Our two call ducks had their first hatch of ducklings and I got so excited I forgot to post the pictures! It was such a wonderful time, a completely new learning experience but I loved every minute of it and it has inspired me to go on and breed more.
After being sat protecting her eggs for around 28 days we started to see the eggs hatch.
Hopefully you can see above as the eggs gradually hatched one by one until she was sitting on a nest full of babies. She had 5 eggs and all 5 hatched successfully. I left them for a day to acclimatise and build up a bond. This chick below was just 24 hours old.
Incredibly small, bright yellow and fluffy. They were so alert and ready to learn. I put some chick crumb down for them to feed on and used a plastic lid from a storage box to act as a pond so they could paddle but wouldn’t drown.
That being said, they where much more confident than I thought. I filled up the mom and dads water trough and when I turned around they had all piled in! ADORABLE!
They grew very quickly and I soon set up a ramp to the sand pool for them to have a proper swim- there was no holding them back, mother duck went in and they all followed.
As time moved on the chicks grew very quickly with signs of their adult feathers appearing within just two weeks. The below is the chicks at 16 days old.
Another week later and their wing feathers have really started to show.
One more week (a month old) and you can see the ducklings head colour has really changed. Signifying which are likely to be males and which are females.
By 8 weeks they are fully coloured ducks and look nothing like the cute fluffy yellow duckling that was born not long ago.
I didn’t want interbreeding in the flock so it was at this point I made the decision to sell the ducklings on and re-group for next year.
I loved every minute from when she first stayed on her nest to waving them off to their new homes. Having them hatch naturally meant it was a lot less work than if I had used an incubator and it was lovely to see the mother duck blossom. I look forward to next spring to do it all over again- but with more ducks!