May 2, 2016 by janem213
The Welsh Harlequins I hatched last year, and other girls I’ve acquired since, started to lay around 10th March. I usually get 4 or 5 a day – by 25th April they had laid an incredible 174, exactly the number laid by my hens since they started in mid January. (There are now only 4 of them, 5 ducks. The hens average 2 or 3 a day not helped by Irene at the moment being stubbornly broody!)
27th March I put 24 eggs in an incy and when I candled them on day 8 was amazed to see 20 of them looking good! I’d included the 3 oldest I’d had, a couple odd ones* and a set of 5 (generally they were laying 4). * = the 2 odd ones were an egg found half submerged in a puddle and another covered in mud. Would they be fertile? Would they hatch? (Most eggs are laid in their house before they’re let out first thing. e.g., 4 this morning. I may or may not find one later in one of their hiding places.) … and we’re every one of the 5 fertile? i.e., we’re all the girls getting ‘attention’ from a boy? Day 8 I removed 1 of the 5 but the 3 oldest and the 2 odd eggs were all fertile, as I say 20/24!!
At day 23, just prior to lockdown at day 25, another 3 were removed – another of the 5 but the 3 oldest and 2 odd ones were still looking good. The 17 eggs were transferred at lockdown to the RCom incy for hatching – – – but I forgot to note which was which, and by the time I’d remembered I’d wanted to check which had and hadn’t hatched the hatch was over and I’d disposed of all the shells. Doh!! I did check all the photos I had but the numbers etc I’d written on the eggs weren’t visible but I think I can just see the markings of the odd ones (1 hatched and 1 didnt)…
8 lovely ducklings hatched : )
Here’s the first one…
.. and the first few under the electric hen, about a day old.
The oldest 4…
…and the youngest 4.
The youngest 4 with a friend
27 March 24 eggs in the incy.
At 8 days 20 looking good, at 23 17 still good and transferred to R-Com for hatching.
24-27 April 8 lovely ducklings hatched : )