Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Birthing Season

by Pa Rock
Farmer in Spring

This afternoon finds me in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City where I am poised to meet my new grandson upon his expected arrival in the world tomorrow morning.  Obviously, I will have much more on that joyous event in tomorrow's posting. 

This has been a week of birth and new beginnings on the farm.  About one month ago I placed nineteen eggs in a new incubator - seven peacock eggs and a dozen duck eggs.  I suspected the peacock eggs might not be fertile because although the males were doing their calls and dances to attract the hens, the hens did not seem to be overly impressed with their shows - and I never witnessed any actual mating.  Of the seven eggs, one has hatched - two days ago - and the rest show no signs of imminent birth. 

Four baby ducks have hatched.  Three of the little black ducklings are doing well, but the other didn't survive.  As I was leaving the house this morning, duck number five had cracked his shell open and was preparing the long struggle to escape its confines.  He, too, appears to be black.

Most, if not all, of the peacock hens (peahens) have been laying eggs, but only one has been showing any maternal interest in the hard work of sitting on a nest, hour after hour, day after day, in an effort to bring new life into the world.  That sweet little hen scooped out a nest in the straw on the barn floor and is currently sitting on seven eggs.  She has been at it a couple of weeks and is probably at about midpoint in the process.  I go in and visit her a couple of times each day and always bring her a treat - bits of bread or sunflower seeds.  I really hope that all of her hard work pays off and she is rewarded with the joys of motherhood.

And tomorrow Erin and Tim will bring another grandchild into the world!

Happy Father's Day to one and all!

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