professional incubator again. Regardless, the brace has three new additions: Kaylee, born first on April 13; and then Zoe, born April 18, and then Inara right on her heels born on April 19 in the wee hours of the morning.

Our DIY incubator cost us less than $10. Here’s what our DIY incubator looked like:

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This incubator set up cost us less than $10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We kept track of the temperature — not the easiest thing, even with a slider switch on the light to heat it (99 degrees is the aim). Also keeping the humidity up near hatch date was a challenge as well. A wet sponge inside the incubator worked wonders to keep the humidity where it needs to be (about 55 to 65 percent). Then the eggs got rotated three to four times a day. A little X or O on each side let us know what was what. Then I numbered the eggs to keep track as we candled them to make sure they were progressing.

It’s amazing to me at how big the ducklings are when they first come out. How do they fit in there?

How does all of that duck fit in that egg? This is Kaylee just moments after she was born.
How does all of that duck fit in that egg? This is Kaylee just moments after she was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to see how ridiculously excited I was to watch her actually hatching — you can check out this video. Feel free to turn down the video. I am a complete dorkfish.

Kaylee arrives in the World.

The painful thing about waiting for ducks to hatch is that it takes a long time. It took Kaylee nearly 48 hours from first pip to out of the egg. Her sisters took about 24 hours from first pip to out of the egg.

Here’s photos from Zoe and Inara’s hatching:

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Zoe right after hatching.
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The first crack of Inara’s egg after Zoe was out.
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We awoke the next morning to find that Inara was hatched and Zoe was being a good big sister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The waiting is by far the hardest part. Poor Kaylee had to be without any siblings or company, save her human companions until her sisters arrived, So we put a mirror and a stuffed animal (no pokey bits or eyes) into the brooder so she wouldn’t be lonely.

Kaylee snuggles her stuffy and the mirror also kept her company while she waited the five days for Zoe to arrive.
Kaylee snuggles her stuffy and the mirror also kept her company while she waited the five days for Zoe to arrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are now settled in and doing very well.

Three Duckling Sisters in their brood
Three Duckling Sisters in their brood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They even got to meet Mama Jayne (Tufted Duck) and Papa Joe (Pekin Drake) today while I cleaned their brood (you will do that a lot!). We’ll continue to slowly introduce them so they get used to each other. Jayne has been very broody lately, so I know she’s ready to be an active mommy.

Mama Jayne and Papa Joe are interested in the little peepers in the basket, but a bit wary.
Mama Jayne and Papa Joe are interested in the little peepers in the basket, but a bit wary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is to sex them. I tried to do it with Kaylee today and it looks like she’s a female duck and not a drake. But, I have to wait a few days to do Zoe and Inara. Obviously our naming scheme is hoping for all ducks. Regardless they are a perfect mix of Jayne and Joe and should be really fun to watch them grow up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, that takes a lot of dedication. But what fun! Truly miraculous. You must feel very proud of their sweet little lives. Thanks for sharing the process with us. (Even though we get instant gratification instead of having to be on the edge of our seats for days…Lucky us!)

    • They’ll be in the yard with the others soon enough and you should come see them.

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