Duckie Dynasty: Day Nine
Nineteen more days until our baby ducks arrive. Thanks to one of my Facebook friends, Bo Hamner, we're helping our fifteen eggs (hopefully) turn into little Easter babehs.
This past Saturday night, we 'candled' our eggs for the first time. Candling involves holding a flashlight up to the egg to see if you can identify the yoke, blood vessels, etc., and weeding the non-germinating eggs from the bunch. I thought this process would be as easy as suggested in various forums, but we couldn't tell which eggs were vital and which should be disposed of. We repeated the process tonight because evidently, non vital eggs will explode into a funky mess. Good times.
Meanwhile, our four female mallards and two male Pekins continue to lay eggs at the rate of about one each per day. Last count, we were up to seven but we're not going to interfere with these. They seem to be bunching them into little nests so I'm thinking we jumped the gun on interfering with nature with this batch.
My husband, Perry, has designed a plan for our 90-pound pit/lab mix, Petey, to be present when the duckings first hatch so they'll imprint on the dog and follow him around. Petey loves baby kittehs, but now that they're grown, they slowly stick their heads through the doggie door, look both ways to make sure the coast is clear, then make a stealth entrance to keep from alerting Pete-Pete to their presence. If he happens to see them, a Wild West standoff ensues and neither moves a muscle.
Last week while meeting the ducks walking toward me in our driveway, I found Pete hidden in the shrubbery with nothing but his block head sticking out with his ears perked. I assume he wanted to lull the ducks into the erroneous assumption that he was no where around but the ducks are smart enough to figure out that shrubs don't have salivating tongues and question mark shaped tails.
I'd originally planned on including a video of tonight's candling but evidently, Perry has some telepathic connection with the eggs and they were upset because the humidity level was about to bottom out. Since I didn't want to post a video of him wearing me out, I decided to at least post a picture of the incubator.
Next time, I'll make sure to film when the duck eggs tell Perry they're in a better mood.