Today saw the day the first ducklings hatched. I managed to coax broody hen off her nest this morning for some corn. She allowed me to examine some of the eggs. I noticed that two had a fair size hole in them and that one other had obvious cracks! Then followed an agonising afternoon at work and some very quick food shopping.
When I got home (with some very excited children) we brought broody hen's cat box into the kitchen to check on the eggs. Wearing my chicken wrangling gloves I bravely lifted her gently from the nest. There lay two little fluffy ducklings! Quickly checking the other eggs I noticed the one with the crack noted earlier hadn't changed so I eased the shell open slightly to see it wriggling inside. I quickly candled two eggs and saw that one duckling was moving strongly and one not so much. The other egg I have no idea. I will check again in the morning.