Sunday, 16 May 2010

Duckling Emergency!

Yesterday morning, we again checked the eggs. Four ducklings were now hatched, with two eggs to go. One had no signs of life so I candled it and it obviously wasn't right, so I cracked it opento find a dead, half formed duckling inside. What a shame, but too late for that little one. The other egg had small cracks in the end but not much else. So I opened the shell a little more then popped it back under the hen.

Trouble is off to camp this coming week so we went into town to buy some supplies, socks mostly (where do they go?) While we were out I had a phone call from a woman who may have spotted my missing cat. So when we had finished shopping we went for a drive around the area where he might have been spotted. No luck in finding him but we had a quick look at the wind farm while we were there.

We arrived home and went straight to check on the ducklings. Broody hen had brought them out into the run for some refreshments. But there were only four. Looking into the nest the unhatched egg lay there unchanged and abandoned. Picking it up I was sure it was dead. It was stone cold and there was no sign off life. However, when I pulled away more of the shell it moved. We rushed it indoors and switched on an incubator. I carefully pulled away more shell and tried to release the ducklings head. It was almost tied in a knot. It was wrapped right round itself and this was obviously the reason it had been unable to hatch!! There are people who say that if they can't hatch themselves then we should leave them to it, but not me, I wasn't going to leave it! The poor duckling looked very strange, it's neck appeared to be three times as long as it should have been! I know they are Runners, but seriously?

Anyway, poor little chap was kicking furiously and getting nowhere so I eventually freed it from the shell and gave it some water. Things were still not looking good, it couldn't stand up or hold up it's head. I realised it couldn't stay in the inccy much longer and started to set up the brooder. Brand new and not wired up yet! Probably not the thing to do quite late at night and after a few glasses of wine, but it had to be done! Anyway, I wired it up wrong and managed to electocute myself in the process. Eventually gave in and asked my neighbour for help. Nice chap and was still up watching the grand prix! Finally got it sorted and I set it up next to my bed and had a very restless nights sleep.

But this is what I found in the morning;

That looks much more like a proper duckling! I couldn't believe the difference! Very wobbly on it's feet and walking right back on it's legs rather than up on it's feet, but wow it's head was on straight! After plenty of TLC and exercise courtesy of the kids it began to look better and better.

And this evening it went back out to the broody, who accepted it straight away. Within a couple of hours it was waddling around with the other ducklings as if it had always been there. So to those of you that don't intervene - up yours :P


Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

Well done lovely result, we have two canada guess on our pond, they hatched two eggs last year, but this year they made a nest sat on it for a month or so and then one day they had moved from the nest. I went inside the fence and broke down in tears, there before me was a dead gosling perfectly formed but very dead. Around it was cracked shell all broken I ran to find the husband and he later checked and found they had hatched a couple whixh were under her, later that day I went backdown to the pond and there were 5 hatched!!All doing very well! Hope yours do well.

Berthddu Suit said...

Aw, it is so sad when you lose them, but wonderful that they have 5 more, that's great!!