Well, the co-parenting mamas hatched out five ducklings Monday night! I've been slow about getting everyone moved into the "duck nursery." Yesterday I went down to check on them and all the ducklings had disappeared. I freaked out until I realized that Eugenia (left) and Maria Andretti (right) had just taken the babies outside for a walk...
Two watchful mothers! Eugenia is the one who was attacked by a fox this spring. The fox broke her leg, but I splinted it, it healed, and she's a mama again. Maria Andretti is her daughter from last summer. I named her "Mario Andretti" when she was young, because she had racing stripes on her head. Then I realized she was a girl, so Maria it is! A very nice name. :)
A little grooming session in the sun.
The little family is adorable but now I've got two mama ducks who want to kill me. They aren't laid back like Mama Ronna-duck, and I have the beak imprint on my forearm to prove it! I liked the brown one on the right with four yellow spots on his/her back.
Maria wants me dead.
Meanwhile, the other five ducklings are now huge, but Mama Ronna still hangs out with them. They are two months old now.
Ronna's a much better mama than Emma the Muff-hen, who has abandoned her babies and left them to their own devices. She went off and made another nest in the barn, but we took away the eggs, because we do not need 800 chickens. Her chicks are doing very well. They are amazingly self-sufficient.
This is Ducky Duddle, the first to hatch back in May.
We have had a little duckling cannibalism, but not as bad as last year. Still, they do love to nibble on each others' wingtip pinfeathers. Sigh.
Jim, who I named after my Dad, is looking fine!
I'm pretty sure these are girls, but time will tell. I've been wrong before, which is why I have a rooster named Lord Gaga. He was Lady Gaga until he crowed!
And Tristan wants some air time. We had a nice walk yesterday and he took a dip in the pond, which he loves...
Stay tuned for further duckling cuteness!