Baby Ducklings - 1 day old

Sunday, October 18, 2015 Stephen Kelly 0 Comments

The baby ducklings wandered out side their nest today, for the first time, they oldest of them would be about 24 hours old now.

In the picture below, you can see that there are 12 baby ducklings, the mother (Crystal), and a few eggs, so there still may be more ducklings.

Crystal and 12 of her ducklings

There is another duckling that is not in the picture, that we helped out of the shell, it appeared that it was having problems. They had broken their shell, but did not seem to be able to get out of the shell. So we helped them out of the shell, and put it back in the nest, the mother has been sitting on them since - so we can not tell how they are going.

We do not expect that Crystal will leave the nest again today, so we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if this one survived or if there will be more ducklings. We do not expect that there will be any more, although about 5 of the eggs remaining are showing signs of having ducklings inside them - you can see the darkened shape of the duckling through the egg.

It is interesting that when the ducklings are outside the nest, the mother keeps making small noises, as if to say "I am here still" or "this way home".

We have just spent about 20 minutes watching the ducklings, as they have started eating and drinking and it is a warm feeling watching them see the world for the first time. The ducklings also seem to be curious about Thistle (another mother duck sitting on eggs) - which is in the pen with them and the ducklings will go and look at Thistle and sit outside her nest and watch her.

I picked up one of the baby ones, and it is amazing how soft and warm they are, the mother was getting a little upset, so I returned the baby to her.


Baby Ducklings have arrived

Saturday, October 17, 2015 Stephen Kelly 0 Comments

We have been eagerly waiting for our new ducklings to arrive, we noticed the first one about midday today, then when we check at about 1:00 pm there was six of them, with one of them being only about 15 minutes old.

I was having a meeting with Stephen from Geolocarta and we both went down and looked at the ducklings, there is something special about seeing something so newly born. One of the ducklings was still visibly wet so must have just appeared from within the egg so was probably only 15 minutes old.

There was a total of 26 eggs, so we are hoping that we will get about 15 ducklings from this batch.

Crystal and one of her first ducklings, with an egg.

We were going to give some of these ducklings away, and sell some of the rest to a local produce place, but have decided that we will keep most of this batch, and give away the next batch. Crystal was a different genetics, as she was bought in as an adult so we can keep these ducklings and use them for breeding. 

Also Jo likes white ducks and since the mother is white, we are hoping that we will get many pure white ducklings from this batch, it appears that the duckling in the above photo will turn out to be pure white. 

Ducklings are yellow and/ or black when they are born, and as they get their second feathers, the black areas stay black, and the yellow areas become white. 

Looking forward to seeing how many ducklings we will end up with in total, we will know by mid afternoon Sunday, as all the ducklings will be born within a 24 hour period.  



Thursday, October 15, 2015 Stephen Kelly 0 Comments

Ducklings - new life. 

As I sit here and write this, we have two ducks (Crystal and Thistle) who are brooding, with Crystal's eggs due to hatch today or tomorrow and Thistle's eggs due two weeks later. This will be our 3rd and 4th batch of baby ducklings, and each time we still learn something new and are getting better and better at the process.

I read a phrase recently that has stuck in my mind and I keep thinking about it

"If you have livestock you will have dead stock" 

Which we realise if we are going to move to a farm and raise animals, this is something that we will have to get used to. I always get very attached to my animals and we spend a lot of time and money looking after them and making sure that they are as happy and well fed as they can be, so it is sad when you see that something goes wrong.

This morning when we went to check the ducklings, we found a dead duckling that was not perfectly formed and was dead. It is always disturbing and sad to find something like that.

We only have a small number of livestock at the moment, namely 5 ducks, and 1 hive of Australian Native bees. We also have several pets (2 dogs, 1 cat).

Delta and Ducklings, one of them would be Thistle.
When we have a batch of ducklings, we consider them as livestock, rather than as pets, as the original 5 ducks are, and do not name the ducklings, unless we decide that one of them will be kept, and then we will name them.

We are thinking that we will keep and then slaughter a small number of male ducks from one of these batches, as we will need to start eating the ducks soon, if we want to start moving towards a semi self sufficient life style. This is something that I am not looking forward to, having to take the life of an animal that I would have seen born, but realise that is the natural cycle, and will give the animal the best life and death that is possible. I will have a friend that is a butcher come and help me with this the first time that I do this, and will research how to do it so that there is least stress for the animal.

Since we can not yet determine the gender of the ducklings until they are older, we will not be able to determine which will be males and females, as we will also keep some of Crystal's ducklings to increase the size of the flock of females. We think that about 8 females is the right number for our one male (Donald) for the space of the yard we have here. We also think that 8 females should give us a sufficient number of eggs for us and our neighbours.

Every hour or two, I continue to check in on the mother ducks and make sure that they are happy and healthy and have water and food, and to check for baby ducklings. The last few times we were able to tell that the ducklings had arrived by just walking near the duck house from the chirping of the baby ducklings, which is a very distinctive sound, and surprisingly loud for an animal that is so small.

Once the ducklings have hatched I will put some photos up here.


My connected world

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Stephen Kelly 0 Comments

I have opportunities and resources that were never available to my parents generation, predominately brought about by the IT and Internet revolution. I am a child of the 70's and lived through the cold war and threat of Nuclear war.

Now, I have friends and acquaintances from all over the world, and find it very interesting speaking to them about their different cultures, customs and upbringings, and even the weather.

I grew up in country Queensland, Australia. I had what would be considered a very stable childhood, my parents were married my entire childhood, and I basically did my entire schooling with one group of people, many whom I am still in touch with now through Social Media. I currently interact with someone from my primary or high school at least once a week.

I think the seeds of this idea began about 5 years ago, when I launched (which was an on-line office product, I have now re-purposed the brand to this blog) and was contacted by +Svetlana from the blog, requesting an interview with me. I agreed and we connected over Skype had a long conversation over Skype, over the next few years we kept in touch as we released new features and over time we became friends and now have regular chats. To me in many ways my friendship with +Svetlana symbolises to me much about this current openness of the world, the fact that as a child I had real fears that 'the Russians will nuke us' and often couldn't sleep at night, as a child wondering when the bomb would drop, and now I have a friend who is Russian.

Recently I saw a question on LinkedIn from a young man in Pakistan, about his Master degree in GIS and what area and University he should do his studies at. Since this is an area I am familiar with I looked at his profile to see his background and to suggest some ideas for him, we keep in sporadic contact generally discussing GIS topics of interest to us both.

The fact that on an average day now - I communicate with people in several different countries as a normal part of my day highlights that the world is becoming a smaller place. Through Social media and other mechanisms such as Skype I am slowly trying to befriend people from different cultures and locations all around the world, I know that this will not be quick or easy, but I look upon this as a chance to expand and understand new cultures.