How about a good news story for this weary Tuesday?
You might remember this mama duck from the story of her and her elderly mom. She was hatched last year by our eldest duck hen, so old that she absolutely should not have even been able to lay eggs, much less successfully hatch them! But hatch them she did and at the end of summer, we opted to keep her daughter to whom she was quite bonded.
Fast forward to this spring and the mom-daughter pair worked hard to fill a nest up with eggs, which the daughter opted to sit on. 28 days or so later and no babies and so while she was off eating one day, I went in to see what was up.
As a “teen mom”, this gal didn’t get her nest built quite right and had those eggs buried so deep in straw and fluff that there was no way her body heat had been able to penetrate and incubate them. In her desire to protect them, she rendered them infertile. 🙁 I took the eggs away but she persisted on sitting on the nest area.
In the meantime, our other co-mom ducks had completed their incubation this week and presented us with a full 20 babies. 😬 It’s normal for a few eggs to not hatch and so when they finally left the nest area for the pond, I went to collect the bad eggs and noticed that one was pipped–a tiny beak had cracked it open and was still trying to hatch!
As luck would have it, “teen mom” was still sadly sitting on her now-empty nest so I squeezed the partially hatched egg under her booty, said a prayer and hoped for the best. Sure enough, by that evening she had a fully hatched, fluffy little duckling peeking out!
And she is thrilled as can be with her adopted baby!
With only one to keep track of, she is the ultimate “helicopter mom”, constantly telling everyone else to bugger off and so far refusing to let junior play with the other babies. 😆 He may not end up well socialized, but he will be very, very well loved. ❤️