Posts Tagged ‘duck ferility’

A sad, wobbly story

July 3, 2013

Bad news first. The six Aylesbury ducklings, hatched two weeks ago, were all doing well apart from one. After the first week, one of them looked distinctly as though it had one dram too many, staggering around the run and occasionally falling over. Otherwise it was eating well and behaving normally. I Googled until I was blue in the face but couldn’t find anything about wobbly ducklings. Its movements were very un-coordinated, as though its brain wasn’t communicating properly with its leg muscles. Although eating well, its growth was lagging behind the others and the wobbliness was worsening. ¬†Anyway, today the six wee rascals escaped through the temporary chicken wire fence into the longer grass. Five were happy, one was not. It had over balanced in the grass and could not right itself. I discovered it wet, cold and weak. I could have saved it, but it would have been out of sentimentality not kindness. The poor soul would never have been able to physically keep up with the others, resulting in a stressful life and no doubt an unpleasant death – we can’t watch over them 24/7.

But, we must move on, plenty of other birds still need our care and attention. As the remaining five Aylesburys are more than capable of negotiating the longer grass, we extended their temporary run and included a swimming pool. Very happy ducklings!

1st swim

You may remember that out of the older Aylesbury ducklings (eight weeks) we were going to keep the two females for MacRae. Change of plan. The people who we managed to get 4 Silkie eggs from last week, lost one of their two ducks to an otter and were looking for a replacement. Well, now they have two replacements! We’ll just hang on to two of the younger birds instead¬†– assuming there are two females among ’em! Also on the duckling front, the Muscovies are doing well; about 10 inches long now and great at catching flies!

muscovy family

Puff is still a mystery however. She still isn’t laying – as far as we know – and rarely shows any interest in the ducklings. I’ve visited the internet once more to see when Muscovy ducks usually stop laying. No joy. Do any of you wise folk know the answer? This is her 5th season.

Good news on the chicken front finally! We candled the eggs yesterday and all four Silkie eggs are developing along with all but three of our own hens’ eggs! Yeah, go on Big Fella – strut your stuff!!!

 

struttin'


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