Thursday, April 15, 2010

Surprise Duckling...what happens when you don't mark eggs...

One of the smallest ducklings I've had the pleasure to own are mallard ducklings. The mallards themselves as adults are smaller than rouens, muscovies (by a bunch!), blue swedish, and my Welsh Harlequins.

Now my mandarins were even smaller than my mallards, but since they never hatched any babies for me, i've no clue how small their babies would be at hatching.

Now the smallest ducks I own are my call ducks - they are about 1/2 the size of my mallards, or almost 1/2 their size. They have small round heads and cutie patootie little bills. For little ducks, the calls lay generous sized eggs.

I had set several (or so I thought) mallard duck eggs in my incubator. They started hatching day before yesterday. One of them hatched out waaaaaaaaaay smaller than the other, and I was trying to figure out "why is this mallard only 1/2 the size of the other, with only a 12 hour difference in age?"

Then it dawned on me.

I had not marked my eggs, thinking they were all mallard eggs. I managed to confuse 2 call duck eggs with some of my mallard eggs!

So, yesterday, I had a blue fawn pied call duck hatch! I'm so excited!

I started looking at the eggs left in the incubator, and comparing sizes, and while the call ducks do lay a nice sized egg, they are definitely still smaller than the mallard eggs, but not by much.

I have two more mallard eggs due to hatch anytime (they are pipping as I type) and one more call duck egg - which I'm hoping might be a pastel...but who knows???

Since my blue fawn pieds look nearly identical to mallards, save for their white markings, the only reason I know for sure it's a call is by it's size. Tiny bill, tiny feet, tiny round head!

So, here's the pics I took for comparing...mallard duckling on the left, blue fawn pied call duckling on the right:


Front view, and you can look and see the definite size difference in bills and their heads in this shot...again, mallard on left, blue fawn pied on right.


I think it would be quite interesting if I had a newly hatched Rouen to add to the photo - as Rouen ducklings look identical to mallards at hatch, but are nearly twice the size of a mallard newly hatched.

regardless, aren't they both just oh so cute?!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy week!

Whew it's been a doozy of a week so far!

Last week a local man in the small village up the road asked us to take in all of his poultry, due to his having to move. He said we could take it all FREE.

Well, you know me, can't pass up freebies.

Most of those chickens had never seen daylight. And since we're NPIP, I was strict about where they could go. Took most of them to the auction this past Monday, and on Wednesday got a decent check!

The remaining 17 birds that are still here are silkies. Nine of those are Roosters. Seven of those roosters are going to this next Monday's auction.

Today we spent a bit of time fixing up a Silkie Pen. We moved the Silkies from their quarantine quarters and put them in their own pen - it's the first time in their little lives they've ever been on grass!

Yesterday our DD had a birthday. She didn't have a party yesterday, because we've planned it for tomorrow. She just doesn't know that! We've been very secretive about the party plans. Nothing big, just a few close friends, the grandparents, and the pastor of our church coming. I ordered a small batch of helium balloons for her table centerpiece. The big balloon has butterflies all over it. DD loves butterflies.

Her first love, though, is horses. So, we ordered a 1/2 sheet cake with plastic horses on the top. She's going to flip!!

So of course we couldn't let yesterday pass and allow her to think we forgot her special day! So we took her shopping for new socks (not a great b-day gift, but she's getting Littlest Pet Shops tomorrow - she just doesn't know it yet!) and we took the kiddos to Subway for lunch and said to DD, "This is for your special B-Day lunch." She was so excited! We topped lunch off with chocolate chip cookies and a trip to the local dairy bar for chocolate milk shakes. She was thrilled and thought it was a great birthday!

Tomorrow's menu is finger sandwiches with deviled eggs and chips. And of course, birthday cake!