Jason heard the first * cheep * cheep * cheep * cheep* cheep * cheep * cheep
And we all crowd around the Eggsabator (incubator)
to see little pieces of egg shell crumbling off our lovely little eggs.
And feathers begin to emerge from between the edges of thick shell.
One wing flops out
Suddenly she straightens her neck out from the unbelievable pretzel position she'd spent her embryonic days growing in to.
Pushing her webbed feet against the inside of the egg...
She squeaks as she's pushing, so hard. Come on baby! We whisper encouragement.
As she lays, spent from the exhausting effort it took to birth herself, we stand amazed by the miracle we've just witnessed.
She and her siblings are full of miracles.
Earlier that day, they narrowly escaped death by my hand. As their time of birth grew closer, someone (a beautiful little someone) accidentally turned up the heat in the Eggsabator. When I discovered the temperature error the following morning, it was well past 106 degrees. According to the books I've ingested regarding incubation, embryo death occurs at 103 degrees. That morning I was distraught by the thought of our unfortunately cooked babes and decided to candle (holding a flashlight to the bottom of the egg to discern if there's life present) the eggs. I saw no life in the turkey eggs, no movements or chirping, which had previously been evident. The duck eggs were so thick that I was unable to see into their living centers. I assumed they were dead. Stella gathered the eggs together in her skirt and raced outside to "bury" them in the compost. Not two moments later she rushed back into the house, screaming and crying frantically and I'm just able to gather that there was a great deal of blood and chirping in the compost bin. We all race outside together and what do we behold? A cracked egg with movement beneath the thin inner layer and blood around the cracked shell. Aghast at my attempted murder, we gently carry them back into the house and return them to the Eggsabator. Later that day we welcomed our first hatchling, aptly named Compost. In all, we've hatched 10 beautiful ducklings with 9 surviving. What have we learned through this experience?
That life is a hardy thing and that mothers are fallible.