Hatching Weekend

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last weekend was a fun event at the Holmes Family Farm. Rick's parents got 2 ducks a few months ago (you can read about them in our Christmas recap post), and decided to take some of the eggs to make some baby ducks. They put them in an incubator about a month ago, and last week they started to hatch. We visited over the weekend to check out the little cuties.

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This little one was the last to hatch, and was born sometime on Saturday morning.

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He was only a few hours old here, but we couldn't believe how big he was. These guys must really be squashed into their eggs, which are only a little larger than chicken eggs. Because he was only a few hours old, they kept him in a separate container under a warm light until he was strong enough to join the others.

For the first 10-12 hours they are pretty weak and have a hard time standing up. They also have very weak necks and sort of just flop around during the first few hours. They don't need to eat for the first 2 days, but we did give him a little water. We had to dip his beak into the water and then he lifted his head in the air to help him drink the water.

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Later that night we let him join the others in the playpen which is out in their garage. The playpen includes a few red heat lamps, which is why the photo above is pretty red. There are a total of 7 ducks, and in the photo above you see 6 of them, as the new guy hadn't joined the group yet.

A few things I learned this weekend is that ducks take 28 days to hatch. A few days before they hatch you can hear them chirping in their eggs. They also have a sharp little tip on their beak that is called an egg tooth. This is what they use to help them crack out of their egg.

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We spent most of the day going out to check on the little ducklings every few hours. Mario was the most intrigued of the pups and kept pacing back and forth and standing by the door to the garage letting us know he wanted to check on the ducks.

It was a fun weekend and I can't wait to see these little guys grow up. Rick's parents are getting chickens this summer, so we will likely have another hatching weekend in our future :)

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