A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how we are expecting baby ducks in the near future. And, the update is... we are still waiting.
The problem is, since we were not planning this, or expecting this to happen, we never really paid attention to how long she had been sitting on her nest until it had already been happening for a little bit. The eggs take 28 days to hatch. But, she is sitting on 12 eggs that she presumably laid one a day for 12 days. We are not sure when to start that 28 day count from. Does it start from the day that the first egg was laid, the last egg, or somewhere in the middle? Despite internet research and duck message board posts, I still haven't found a consistent answer on this one yet.
Yesterday, I started to get nervous that the eggs should have already hatched, and wondered if maybe she was sitting on unfertilized eggs or dead embryos. And so, on a whim, I decided to grab an egg from the nest while mama was out for a brief moment, and candle it.
If you are not familiar with raising fowl, as I am still in the process of learning, "candling" is when you hold a light up to an egg to see if it is viable. So, I grabbed an egg and a headlamp, and headed into our dark garage to see what was in there. Initially, it just look liked the egg was 3/4 full, but with what, I was unsure. I held the light on it for a bit, and nothing was happening, so I sadly started to suspect that these eggs may not be viable. And then the blob moved! I saw a the shadow of a head or wing or some smaller shape emerge from the blob, and I knew that there was life inside that egg. It was so amazing! Not as cool as seeing a human baby on an ultrasound, or feeling the flutter of your own baby in your belly, but still really cool. I was holding an egg with a little baby duck growing and moving inside of it...... life really is miraculous, isn't it?
Anyways, I was thrilled that at least one of those eggs has a duckling growing in it, and after looking up images of duckling being candled at different developmental stages, it appears that the egg is at least 23 days into its development. Which means that by the end of next weekend (and maybe sooner!), we should have some babes. What a fun way to start the summer!
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