August 16, 2013 by janem213
Dinky the little mallard-coloured Call duck who I hatched last year, who Lou and Carl had along with Lucky the other girl and Indy the Black East Indie, went broody and sat on eggs she’d laid. We tried to move her into a special house with the eggs so she’d be safe at night but she abandoned the eggs… whereupon I had the idea of incubating them. Back in April Lou incubated some of Dinky’s eggs but only 1 of several were fertile and it didn’t hatch. This time of 9 eggs, all but one hatched : )
A week after Dinky had gone broody so did Lucky. Again we tried to move her and the eggs but she also abandoned them, so I put them in the incy too. Of 5, 2 hatched : )
But who are the daddys?! …….. Brownie went to live with Lou and Carl in the spring when he started bullying Snowy at the start of the mating season. He is much happier with them and was thrilled to find some girls to, er, be with. Their Call duck, Cally (Call-y), who was brought up with chickens has never shown any interest in Dinky or Lucky. Donald the Welsh Harlequin who spends most of his time in the company of his 3 WH ducks. Indy, the Black East Indie…….. Dinky had 5 mallard-coloured ducklings (daddy, Brownie), and 3 yellow ducklings (daddy, Donald); Lucky had 2 ducklings, one brown bibbed and one black bibbed both with distinctive black legs and oversized bills (daddy, Indy)
All are very special ducklings, the offspring of ones I’d hatched myself – I felt a bit grandmotherly! – but three in particular, Speedy and Bonnie & Clyde:
Speedy – One of the Dinky/Donald yellow ducklings I called Speedy. He had a lovely black mark over his right eye. I hoped to keep him if he was a boy, and that Lou and Carl would keep her if she was a girl. About this time they had decided they could no longer keep Dinky and Lucky because they are, as female Call ducks, extraordinarily loud, and they found a good home for them. At the age of about two weeks though Speedy suddenly started cheep! cheep! cheeping! as loudly as her mother at the same age confirming she was definitely female and so we couldn’t really keep her.
Here are some photos of Speedy and Dinky’s other ducklings:
One of Dinky’s eggs 6 days into the incubation
Speedy who hatched a day before the others. Mum, Dinky and Dad, Donald. The mark above her eye can be clearly seen. She and the two other yellow Dinky/Donald ducklings had pink bills whereas the WH have dark bills.
The 5 Dinky/Brownie mallard-coloured ones altogether in the incy, not long after hatching.
5 & 6 days old about to have their first paddle
Still indoors at night – and grouping themselves by colour & who their parents are! (Excuse the poo, even though not long cleaned out!) 5 Dinky/Brownie mallard-coloured ducklings; 3 Welsh Harlequins males; Speedy Dinky/Donald. The purple dye was to distinguish the 3 WH boys from all the other WH ducklings. Note their dark bills and Speedy’s pink one.
Outside at 2.5 weeks old, Speedy in the front her white feathers already starting to show.
Bonnie & Clyde (gender as yet unknown) – Lucky’s ducklings are super, photos below. Their friend is the last hatched WH who was 2 days later than the rest and who hasn’t grown as quickly as he or she should, aka Baby.
Bonnie & Clyde, a day old; Baby at 5 days
Their first paddle (the end of their first paddle as you can see by the dirty water!) Baby is still bigger than Bonnie & Clyde at this point.
Drying off after their paddle… more photos soon!
After a disappointed last WH hatch I’ve decided to do another, due to hatch mid September…