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New Hatchling!

May 14, 2010

Mama Duck Hatches an Egg

Good morning Dear Reader.  Well, the funniest thing happened in the duck pen yesterday. Unusual chirping wounds were coming from the duck pen. Our hen mallard has been setting on a clutch of eggs for about 3 weeks, so it is getting near time for the eggs to hatch.

Here is  our hen mallard hunkering down, trying to be inconspicuous, as she does her motherly chores, incubating eggs.

Hen mallard setting on eggs

Hen mallard setting on nest

Hearing unusual sounds led me to investigate. The funniest thing happened on my way to the duck nest.

Here is the little fellow that I found under mama-duck’s wing…

Baby chicken hatched by duck

This don't look like no duck

Now if you look closely, you will see that there is no bill and no webbed feet. Plus the markings on the feathers are all wrong. And the voice is WAY too loud for a baby duckling. Nevertheless, Mama Duck was very unhappy with me when I removed the little hatchling, moving it to the duckling pen under a heat lamp, where there is water and food that a little one can access.

Baby chick under red heat lamp

It was warmer under Mama Duck!

We use a red heat lamp of 250 watts to ward off the chill that little chicks and ducks would feel. Red is supposed to be soothing, and inhibit aggressive behavior amongst the birds. It makes for ugly pictures, though.

3 adult ducks

Who's the Daddy?

The little chick would have a hard time in the pen with these adult ducks. It would not be able to reach the water in a large water pan, and the food would not be appropriate either.

Baby chick with little ducks

Baby chick meets baby ducks

Welcome to the Nursery

What was entertaining about the chick being added to the duckling nursery was the loud chirping really scared the little ducks.  The chick wanted to *hang out* with them, but they were too frightened to let that happen.

Baby chick shases bady duck

Hey! Wait for me!

The chick moving quickly excited the ducks, who moved quicklier away. (Kids take note “quicklier” is not a real word).  The chasing routine went on for quite a while.

We “taught” the newborn how to drink water, by gently dipping its bill into the water.  Hopefully, the chick will be accepted, and allowed to cuddle with the much bigger ducklings when its nap time.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. StemoviefSoge permalink
    June 6, 2010 9:36 pm

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian,Earn Free Vouchers / Cash

  2. beingmaisie permalink
    August 9, 2010 6:15 pm

    what a great story, were you expecting ducklings?

  3. Uncle Milton permalink*
    August 10, 2010 11:26 am

    Hey, Beingmaisie,

    Yes, were were expecting ducklings. But we were NOT expecting a chicken to hatch out from under the Mama Duck! The “Chick-Duck” is the result of a sneaky chicken hen that snuck into the duck pen and left an egg in the nest with the rest of the duck eggs.

    Chick-Duck is still growing and hanging around the other ducks, even though there are chickens roaming in the same pasture area. Since his near death experience in the water he has not gone swimming with the other ducks.

    Just so you know, we have a broody chicken setting on eggs right now. She is a Black Giant. We are looking forward to her hatching out some baby chicks in the next week or so.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!


  1. Chick-Duck Survives!!! « View from Bippus

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