For those of you that don't know, I'm inserting a quick advertisement here for my Facebook Farm Page - facebook.com/littlefarminthesuburbs . It has all the updates you could possibly need on the chickens, ducks, new flock, culls, slaughter and all the general mini-farm related stuff. I might possibly get a twitter for this in the near future. Ugh. :P
So. The farm has, count it, six sets of babies waiting to come to light. Basically, spring happened and everyone is now expecting. I've got a barely-laying hen on a Muscovy egg, a Muscovy on Blue Swedish duck eggs, a Swedish duck on Silver Swedish eggs, a leghorn (!) on 5 sets of rare breed eggs, a pregnant cat and we're picking up our new beautiful King Parrot on the 1st, when she's old enough.
Here's how animals work when it comes to all of the above, because as I wrote it I realized a lot of the information was stuff I had to learn - but that I haven't told anyone. So naturally now that I've learned it I assume everyone knows it. Here's the skinny:
Muscovies are EXCELLENT mothers and I. didn't. know. this. Pissed. Turned out Muscovies can clutch 14 eggs THEIR FIRST GO. This is 20 chickens. After that they can do 20 ducks! or like 30 chickens! What does my Lady Duck Muscovy have? 5. 5 Blue Swedish ducklings. And by the time I figured out what I had done - it was too late.
See, once a hen has a set of eggs, she has THAT set of eggs and unless you can time the hatching of ducks and chickens to the DAY, you're gonna screw yourself over. Because once things hatch, mama gives it a day and then gets off. So if you put new eggs under there too late - you just killed an entire clutch. (Clutch = one full set of laid eggs before the hen decided to sit on them usually 12 for chickens and 15 for ducks)
Leghorns are NOT known for getting clucky. Especially my Leghorn, which is an ex-battery hen. It was BRED to make eggs. For years and years and generations. It should not be clucky. Which is why I put eggs under her the SECOND day she was clucky. Sometimes new to cluck hens get un-clucky too soon because of their childish impatience.
Which brings me to Natalie. The reason we had to buy new nesting boxes. Bitch likes to swap eggs! Remember what I said above? I spent every day reorganizing eggs to very much the danger of the eggs. I tried to move all of them but she DOES NOT like it. The muscovy and leghorn have adapted to the new separated nesting boxes (it's a triple - three separate boxes in the same structure) but I've had to block her in with a cardboard box and a tyre. Which sucks because her singular duckling is due in 3 days. Meaning I have to make sure she STAYS there while simultaniously making sure once that baby hatches, she can get off quickly and start raising it without smushing it.
I've let the Silver Swede build her own nest in a corner near the house and lay an egg a day until she was done (which I believe was 9) and then I threw another what I suspect was Blue Swedish egg underneathe her. Muscovy was clucky but the blue has only laid that egg since. Could also be a Silver egg, but it was laid in a funny spot. Either way, they (10? 11? 9?) should all hatch at the same time and all, but one, 100% naturally!! From nest to lay to hatch, all natural. How cool is that?
The cat is just a whore.