Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is it Christmas?

A few weeks ago ("few" being the operative word: few=three?), I borrowed an incubator from a couple at First Lutheran.  In view of all the barnyard shenanigans going on between the ducks and the drakes, I thought we might be able to bring forth some Indian Runner ducklings from egghood to hatch-hood.  

I drove over to our friends' home, also out in rural Kansas, but still "a piece" from our place.  (I love country lingo;  I try to use it periodically; it's like being bi-lingual.)

Just as I was backing out of their drive, the Huz slipped two eggs into my hand.  Chicken eggs.  I said, "I don't want chickens."  Wife replied, "Give the chicks back to us."

And so, I left.

Duck eggs are sat upon, or incubated, for 28 days.  That was my mindset, four weeks and a Wedding Weekend trip to Colorado ago.  (Neighbor Melissa turned the eggs 2x daily in our absence; that must mean she is owed a ducking or two?)  Last weekend, Day 21, that Spouse o' Mine jumped out of bed on Saturday morning (Always hops out early on Pancake Ride day...rarely on weekday workweek day.) and went in to start the coffee. But soon thereafter he was leaning over my slumbering ear: "Trish?"
"Hm."
"Trish?"
"Whaaaat?"
"There's a duck in the incubator."
"No, there's not."
"Yes, there is."
"Chickkkkk.  Chicken.  It's  a chicken.  Chick."
"It looks like a duck."
"It's not."

And just about then, my synapses snapped. My eyes wide open, I bolted out of bed and into the mudroom.  A chick!  Life from the incubator!  A chick!  This must be how Frankenstein might have felt.  Except...my chick was just a product of very old animal husbandry technology:  keep a chicken egg warm for 21 days @ 100º and LO!  you get a fluffy yellow chick.
 I love animal husbandry.

But here we are now, in Week #4, Day 26.  Ducklings pip (hatch) at Day 28.  This morning I went into the mudroom to perform the perfunctory "turning of the eggs" which we must do twice daily - morning and evening. 

But wait: I heard a squeak. 

Oh, no.  A mouse?  A MOUSE?!  HOW CAN THAT BE?  I listened for the direction of the squeak.  It came from close to the incubator.  Even as I made movement and noise toward the incubator, the squeaking continued.  It almost sounded like a ...

Peep.
Peep, peep, peep.
Peep, peep.
Peep. peep, peep.

Ducklings!!!  We gots us some Indian Runner ducklings!

But...I only saw tiny chips in the eggshells.  No ducklings.



Apparently, from what I read, pipping (hatching) can take up to 2 days.  Well, be that as it may, I can hear some pretty vocal ducklings in that incubator in our mudroom.  (I hope geriatric calico Puzzle cannot discern the noise...)  I am guessing that tomorrow morning, we might be greeted with some astonishingly cute waddles of downy fluff.  

It's like Christmas Eve... 

2 comments:

Melissa said...

How very egg-citing! I can't wait to see all your hatched ducklings. Dale and I actually talked about taking one off your hands if you end up with too many.

twebsterarmstrong said...

We've put your name on a couple of ducklings, Melissa. Get ready for some cute!

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