Thursday, April 18, 2013

Duckling Dynasty

We're straight-up homesteadin' it up in here. Until recently, we were drinking our milk straight from the goat (well, not STRAIGHT from her) and even making butter and cheese. We birthed a lamb last weekend.

Call me Caroline Ingalls. Then, Pa borrowed an incubator and got 7 billion duck eggs. Ryan was all diligent about checking them, adding water to the incubator, candling the eggs every so many days, etc. I thought it was kinda cute, but honestly, I didn't really see the thrill. Until two days ago when the first little piplings started peeping from inside the eggs. Soon they were poking their beaks out. We went to bed with four cracked eggs and woke up to three fluffy ducks and one soon to be arriving. After school there were seven. Then tonight, we saw one just about to break free. It was after lights out for the big boys, but we had to call them in. We all watched in amazement as the little duckling struggled to finish pecking a circle around the base of the egg, then wrestle his way slowly out. I barely wanted to leave to grab my camera, but the action was slow enough that I made a break for it.
Reed and Calvin stood perched on the back of the love seat (which we reminded them was usually a major no no) for a better view. Reed said, "He's gonna be outta there for SURE tonight!" Calvin encouraged the little guy with, "Come on, little buddy, you can do it." Then he put his arm around Reed. I quickly raised my camera to get the shot, only to get this:

It wasn't a sweet "let's share this magical moment of life's wonder, brother" embrace, but rather a "this is getting kinda old, let's wrestle for a little while in between pecks" take down. Daddy got onto the boys, and Reed, picking himself off the love seat and out from under brother, echoed, "Yeah! This is a midnight privilege!" The things that boy comes up with sometimes...

The duck finally emerged, but his hiney was stuck in the skinny part of the egg. It was so pathetic. He looked like a wet weakling with his butt stuck in a bucket. Calvin asked him if he had to pee in there before he came out. When that got a good laugh, he upped the ante to pooping. We all agreed that we just wanted to pull the eggshell off for him, but Daddy explained how it was good for him to struggle to build up strength (that'll preach...) Then we checked out the new hatchling's way cuter siblings. Reed thought I should, "Take a picture of the fluffy duckies. Mimi will pass out!" (He knows his Mimi so well!) Calvin added that she would "scream like a little girl," to which Reed replied, "She IS a girl!"
This one's for you, Mimi

Where was Max during all this? Well, it wouldn't surprise me if he fell asleep on the floor. He's been undergoing a struggle of his own. He's conquered the baby gate we've borrowed to corral him at bed time. We've had to back it up with a chair so he can't push it down. Tonight, he figured out how to climb over the gate beside the chair. So, I added a second chair. Take that! Only it took him about five minutes to find the space between the chairs, shove his little beak through and wiggle his way to freedom. For some reason, though, when I watched this little Maxling trying to emerge from his home, I wanted to shove him back in the egg and tell him to stop peeping. No midnight privileges for that one...

1 comment:

Deborah Raney said...

I would comment, but I've flat passed out! Favorite. Blog. Ever. (Well, at least till the next one.) Those pictures of the boys' faces (including Ryan's!) were priceless! And who knew the loveseat would be bleachers for Duckling Dynasty! I LOVE it! :)