Haiku: Surprise Duckling

“Expect the unexpected ” was the theme of the morning…except that I wasn’t expecting it. When I went to the waterfowl coop this morning, everyone rushed out (as they normally do) and I set about collecting the duck eggs that were either strewn about (Runner) or buried in a nest (Muscovy). Little did I know what I’d find…

After gathering the eggs, I checked on Finn, the Muscovy mama who’s been sitting – so diligently – on a clutch of eggs for 4 weeks now. Muscovy eggs take around 5 weeks to incubate, so I knew that we had a bit to go, but then I saw a tiny duckling standing near her. A duckling! So early! As I tried to wrap my mind around it, I realized that something had gone awry. WTH??

After mentally sorting it out, I realized that the baby was clearly not a Muscovy – its stance, its coloring, its early arrival, all pointed to it being a Runner duckling. Ok. But how in the world did a single Runner get in the bunch?

There are two ways that this could have occurred: either operator error (I accidentally included a Runner egg with the Muscovy when I put them in her nest) or one or more Runners laid their eggs in the coop and Finn simply corralled them and put them in the nest. I’d like to think it was the latter, rather than the former, that occurred. 😉

A single duckling is always a challenge because they’re lonely; in this case, though, a recent chick hatch meant that I had some companions of appropriate age and size with whom to place this baby. The little fawn & white duckling snuggled right under the heating pad, along with the chicks, and, later, I saw it out, drinking and eating. So far, so good!

Finn’s other (Muscovy) eggs will be hatching in about a week. I may try to reintroduce the Runner baby when the others have hatched…or this little one may simply grow up with chick siblings. Time will tell…

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