Dilly stopped laying as of yesterday and at the same time became very serious about sitting on her nest. Obsessively so.

Over the weekend, I candled the duck eggs she had been sitting on. Sadly, they were not fertile. Since Dilly has stepped up her commitment to broodiness, I raided the hen house for chicken eggs that might be fertile – if the Colonel has been doing his job.

This morning when I checked on Dilly, she stuck her ground rather than waddling off as soon as I opened the door. She hissed and fussed at me. Then she proceeded to scoot wood chips around with her bill, covering all of her eggs before leaving.

I am in awe of the natural instinct that compels her to sit on her eggs and to protect them. This is her first bout of broodiness and it’s not as if she had a good ducky mamma role model. She was hatched in an incubator and then shipped off to us in a box.

Dilly protecting her eggs

While she was off the nest I swapped out her infertile duck eggs with some freshly laid chicken eggs.

Chicken eggs for Dilly the Duck

Moments after I left the duck house, Dilly headed back inside and settled on her newly adopted chicken eggs. If they’re fertile, and if she sticks to it, she could be a mamma in three weeks. Go Dilly!

Dilly settling in on her chicken eggs