Dee Dee setting
Our little call ducks did great through the winter. The cold really didn’t seem to bother them. If I broke through the ice on their little pond, they would jump in for a swim. Deuce would almost always be interested in making ducklings and Dee Dee was always willing to participate. Come warmer weather, Dee Dee would often be the one waiting for Deuce. She would jump in the water and stretch her neck out low and long to give Deuce a nice wide, flat landing pad. He would jump on and mate and hop off in just a few seconds.
We were hoping that we would get to see Dee Dee raise some young, but we didn’t know if she would be a good setter. We read that they often are not good at setting or not good at sticking it out for the whole 26-ish days.
A couple of months ago, Dee Dee didn’t come bounding out of her house after Deuce the way she usually did. She came waddling out slowly and lethargically. I know something was wrong. Joni got home from work around 2:00, I think, and examined her. Joni’s first thought was that she was having trouble passing an egg. She hadn’t starting laying, but was about due, so this was a good guess. We headed back to the clinic to see if one of the doctors could tell if she was egg-bound. One x-ray later and it was very clear. She had an enormous egg that she couldn’t pass. After a lot of work the egg was puctured, sucked out, and partially collapsed (using all the proper technical terms, I’m pretty sure :-), the egg was removed and Dee Dee was, once again, a happy quacker.
After that traumatic day, she took a few days off, but then started to lay pretty regularly until she had a nest of about 18 eggs. This seemed like too many to sit on, and as she was not yet showing any signs of setting, we decided to remove all those eggs and let her start again. She and Deuce continued to mate regularly, and she laid another 9 or 10. I was about to start pulling more of those eggs out, when she decided it was time to sit on them (called setting). It has now been about five days into the 26 or so days it takes to hatch ducklings, so time will tell whether or not Dee Dee continues to set and hatch them.