This weekend I had a couple of disappointments. 🙁 First, of my nine fertile duck eggs in the incubator, only three hatched! Those three hatched on time, successfully, and are robust and healthy. But the other six were more full-term babies that must have perished about three days before the hatch-just before absorbing their yolks.
So, I don’t know what’s going wrong. My only guess is that with the warm summer weather, the temperature fluctuations are just too great inside the incubator. I believe that the heating element controller only has a variable resistor in it, that just determines how much power (or maybe some timing of an on/off cycle) goes to the heating element. What would be better is a thermostatically controlled unit. I’d get it set right one day, then we’d have a hot or a cold day, and I’d notice the temp would be several degrees off in there! But, you would think that momma ducks would have the same problem nesting outside??
So, <sigh> I’m not sure what I’ll do next. It’s about $50+ to mail-order ten ducklings from a hatchery, and I’ve heard that mortality rates are high in those too. So, it may be worth continuing to learn how to do them at home. Or, I could let mother ducks spend several months non-laying to raise their own. We’ll see. For now, I think nine total ducks may be enough. They seem to be staying safe all day while ranging free, despite the overhead raptor presence.
The second disappointment was the fourth side of fencing- it’s finished, but I didn’t stretch one side of it well enough, and it’s sort of puffy and saggy. Not only is it unattractive, I don’t think it’s as strong that way. I think I can fix it later by cutting it down the middle and tensioning each side back towards the middle, and then crimping the ends together. But, I’m going to put that off and live with it as-is for now.
But, the weekend was still good. I got a lot done, I have three cute baby ducks at least. We got a chance to go check out the local town’s festival and antique car show for a few hours today, and also had a great dinner out on Friday night. And, I am working on some interesting projects at work right now, so I don’t even mind that tomorrow is Monday! 😉