Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Duck Named Cherry

Cherry in the fore-front and her beau
Cherry, so named by my five year old daughter at the time.  If you have lived with or know a little girl and have ever given her the opportunity to name one of your animals, you will understand the name.

Cherry has been with our family since she was a duckling five years ago.   She has hatched out her own brood every year, except for this one, she needed a little help.   

Cherry as she does every year set to brooding at the end of April on a nice little nest.    Only this time, something got hold of her during the night a broke her leg about 10 days after she had been setting.   I noticed in the morning she was off her nest and that seemed weird because she only go off her nest in the afternoon for about ten minutes.    Unfortunately,  it was a busy day for me and I did not think much more about her sudden change is schedule.  (I was running late for the children's field day at school and had to get going)

 Later that afternoon we go home from the events of the day and Cherry was not on her nest again.    I went looking for her and found her hiding under a tree  on the back lawn.   As I commenced to getting close to her she commenced to get away from me.   That is when I notice something was very wrong with Cherry.   After chasing her around the tree several times she got tuckered out and let me catch her.   It was apparent when we were going around and around the tree that there was something wrong with one of Cherry's legs.   Well when examining her we realized that her left leg was terribly broken.    Well,  as with all things Nebraska Prairie
Girl could not just let things go untreated, something had to be done.  So, one of the children held Cherry while I put vet wrap around her broken leg. 

Next, my focus turned to the eggs in the nest that had been left with out a momma.    The eggs were cold what to do.  Well, you borrow back you incubator that you just gave to the neighbors.   I tell you those were patient eggs.  We had to get the incubator out warmed up and set to the perfect temperature of 100 degrees.   Finally, a couple hours later  we got the eggs set in the incubator and crossed our fingers.   I candled the eggs the next day and saw development and movement.  Yippie. 


One ready to hatch
Hello, world here I am.



 
Well two weeks and four day later the eggs started to pip.  I was so excited that the duckling had survived being abandoned by their injured mother.  











I know that baby ducks are not the cutest thing to hatch out of an egg.  Well nothing that just hatches is the cutest,  but once they dry and fluff, oh my gosh. 





Bucket-o-ducks







After being under the heat lamp in the house for a day the ducklings are ready for their trip to the barn.   


Here they are in their new home a rabbit hutch turned duckling hutch.  All in all out  of 16 eggs 14 have hatched.   The four remaining eggs still show signs of life so we will give them another day.  

New nest

Cherry's leg has healed and she is able to walk on it some what.   Hopefully, with time her leg will be good as new.    She has moved on and built an new nest and has five eggs in it so far.  



 


This is the old nest that we took the eggs out of to put in the incubator.   I am so impress with the construction of this nest.  How a duck could build something absolutely perfect,  has got to be a creation of God.


 Though Cherry has moved on past her last nest to build a new nest.(with much better feng shui I might add)  We had been blessed with the stewardship of her eggs and now with her ducklings.    Though, I would love to give the ducklings to her she will not now recognize them as hers.   So we will find them new homes and maybe keep a couple and wait to see what happens with her newest nest. 

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