Duck Hatching: Our Morning Surprise


A photo of FionaThe barn is usually a fairly noisy place first thing in the morning. The chickens are clucking, the rooster is crowing, the goats are bleating and the ducks are quacking. Well the Rouens are, at least. The Muscovies try hard but only manage a pitiful little squeak.

But on this day, I noticed another sound amongst the usual cacophony – a tiny "peep, peep, peep." I looked down into the duck pen and there she was – our very first hatchling!

The first duckling hatched

After screaming and scaring the hell out of the donkeys and horse (they're a little touchy before breakfast), I went tearing across the barnyard while shouting at the top of my lungs, "Go get the camera, there's a baby duck in the barn!" Once again, providing ample entertainment for our barnyard creatures.

We have two ducks sitting on eggs right now. One is in the feed area (she deserves her very own blog post), and the other is in the duck pen. Recently, I'd looked up the incubation period for ducks, and while baby chickens hatch in 21 days, Rouen ducks hatch in 28 days and Muscovies in 35 days.

As this is our first time hatching our own – in fact, we're not hatching anything ... we just allowed the ducks to go broody and let nature take its course – I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm horrible at marking dates, but I didn't think she'd been sitting on the eggs all that long. I didn't even know if they were fertile, though I must say that our drakes are quite insatiable when it comes to their attempts at procreation.

Nebraska Dave
4/29/2010 11:17:12 PM

Fiona, it’s good to see you back on Grit blogging. I always enjoy your down home stories from up north. We have here man made lakes for water control in the city. Every Spring at the proper time the parents proudly display their young baby ducks. It’s always so cute to see the proud Mama and Papa leading the little family around the pond. That’s about as close as I will get to hatching. It’s all enjoyment and no work. I hope you have a really good hatch this year. What do you do with all the ducks? I have heard of eating duck eggs. The yolk is darker and the taste is a little bit stronger so I’ve been told. I personally haven’t eaten any. One year we did have a duck with the turkey at Thanksgiving. As I recall it was good. Mom had to siphon off a lot of grease as the duck cooked but it was quite tasty. Thank you so much for sharing your new ducks story.

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