Flicker’s Lair Blog

Learning the hard way

by Heidi on May 15th, 2009
(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Today in the barn I heard peeping coming from the stall that currently has a couple of ducks sitting on nests. I took my life into my hands and braved the wrath of a new mother to see what there was to see.

Muscovy Duck on a nest

I found a chick! Why is this newsworthy? Because it was a chick, not a duckling or even a gosling, but a chick as in a baby chicken! Now we had left the duck with some duck and goose eggs, but had not planned on adding chickens to that particular mix!

We hadn’t made a note of when the duck settled on her nest, but we do have a picture from 28 days ago, and chicken eggs should hatch in 21 days. So it appears that one of our Bev’s snuck an egg into the nest on one of the brief occasions our duck had left for some sustenance.

I had read that with chickens they will wait a couple of days from the first hatching and then abandon the rest, I was worried that the duck would react the same and really didn’t want to lose the nest full of ducklings. So I removed the little black (how I know it was a Bev egg) chick, and brought him indoors and put him in a small box filled with wood shavings and put the heat lamp on.

I had been told that the biggest concern with new chicks is them getting cold, so I sat with him, with a small, rather old thermometer in the box, and kept an eye on the temperature. He had what looked like some kind of a fit and died. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, when we lost the last two we assumed it was just part of the problems we had with the incubator. Steve called Jason at Performance Poultry for advice.

Toulouse Geese on a nest

He said that I did the right thing in removing the chick from the nest, for the purposes of preserving the rest. He also said that the chick may have died from being too hot, and that the problem may be that the box we are using isn’t big enough, as the smaller box concentrates the heat. We are also wondering if the rather ancient thermometer may not be entirely accurate. We will be setting up a new box, he suggested a 4ftx4ft, and getting a new thermometer. A hard lesson.

Looking forward, Muscovy duck eggs should hatch in 35 days and goose eggs in 30 days; 30 days from the date we know she was on the nest gives us Sunday; we also have geese on a nest and they started about the same time, I am not sure whether if gosling’s hatch under the duck I should remove them, to make sure she hangs around for the duck eggs; and if I could give them to the the geese, and I do mean geese as our two girls are actually sharing the nest, and being equally defended by both ganders!

I love to know what you think so please rate my post or leave me a comment. If you really liked this post maybe you would consider sharing it. Thank you.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

No Comments

No-one has anything to say!?!?! Be the first ...

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.