|Less than Fully Cooperative Black Jack on Shearing Stand|
|Unhappy to be Here and Going Nowhere|
I took my incubator and 18 duck eggs over to the Veatch family on Wednesday evening. The girls were real excited about trying to hatch out ducklings. I'm hopeful that they will have some success. I gave them some instructions and left the potential little ducklings in their enthusiastic, but less than experienced hands. The incubator is a still air type and needs to stay at about 102 degrees fahrenheit, measured at the top of the eggs. The eggs need to be turned three times every day. Once when they get up, once when the girls get home from school, and once before they go to bed. Since waterfowl eggs require higher humidity, it is important to spray the eggs with warm water every time they are turned. Duck eggs require 28 days incubation. I bought a really cool egg candling device the other day. I lent that out as well because it is very very important to cull out any eggs that are infertile. Otherwise they just get very very rotten and can actually explode inside the incubator. I told the girls they needed to candle the eggs at the end of the first week. Any eggs that are infertile need to be culled and thrown very far away. We wrote a number on each egg in a circle on one side of the egg. We placed an x on the other side so as to make it easier to know when all of the eggs have been turned. The girls wanted to start naming them on the spot, but I suggested they may want to wait until they have culled the infertile eggs. At that time they can name all of the infertile ones different variation of "Stinky".
Meanwhile, my two runner duck hens, Olive Oyle and Sweet Pea, are each still laying an egg every morning, just like clockwork. The score as of Friday, March 9th is Ducks 62, Chickens 0.
I have been trying to diligently keep the bird feeder filled during Linda's absence. We had a pretty good supply of McDaniel's "Patio blend" bird feed when Linda left for China. I have gone through most of it during the last four weeks. I had to buy another large bag of the stuff today to replenish our store. It seems rather expensive compared to most bird feed, but its really not a bad buy. It doesn't contain anything the birds don't like so they don't have to scatter seeds everywhere as they try to pick through to find the good stuff. From the birds' perspective, its all good stuff. They like it so well that they even clean up most of what falls to the ground. I took a few pictures to document the fact that I've been keeping the feeder filled. Note the Western Flicker in the top picture. The cats are both very enthusiastic bird watchers and also appreciate a full bird feeder.