Well this morning I went out to feed everyone and one of the new ducklings we got was running around, she apparently had dug her way out of the pen and couldn't get back in. After trying to catch her for about 15 minutes (and the other animals "helping") I had to go wake up my husband to help me wrangle her. As soon as we got her back in with her mom I took care of the rest of the birds and thought I heard some cheep cheeps... well there's about 15 nests around our house with baby birds in them... but none of those are in the chicken coop. Here's what I saw:
Roxie gets a little curious
These are from the first round of fertile chicken eggs I got from the friend that has Dazzler, the rooster we had to rehome. We had 6 eggs, one broke, one was clear (infertile) and she got the other four to hatch. Today was only day 20 and these chicks were already nice and fluffy early this morning, so I think they hatched late on day 19. They're really chubby, I think because of the extra humidity that ducks provide. I have read several things about not letting the muscovies brood the baby chicks, one reason being that they sometimes step on and crush the chicks that aren't prepared for giant heavy duck feet, and also because ducks try to introduce their babies to water, which for a chicken chick, doesn't work out so well. So it made me a little sad, and Delilah very angry, but I put the chicks in a brooder.
She still seems to be sitting on the nest, she had a few chicken eggs that are a week old under her (I had no room in the incubator), so she may be trying to hatch those out. I also grabbed a few of the duck eggs from the incubator and gave those to her as well, partly as an I'm-sorry-for-stealing-your-chicks gift. I'll keep a close eye on her and hopefully she'll hatch out a second round that are due in a little less than three weeks (all of the remaining chicken and duck eggs are scheduled to hatch at the same time). If she manages to sit for that whole time it would be a total of just over 6 weeks. That seems like a really long time, but since Muscovy eggs take about 5-5.5 weeks to hatch, it's certainly possible she'll do it.
I counted this morning and I think we have 45 birds here at the tiny farm. Wow.
Four Easter Egger chicks warm in the brooder