It’s hard to believe Hestia sat on her eggs for only 28 days.  It felt like years.  The anticipation was excruciating, but finally the long-awaited moment came when we checked on her, and a little mallard face about the size of a quarter peeped out from behind her.  By Sunday evening May 20th we had moved the first five of 9 ducklings into a brooder in the house.  the rest were born the next day, Hestia’s first birthday.

Three of the ducklings are black with yellow chests, the offspring of a cayuga-mallard hen and a mallard drake.  The other six look like traditional mallards and are a good biut smaller than the hybrids.  All are perky, quick on their feet and quick to nap.  Our first attempt at hatching eggs with a brooding hen and then taking over the process of raising them has been a great success.  At least the first five days have been.