You know I have never been very good at waiting, patience therefore is not my strong suit. After waiting 26 days for the ducklings to hatch the true test of my patience was about to begin. Everything that I had read had explained that ducks do not hatch fast and the best you can do is sit on your hands and wait. To be honest it is like waiting for your Christmas present to open itself. The ducklings had internally pipped and the next step was an external pip. Grant said, “a watched egg doesn’t hatch,” and he was right. I headed outside to feed the chickens, feed Plum and her babies, and just get some fresh air. When I came back I was thrilled to see that Grant was indeed right and that a “watched egg doesn’t hatch” which it hadn’t but there was now an external pip.
After 12 hours of no progress I helped them a little by very carefully removing some of the shell and outer membrane around the area that they had broken through and headed to bed. I got up again at 4:00am to see that they had indeed made more progress and again at 6:00am. They now had a good section of the shell opened and you could see their little beaks peeking out. But by 10:30am they hadn’t made any more progress and you could see that the inside membrane was starting to shrink-wrap around them and that they were struggling. Oh boy this is not good, they were not going to make it with out help. This is where my knowledge of hatching ended and I knew that I was going to need the help of someone with experience. I looked at Grant and said,”well I am going to have to call the vet and take them in.” The look on his face was that of a man thinking that his wife has had no sleep in the last 2 days and has officially gone crazy. He might have been slightly right in thinking that cause the fact was since the first peep I was running on about 4 hours of sleep, my hair standing on end and I had glassy-eyed appearance. Hard to convince someone you are making sane decision looking the way I did. “Seriously Grant I don’t know how else to help them and I don’t want to have come this far and lose them.” I picked up the phone and called to see if there was even a vet available to help me. As luck would have it the same vet that we take Meggie’s little parrot Charlie to was there and willing to help.
I unplugged the incubator and placed it in a box with a towel wrapped around it and made a speedy trip in to the vets. I couldn’t help but think that explaining to a police officer why I was speeding would result in the same look Grant had given me earlier. Thankful for living in a small town I made it in record time and the girls at the office had a room all ready to go.
Dr. Trish and her assistant came in and they started right away on what I now refer to as the “egg C Section”. The first duckling they delivered was Beans. Here is where I give the warning that the following couple of pictures my be a little grafic for some people but really they are not that bad. Duckling like chicks diffidently do not come in to this world fluffy and cute.
They both had some yolk left to absorb so I placed them back in the incubator so rest and recover and to get them home.
As soon as I got home I plugged the incubator back in and left them to rest while Grant and I got the nursery ready. I mean if we are going to say that they were delivered by c section we might as well call the brooder the nursery. After about an hour Beans started to waddle around and Sammy was still looking weak. I moved them to the nursery under the heat lamp and hoped for the best. Beans was up and around in no time and her yolk sack was almost completely absored where as Sammy was not looking very good at all. I filled a medicine dropper with sugar water and gave them both little amounts at a time to help get their energy up. By that evening Sammy yolk sack was absorbed too and they were both moving around eating and drinking on their own. Watching them was quite entertaining they would waddle, fall over, sleep, waddle , fall over, sleep all with in a 6 inch area just to make it to the food and water.
They have continued to do great and are on the move now. They have actually adopted Meggie as their Mama and as I type this they are in the nursery peeping for her. It is actually surprising how something so little can make so much noise.
I know that I won’t live down the fact that I took a couple duck eggs to the vet but that’s okay it was totally worth it! I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis with pictures and videos on how they are doing. As for the other 3 eggs there was only one with movement and as of yet there has been no action but we will leave to incubator plugged for another day cause you never know.
Have A Beautiful Day!