The brooding season has began, strong and hard. Pepper, one of my Muscovy ducks, hatched out 13 of her clutch of 13. That is 100% hatch, usually, it seems that there has always been 1 that doesn't hatch out, Sir Drake must be one ding dang fertile dude, smiling.
After her long and arduous journey of sitting on her eggs, the last few days, only to take a quick bath. She left these little babies alone, knowing that they are safe and sound, tucked deeply into the nest of straw and down that she has made. The babies the first day do nothing but lay quietly. They don't peep, nothing. The perfect time to gently move and count the babies and remove the old egg shells. The eggs shells are tucked neatly under the cluster of babies. The egg shells are soft, from the humidity of the beautiful down of the mother duck, these babies are something to behold. Two of the babies have very dark legs and feet, the others are lighter in colour. Sure do wish I could tell the ratio of gender, usually there are more males than females. About 3 weeks of age there can be seen an extremely different size with the babies, the larger being the males, that is the only sign that I have ever seen.
She has sat on these eggs 35 days. The longest gestation among these barnyard critters, chickens are 21, turkeys are 28 and other types of duck I believe are the same as turkeys. She has deserved the big bath that she took for such a long time, in her little red "clean" snow toy. It is shallow, and always clean. I clean it many times a day. The chickens enjoy the clean water and so do the ducks. Although with ducks, they sure can muck it up fast. There is water everywhere in containers, but this one container I do pay special attention to, hee, hee.
Cocoa has six eggs due to hatch tomorrow. She is somewhat smaller than the other ducks, so she has less. Sissy began to stay on her eggs on Saturday, oh yes, the duck season has begun. There are two more ducks that may go broody. Not sure what Sir Drake will do then for company, he will be lonely as the gals will be busy raising babies and sitting on eggs. Oh well, he is a patient and splendid dude. Enjoy these pretty little baby pictures. Have that most wonderful and awesome day and life, and health. Cindi
Pepper having the time of her life in the bath