Sunday, 17 August 2014
Our last batch of eggs into the incubator
We have not been lucky with our duck hatchings this year. We hatched 5 Welsh Harlequins in the spring. Two were lost to the foxes. The other three have all turned out to be drakes. We hatched 7 eggs in the late spring. We sold two of the ducklings believing one was a duck and one a drake. Since then, I have seen both birds and have a awful feeling that both are drakes. Of the 5 we kept, the 3 khaki campbells are all drakes and at the moment we have no idea whether the aylesbury and the magpie are ducks or drakes. The photo above was taken yesterday of the 5 ducklings. They are not yet fully grown but give them another month they will be at full size and we may well know whether we have all drakes or one or two ducks as part of the batch.
In a bid to boost the number of ducks for laying next year, we have today put 17 duck eggs into the incubator. This will be the final batch of eggs to go into the incubator this year. Our plan is to move any resulting ducklings to the polytunnel to house them there until the end of the year when they will be big enough to go free range. We would normally dismantle the polytunnel in the winter but we will be saved that job. We will however have to secure it against winter storms and gales.
If all goes according to plan, any ducks will start laying in March, once spring arrives.