For the past three and a half to four weeks, we have been patiently waiting to see what happens with the clutch of eggs that one of our female Khaki Campbell ducks has decided to brood upon. Based on rough dates, I expected (or hoped) to have some hatches this weekend; the same time that our second incubator group is due to hatch.
We have never hatched eggs "naturally" before (in fact, Nemo was our first ever hatch three weeks ago) and we have been really excited to see nature takes its course. Mama duck has been very attentive to her eggs, coming out only briefly in the evening to eat, drink, swim, and socialize (boy, is she ever vocal when she comes out!).
Here's Mama Duck sitting on her brood
Yesterday, when Mama Duck went out for her break, I couldn't help but get a closer look at what was in the nest. There were 14 eggs in total. I decided to candle some to check progress. Many seemed to show good growth and progression, a few were dark-shelled and I couldn't really tell. I covered her nest up nicely and as I did, I heard a cheep from one of the eggs. I told Pete that we were probably see something in a day or two.
Returning from work this afternoon, I immediately opened the gates for all to free range and went to check on Mama Duck. She hissed at me (like she should!) and was very protective of her nest. I continued to hear cheeping and saw some movement behind her. Could it be? I decided to grab the camera with the telephoto lens so I could get a closer look without disturbing her too much and agitating her.
I think I see something under there!
Out emerges a little fuzzy butt
Rut roh, Mama Duck, I think Solo (our Campbell Drake) is going to need an explanation! Call the Maury Povich show!
Motherly love knows no species barriers.
Have a delightful evening!