We are incredibly lucky to be looking after some Pekin ducklings for the next fortnight. Six eggs arrived on Monday 13th March and were left with us in their incubator. The children (and staff!) are so excited by their arrival and are regularly popping up to the library to visit the ducklings throughout the day. We we will keep you up to date with the ducklings progress on this page.
Please pop in and see the ducks at the beginning or the end of the school day.
When the teachers arrived at school on Tuesday morning, our first little duckling had hatched and dried out in the incubator and was desperate to come out! As he was the first, we called him Alpha. He was spoilt all day long by all the children and staff and he even went for a swim in a shallow paint tray. We had to teach him where the food and water were in his cage. Throughout the day four other eggs hatched! They seemed to be helping each other get out of the eggs. As they warmed up and dried out, two more were added to the cage so that Alpha wouldn't be lonely. They made lots and lots of noise and were particularly vocal in the evening during the Governors meeting!
After a night drying out in the incubator, the next two ducklings went into the cage first thing in the morning. All five little duckling snuggled under the warming plate and spent a lot of time huddled together sleeping. They were visited by so many children throughout the day who held them and stroked them. During science club in the afternoon, all the ducklings came out to play with the children. They enjoyed exploring the library! One final egg is left in the incubator. There is a hole in the egg and the duckling's beak is poking out of the hole. Having phoned a duck expert, we have been told to leave him in his egg as he could take up to 18 hours to emerge. Mrs Griffin is taking the incubator home tonight to keep an eye on our last little duckling.
Our five little ducklings are getting on really well and have learnt to eat and drink. They have been incredibly busy today and are often sleeping in the quiet times of the day. The ducklings have been out a few times today to try out some shallow water. They are getting more confident in the water and seem to be enjoying splashing about! Our final duckling has also hatched. After nearly a day and a half of trying to break out the egg, the duckling appeared in the afternoon. He is absolutely exhausted and we have left him to recover in the incubator. He is quite unsteady at the moment and so Mrs Griffin has taken him home this evening to see if she can help him through the night. We have everything crossed that he will be ok.
We were delighted to discover that our smallest duckling had made it through the night and was introduced to all his brothers and sisters today. They were really interested by the latest arrival and were soon cleaning him and accepting him into the group. He was born with only one eye and some of his feathers are a little damaged but otherwise he seems to be going from strength to strength.
The ducklings loved meeting so many faces today at review day. They were incredibly popular with all families and they were spoilt with lots of hugs and cuddles. They even went for another paddle together and loved speeding around the water tray!
The ducklings have been taken home over the weekend to keep them safe. Mrs Grant has taken four of the ducks and Mrs Griffin continues to nurture our youngest duckling, taking another duckling with her so that the little duckling has company. We look forward to hearing about their weekend adventures.
Day Five and Six
Some of the ducklings have had a wonderful weekend staying with Mrs Grant. They have been out in the water again and as you will see from the film, they are able to go in slightly deeper water. They are getting bigger quite quickly and are very speedy when they move! We look forward to seeing them back at school tomorrow.
Mrs Grant also made a film to show one of our little ducklings hatching - a massive thank you to her as it truly is a magical moment.
We couldn't believe how much our ducks had grown over the weekend. They have become so much more confident and a lot faster! The ducklings are able to jump up onto their heating plate and are very keen to make an escape when the cage door is opened! They are also going into deeper water and are like little missiles travelling around the water tray. Duckling number 6 is growing well and is eating and drinking large amounts just like the rest of the other ducks. They are happily quacking away and still enjoying all visitors so please keep popping in and seeing them.
Our little ducklings are now about a week old and they are growing rapidly. Their water pot needs to be refilled at least three times a day because they are always drinking and their cage is cleaned out daily because the ducks like to get water everywhere! Their personalities are also really starting to shine through. Alpha is easily identifiable, not only as the biggest, but also as the bossiest. They love being together and prefer to come out of their home altogether, making sure no one is left behind.
Our baby ducklings are growing up and getting ready to move on. In the next day or two, the hatching equipment will be collected and the ducks will be re-homed. The great news is that they are all going to stay within the Sun Hill family. Mrs Grant is going to keep two ducks, a parent is going to take two ducks and Mrs Griffin is going to have the final pair, including the littlest duckling that she has nurtured over the past week. Mrs Grant is going to keep her ducks in school for a little bit longer so we can continue to see their development and I am sure we will continue to get updates about their progress.
Today the ducks tried out swimming with hilarious results! They were flying about the water and very keen to make a break for freedom - launching themselves out of the water tray!