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Up until now, my ducks were born without the mothering gene. They scattered their eggs willy nilly around the pen and forgot about them. Tonight I went out to collect eggs for the incubator and not one, but two, ducks had built nests and were dutifully enthroned thereon. I thought about leaving them to their nesting, but that would mean two hens would quit producing eggs for the next 28 days and my duck factory would slow down production. Besides, I reasoned with myself, they were sitting on too many eggs to cover and in the process would probably lose them all. So I decided to snatch the eggs from underneath their fluffy butts and transfer them all to the incubator. I didn't do much preplanning and used the same method that works wonderfully on nippy chickens -- blocking the beak action with an egg carton while grabbing eggs. Imagine my surprise when the first mother duck HISSED at me like an irate rattler and darted forward like she had fangs. "Hmmm. Maybe I'll go back to that one later." My resolve only slightly dented, I approached the next nest. At least I was prepared for the hissing this time. It was when she actually followed through and locked her mighty jaws on my hand that...well...I dropped the egg with a splat. This must have really irritated her because she flew off the nest, quacking furiously, and charged like a speeding, feathered bullet. I...well...I am chagrined to admit that this 5th degree black belt, 'I ain't askeered of nothing', totally competent poultrywoman....well I ran like a frightened child pursued by the boogeyman. I estimate it will take until Saturday to recover my wits for another egg raid. Besides, Bob will be home this weekend and I might need some backup.

May 16, 2013