March 20

Dear Diary,
Two days ago, I went outside to feed my ducks and what do you think? My lovely Mutka was sitting on a nest full of babies! She is such a good duck, she always lets me come close and sit with her, and sprinkle a little food so she doesn’t have to get up from her nest. But this time, I heard little peeping noises and a tiny head stuck itself out from under her feathers! It was a yellow-brown color and had a long bill like its mother.

Yesterday, Mutka came off the nest to get some food and I saw ten babies in the nest! Only one egg was not hatched. I read in my book that I should leave it alone; if it doesn’t hatch, then after a few more days I can take it away because it’s no good.

I told Mr. Dipak and he said, “Nahji, handle that egg very carefully if you take it from the nest! If it is addled—the chick did not form inside—then it will be one terrible smelling egg! Do not drop it anywhere near your home.” And he made a horrible face.

Other ducklings are hatching under our hens and Oma, our Rouen duck. The hens’ bodies are not as warm as a mother duck’s, so the eggs can take longer to hatch. The Rouen ducklings are dark brown, but that nest also has some runner ducks. Oma doesn’t seem to care! That’s good, because when the hens are through hatching their ducklings, I must move them to Oma or Mutka to raise, and keep the hens away from them.

Chickens are not good examples for ducklings to follow! They would take dust baths instead of swimming! Also, the hens might peck at them.

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