This is a topic I never thought I would be writing about. I collect my eggs religiously, so when Betty the duck started only giving me an egg every other day, I just figured she was slowing down on her egg laying production. Never in a million years did I think she was tricking me. Oh yes, she is a smart one, because you see, she had a hidden nest and would lay an egg in it one day and then give me an egg the next. I never suspected her of being so cunning. By the time I found out what she was up to, it was too late, she had already started to sit (incubate) the eggs and when I candled them, they were already starting to develop!
So here I am, writing about what to expect when your duck is expecting. Why am I writing about it? Because when I tried to find information on the topic, all I was getting were article on how to incubate duck eggs in an incubator, not what to expect when your duck pulls a fast one on you! So here is what I have learned from personal experience so far.
Ducks are smarter than you think! They will trick you, hide a nest, and totally make you feel like your world is upside down. I am not a control freak, but this was not in the plans. And my Betty, just a year old!! I feel like my teenage daughter informed me she was pregnant. I am so not ready to be a grandma!!
Your duck will get just as hormonal as any pregnant woman. The attitude is crazy! Betty doesn’t hiss at me, like some duck moms have been reported to do, but she will give me an earful if I get to close. She has this quack I have never heard before that tells me to back off. She isn’t attacking anyone when they get to close, like some ducks do, but she is posturing and making her point clear that she doesn’t want to be bothered!
Betty has also developed a daily routine now that she is sitting, that reminds me of myself when the country kids were babies. Every morning she leaves her nest and has the most explosive bowel movement ever! Okay, this part wasn’t me, I swear!
After her run to the “bathroom,” she hurries to get in a quick bath. The dampness from bathing helps with the humidity needed in the nest that make hatching possible. Then, she shoves food in her bill as fast as she can, gulps down an amazing amount of water and returns to her nest. I remember those days, the baby is napping and you try to shower as fast as you can, grab anything you can get in your mouth for nourishment, and just hope you finish before they fuss!
Betty is a really lucky girl, in that the father of her eggs, Bill, is such a gentleman. He is very attentive to her and sits near her most of the day, keeping her company. Bill is always there to defend her should someone get too close to her nest. He is a little lonely and bored, but I reminded him, he has no one to blame but himself for the situation. *wink*
|My lonely boy|
A duck incubates eggs for 28 days, so I am guess-tamating the eggs, if any of them do, will hatch around July 11th, give or take a day or two. Until then, I guess we go through the daily routine of Betty leaving her nest twice a day to care for herself and then hopping back on the nest. The yard is a little lonely without her running around, but I know once they eggs hatch, the yard is going to be more then filled with activity as she has 14-15 eggs in her nest!!!
So what should you expect when your duck is expecting? Explosive bowels, attitude, and general “pregnancy” symptoms! Now that I am over the initial shock of finding out she was expecting, I can say, I am excited, but a little overwhelmed by how many ducks we may have very soon!!!