We've just started on a bit of an adventure here. We've a Tufted Roman female and a male and two female Africans. They started laying, and the tufted (the children have named her "Goose-Goose") decided she wanted to set on the eggs. What a good mother! But after a couple weeks, teh Africans decided to invade her nest, break some of the seven eggs, and lay a couple more.

So, we were left with fencing Goose-Goose off into the stable area where she had made her nest, securely away from the Africans, who have free roam of the rest of our little acreage.

She has been faithfully setting on four eggs in the area, which we've got equipped with a sled we fill regularly with water, food, and whatever greens will grow there. She's been getting up, eating, and exercising as she can.

All of a sudden, just the other day, two of the four eggs left were gone. We're not sure what happened. But my husband found the shells of the two-- she had apparently buried these under the otehr eggs in her nest. That day, before my husband found the egg shells, she had been standing there, looking down into her nest, wandering off occasionally, bathing, and coming back looking into her nest at the other two eggs. Sitting back on them only a couple of times when I was looking.

The kids had been asking about getting some ducklings at the local farm supply store, which is trying to get rid of its poultry stock. My husband decided to go ahead and get some ducklings for Goose-Goose, to see what happened.

He got four Cayuga (sp??) ducklings-- little black things that he was told were very people friendly. We took them out to Goose-Goose, and found a way to replace the eggs with the ducklings. Of course, Goose-Goose didn't know what to think-- hissed at the little critters, snipped at them. But we worked with her for the rest of that evening, and dear husband even spent a good part of the night out there, once she had finally taken them under her wing, just to make sure.

Now it's just cute to see this proud mama and her four babies. She's still not 100% comfortable with the mother stuff, but it's coming. The ducklings are independent little stinkers. But they come to her, and they snuggle well under her wing.

Now we're trying to see if anything's going to happen with the eggs. We're raising baby turkeys right now too, which are still under a heat lamp. We've put the eggs into a small box under the heat lamp. We're working on turning them. But we've never incubated any eggs before. I know we should probably do something with humidity. But we're thinking, time-wise, these eggs are either gone or are going to hatch any day now.

We're pleased as pudding that Goose-Goose has decided to adopt these little ducklings. We're just not sure what to do about the eggs-- how much longer to keep them.

Any insights on any of this that anyone here could share? We're having fun here, but we'd love to hear any tippers anyone could share with us.

Thanks in advance!