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?!

1 comment:

  1. Cute lil' boogies!
    Just hatched 3 ducklings, with #4 rockin' the bator. Not sure which of the fellas fertilized the eggs, but the duck is a Rouen and then theres 3 drakes....a Rouen, Mallard & Peking.
    The 3 hatched have the same markings as your baby Mallard.
    Guess time will tell, eh? LOL
    Thanks for sharing on your blog.