I was holding off blogging about my new little girl/boy until I thought she was out of the woods. I'm going to say she's a girl until I know differently. I still don't know if she'll survive or not but I want to introduce you to her anyway.
I mentioned in my last blog entry that only 4 of the 8 duck eggs hatched and that was true but a day later I couldn't resist cracking open the abandoned unhatched eggs before I threw them in the compost. When I cracked open the first one I was shocked to find a tiny wet thing that was moving like a beating heart. The yolk was still attached to it and I couldn't tell if it was fully formed or not since everything was so gooey. I placed it on the ground and called James to ask him if he thought I should put the other eggs back in the nest or open them. He didn't answer so I decided on my own they would never hatch if I didn't open them. The eggs were not as easy to crack open as I thought. The membrane was tough to tear. It's hard to believe weak little birds could peck their way out of there. Of the 4, 2 of them were alive. I got some paper towels and dried them off as best as I could and put them under a heat lamp. They were very limp but would peep every now and then. Within a few hours the first one I'd opened had died. I didn't have high hopes for the other either but couldn't give up on her. A friend suggested I try closing Ginger up in her pen with the little duckling to see if she'd take care of it. She stayed right near it the rest of the afternoon but wouldn't cover it up and keep it warm like she did the rest. She just watched it. I went to bed and hoped for the best.
The next morning she was ignoring it and it was cool to the touch and very limp and weak. I thought she was dead at first but once I picked her up she made a very faint peep. Back to the heat lamp she went. As she warmed up she perked up a little, lifting her head a bit and peeping but no more than that. I put some water in my hand and dipped her bill in it. She drank. I got so excited. She kept drinking. This was yesterday (Saturday) around Noon. I soaked some chicken food in water since I don't have any chick starter but I'm not sure if she's eaten it or not but I know she drinks on her own now. Today she looks like a new bird. She's walking unsteadily and sometimes she keeps one of her eyes closed. I'm going to call her Myduck since I practically gave birth to her. She has a tuft on her head just like Ginger. I hope she makes it. The other ducklings are quite a bit bigger than her and run all over the place like they've been walking forever. I hope one day they'll accept Myduck into their flock.