Dilly’s broodiness continues. She is defending her nest with more gusto lately, refusing to be chased off it when we want to collect the new duck eggs she’s added to her clutch. She’ll leave the nest for a dip and a nibble when she’s good and ready and not before. If you are able to coax her off the nest, she stands in the doorway watching what you’re doing, quacking irritably and returns to her spot as soon as possible.
When she does take a break from her broody duties, it’s with single-minded determination. She races through her routine of a drink, a dip in the mortar box, and a nibble. If the other ducks are in her way, she just plows through them. It’s quite funny to watch.
Yesterday, I plucked some fresh green weeds to feed to the other ducks. Dilly saw what I was doing and came racing out of the duck house, hauling her little ducky behind as fast as her little mis-formed legs would carry her to get her share of the greenery. Then she turned tail and raced back inside to sit on her eggs. It’s comical.
The problem is, it’s been 23 days since we gave her chicken eggs to sit on. Twenty-one is the magic number of days for chicks and not a one has hatched (we clearly have a defective rooster). If we’re really lucky, the remaining Mallard duck egg she adopted will hatch on Monday. Since I’m doubtful about our success there, I’ve moved on to plan C.
My friend, Sondra, donated two (hopefully fertile) turkey eggs to the cause. She started them in the brooder just this morning. I brought them home tucked alongside a bottle of hot water to keep them warm. We quickly tucked them in Dilly’s nest and she adopted them into her clutch. If she perseveres, it’ll be another 28 days before we see if she has any luck with these eggs.
Won’t that be a sight? A ducky mamma to a couple of turkey babies?
On the other hand, our broody bantam chicken, Shadow, is still hard at work. Depending on when she started sitting on her eggs, we could see some activity there in the next five days or so. Keep your fingers crossed!
Read more about Dilly:
11 August 2012: Dilly – Our Physically Challenged Duck
3 March 2012: Dilly the Broody Duck
27 March 2012: Rules to Being a Broody Duck
4 April 2012: Dilly the Duck Adopts Chicken Eggs
6 April 2012: Silly Dilly – The Movie