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366 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jcran
Our mallard hen made herself a nest in the corner of the garden in a raised bed. I didn't see it until there were 13 eggs and I wasn't sure any were fertile. Well, she went to setting and we had some of the wettest weather of the year...10 days ago we had over 4 inches of rain in 20 hours and over 6 inches in 2 days. It was cold, really cold, windy, wet and wild. The water table was so high that there was standing water in the yard A LOT. That little mallard hen set and set and set. I wrote down the date and counted from when she went to setting full time. Right on schedule, yesterday evening we noted one duckling under her. By this afternoon we THINK there are about 5. At 5:30 this morning, I carefully moved the deer fencing from around her (to keep drake and chickens and most importantly the ravens from bugging her) and placed the turkey tractor over the raised bed she was in, so that any possible ducklings would not get out and get eaten. Now she's got a nice chicken wire 4x8 foot cage over and around her. Hopefully we can keep her babies alive! Last summer she double clutched for us but the second clutch got ruined when my brother accidentally thought she'd been eaten by a **** and took the eggs.
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Oh good luck with them! She sounds like a great trooper of a Mama.
Any babies of hers will be ready to cope with the rough elements.
You may end up with a fantasticallly hardy strain of mallards. :)
Congrats. Sounds like you have a real mother on your hands. Makes me want to read "Make Way for Ducklings Again" One of my favorite children's books.
I read it EVERY year when I taught 1st grade.
Counted ducklings tonight and I am AMAZED...she is squatting over 10 live ducklings and one is of the ten was just born and wet and looked dead; soooooooooo tired. I am worried it will die, but am thrilled that she was so able to keep so many eggs going in our horrible weather. I think there are 14 eggs in the nest total.
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