One word... depressing! Oh how I have loved our little Science projects in our homeschooling journey. We have had a difficult time following "curriculum", so we pretty much do natural Science most of the time which has led us to raising rabbits, chickens, ducks, and goats (goats were a short adventure). We have loved it! And it has not all been perfect. We have many animal death experiences, but by far the successes have outweighed the failures. Well, such has not been the case with the ducklings. Out of MANY eggs we have only 3 little ducklings and one has a club foot. And it is so sad to see the little thing hobble around. Truth is... he knows nothing different, so he seems fine and happy, but it depresses me because I feel like it is something we did. And I feel we have messed with the natural order of nature.
This duckling thing really has me baffled. I have not assisted and when I have seen that end with a death I have done some that I have attempted to assist; hence, the three living ones. It racks my brain. I can't sleep at night wondering if our little babies are dying while trying to break free of their shells. Just four nights ago one died in the night. And I just do not get it! They are developing fully, yet they are dying at full gestation. I have tried many things to change it thinking our problem may be moisture levels and such or improper turning even though I have an egg turner. It is what it is. But if I had it to do over again I would have not done this little Science venture.
We have had some benefit. We have learned about the development of the egg and the reproduction system of a chicken. Interesting fact.... they have two ovaries, but only one is functioning. We have learned about the layers of an egg and sadly gotten to see fully develop specimens (non-living). We have learned that a hatchling can have a hard time standing and their little heavy heads will slowly droop to the ground as they fall asleep standing and that they sometimes have weak little legs that have them doing the splits for the first 48 hours. Oh how we have worried, but oh how we have rejoiced over the three living ones that are thriving and doubling in size every few days.