Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Ducks Are Chirping Inside Their Eggs!

After a long day of work around the farm today, we came in to enjoy dinner of chicken on the grill and some rice our daughter, Meaghan prepared. It was delicious and I thought it a fitting end to our day, but the evening had more excitement in store for us. The ducks began chirping inside their eggs. The process of them exiting their eggs and entering our world has begun. So exciting! This can take a day or two before the ducklings completely emerge or as little as a few hours! I can't help but check them every few minutes to see if they have begun pipping through the eggs hard shell with their egg teeth yet. Thus far, they are rocking, but that is all.

I raised the humidity to 70 percent by adding more warm water to the basin below them. This will help the shell membranes to remain soft enough for the little guys to free themselves. It is difficult to just watch and wait, but that is all I can do for now.

Our delight at the thought that we might have our ducklings before morning overshadows all the work accomplished today. But since, I need something to do to occupy my hands and mind, I will tell you about our day, anyway. Or, at least of our achievements:

1. Sean was able to finish the roof for the chicken coop and it looks wonderful! Just perfect! I am so proud and happy that this was able to get done today. I know our girls appreciate it, too. Bring on the rain now, the chickens are ready!

2. Sean and Aidan emptied boxes of superfluous items taking up valuable room in the wood shed and consigned them to the bonfire we had crackling and ready. Meaghan, Kristen, and I, with help from our friends, Aidan and Cherie, loaded and stacked five wagons full of wood in the newly acquired space in the wood shed.

3. I wrote up the information and forms for our Egg Share CSA. I couldn't help but candle the duck eggs to show Cherie and Aidan the progress of the ducks. We heard them tapping inside the eggs. Then, Cherie and I heard the ducks chirp inside the eggs!

4. Sean built a new milking stand. It looks wonderful. We couldn't help take it for a "test drive." I sanitized all the milking equipment, made a cleaning solution to sanitize Ellie's teats. Sean lead Ellie to the stand and she jumped up all on her own! She knew what was what. At least one of us did! I washed her udder with a warm cloth, dried it with a clean cloth, then dipped each teat into the solution and let it dry, while Sean washed and sanitized his hands. Careful, not to touch anything but Ellie, Sean set to work milking. Before we collected milk for our own usage, Sean squirted 5 streams of milk into a waste bowl for the cats to clear the teat of any bacteria or clots in the milk. Then, he started collecting the milk for us in a stainless steel bowl. While Sean was busy milking, I stood with Ellie at her head, talking to her, petting her and watching her enjoy an additional treat of grain today. We did not collect much tonight, but with practice, we'll do better in the days to come! I strained the milk through a clean cloth into a sanitized mason jar and washed the milking equipment. The jar was immediately placed into the refrigerator. We'll add to it in the days to come. I can't wait to begin making cheese!

We did not get to work on the new pig pen today, but there will be time for that tomorrow. I consider this day a success.
Good night, friends!
Sonja ♥

1 comment:

  1. Teat is one of my least favorite words in this whole wide world. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarfff I know that is what it is called, but I just can't get down with it!! So, I am afraid I may not be reading the milking entries. Please don't be offended, but you know I am a weirdo and I have my quirks.