Cocoa hatched out her babies on the weekend. She hatched 5 of 6. She is quite a small Muscovy so I only let her keep 6 eggs. Little did I realize, she really could have hatched about 14, a friend told me that they will look after them, never to think that they only need a few.
I have let Sissy have 17 eggs, she wanted them, so she has them. She will be due to hatch in about 25 days. Muscovy ducks take 35 days to incubate their eggs, one of the longest incubation periods amongst our typical barnyard critter birds.
Anyways, Cocoa is a first time mother, she is doing a good job, but I had to close off the hen house by putting some shallow wood across the door. She wanted to take them out the first day after they were born. They had not totally bonded with the mother yet and when the little ones saw the other baby ducks, they wanted to be with them. Pepper gently pecked them a bunch to show that they were not hers. They will come out of their house today. There is lots of room for the mother, and if she chose to come out she could, she would just have to jump over the wood, but the babies must stay in.
I have also devised a method of keeping the chickens out of the babies food. They love chick starter. I think that they are just too lazy to go and get their pellets, already crunched up stuff is probably much more tastier. The protein in starter is 19%, the chickens only have 16%, so I am sure that it tastes much better too. The babies can climb through the crab trap, but the adults cannot. It will work for another week or so, until they can't fit through the openings, it won't take long. Enjoy these pictures of farm life. And have that most wonderful and awesome day, love and live, health. Cindi
Cocoa's new babies, only hours old
THis is when she took them outside and I had to take them back in
The ultimate baby feeder
One of the moulting chickens that KNOWS that she will somehow find a way to get her greedy beak into the baby food. I had to wire up that part so she couldn't get her big head in, some liked the baby food more than others.
The babies within.....