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Ducklings and broody chook

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#1 H3X

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:57 AM

I just wanted to share  original.gif  One of our AustralorpxRIR hens went broody a little over a month ago. We had been wanting some ducks, so I purchased 8 (well, 6, but the farmer threw in 2 more!) fertile Indian Runner eggs and set her on them. I wasn't expecting them to start hatching until tomorrow night (28 days) or the next day at least, but I went down ysterday afternoon and got a big surprise:

So cute! I figure the very hot weather and humidity we've been having lately helped hatch them early.

And the hen (Gladys) is an excellent mummy, very protective.

#2 Shanski

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:18 AM

That is gorgeous.

I have been looking after my neighbours chooks and the girls were sitting on 3 eggs but we didn't get any chicks. It seems the rooster wasn't up to the job (it was his first time apparently).

Next time I'm going to suggest duck eggs to my neighbours.

Thanks for sharing such a cute picture.

#3 tenar

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:35 AM

That's very sweet.  

But, dumb question here: wouldn't the hen realise that those aren't chickens she's sitting on?  Or doesn't it matter any more once they are hatched?

I wish I could figure out a way to keep chooks where we live (not enough space).

#4 HRH Countrymel

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:43 AM

Have you not read the "Ugly Duckling' story tenar.

Although a mother hen raising ducklings will freak out a bit when they first spot water and go for a swim!

If they hatch them they will raise them!  It is how cuckoos get away with their nefarious activities too.

They don't get the phrase 'bird brain' out of thin air.... they aren't that bright really! Either that or they are just very, very trusting and easily lead!

#5 Redonk

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:06 AM

That is so cute!

Please explain how a broody hen behaves? I have no idea.

#6 Gumnut82

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:10 AM

Gorgeous!! Ah, I'd love some ducklings but I think our menagerie is big enough for now...

#7 H3X

Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

Looks like five is as many as we're going to get. They got off the nest today, so I cleaned it up a bit (lots of eggshells and stuff). There were two cold eggs, which were also a bit whiffy, so nothing will be hatching from them. And one little squashed duckling half out of the egg, I guess he wasn't strong enough to make it out sad.gif Five seems like a great result though!

Shanski, if your neighbours are interested in duck eggs you can actually get them shipped through the post! Which I never knew was even possible, but there you go original.gif I can give the details of the farmer we got ours off if they'd like.

She doesn't seem at all fazed that they're not baby chicks she's hatched out! They are currently sitting in their drinking water a lot, but no swimming water yet. Countrymel I agree, she will probably go frantic seeing her babies apparently all throwing themselves into the dam. Hopefully she will get over it fairly quickly original.gif She is great telling the babies what to do, when I first put the water and food out they weren't interested in it, until the hen started making little noises to them and drinking and eating herself, then they all jumped in original.gif Its fascinating watching her telling them what is safe original.gif

Redonk broody hens spend most of their time on the nesting box, but actually go off the lay. They get quite cranky at anyone coming near them and will try to peck at them, especially if you try to take them off the nest! And they will keep returning to the nest if you do manage to remove them. Some breeds of chooks are more prone to it, and some rarely if ever go broody.

I will post some more photos soon original.gif

Edited by Hunca Munca, 01 December 2012 - 03:51 PM.

#8 Redonk

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for sharing that all. How sweet about her showing them what is safe, just beautiful. A foster mummy can be just as good as a birth mummy (spoken from experience LOL). How fantastic!

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