I went outdoors this afternoon to take photos of the ducklings, who are about three weeks old now. But as I stepped outside, a plane flew overhead. Several ducks looked up to view, and I caught a photo of the large "Mama" duck doing just that:
OK - on to the ducklings. There are twelve, and they are growing every day. All...but one: the little runt. As College Boy Graham described the little guy - "He's painfully cute - he is so small." The other eleven ducklings hatched of their own accord, and two days later, there were three unhatched eggs left in our incubator. Two were deemed nonviable (i.e., dead ducks), but one had chipped a bit of his shell open, but the progression had stopped. I finally decided to do some hatching of my own that afternoon, and lo & behold, out came a teeny, tiny little duckling, much weaker than his incubator mates. After 48 hours or so, I put him in with his by-now larger and very active teammates. And ever since, this little guy has lagged behind in development and behavior.
Here he is lined up to take a drink in the water pan. The other ducklings have learned to hop in for a little swim. Little guy can't jump in on his own, he is too small.
Notice, the little guy wandering off from the fold. He has already begun his distress peeping when I took this photo:
Sigh. You just have to love the underdog...