Mr. Duck, You Devil


I had 26 eggs in the incubator, none of which I thought would hatch since I hadn’t turned them properly. Twenty-two of them were chicken eggs. Thirteen chicks hatched, so that was a pretty good hatch rate, all things considered.
I love little chicks.
I can’t get enough of them. They grow up so fast.

Where are my little chicks?

One of the last little chicks to hatch had a hard time getting out of the shell. In fact, I don’t think she was meant to be born.
I helped her. I don’t help chicks out of the shell unless it’s to the point that I think they may die if I don’t help them. I helped one chick last year. This is the one chick I helped this year, and she’s still alive–but not quite as she should be. Maybe this is why she wasn’t meant to be born. She is spraddle-legged. I was sure for the first few days that she would die, like any second now. But she’s eating and drinking and apparently determined to live!

What am I going to do with a chicken that can’t walk right? Is she going to have to stay on the porch, dream that she’s a dog, and drink out of a bottle? I finally ended up putting her in a box with just one other little chick for company because she gets stepped on too much when she’s with a crowd.

None of the banty eggs hatched, by the way. I had three banty eggs in the incubator. I’m inclined to think they might not have even been fertilized.

In the meantime, I’ve been waiting on ducklings. Duck eggs take about a week longer than chicken eggs. I’ve been waiting and waiting….and waiting. And wondering if the duck eggs were even fertile. After all, Mr. Duck is awfully shy and retiring.
He and Mrs. Duck are quite attached to each other, and yet they are both so demure, so bashful, so polite. Mr. Duck is nothing like the raping and pillaging roosters.

I imagine Mr. Duck quietly sidling up to Mrs. Duck, kissing the back of her neck, and saying, “Dear, do you think, if you don’t mind, that we might…..” And then they just go to second base or something.
I just couldn’t see it happening between those two. They’re just too…..nice.

But!!! MR. DUCK, YOU DEVIL!!!!
The duck eggs….
….are hatching!


  1. Box Call says:

    Great pictures and storyline…such cute chickens and the ducklings are quackers.

  2. Melanie says:

    Don’t blame you at all for helping the little chick. I have a crippled duck, she can get around and eat, drink, and be a duck, just not as quickly as she should. I thought that she deserved a fighting chance, she has such a strong desire to live also. Good luck with your little chick, I hope that she grows up to be a strong girl!

  3. Frana says:

    The little ducks are so sweet nad that poor chicken… I hope she/he lives, it’s so sweet. :snuggle:

  4. Diane says:

    The chicks are very cute. Love little chicks.

    Love the story about the ducks. lol. That was a good one. And the ducklings are very cute also.

  5. Cathy J says:

    Spraddled legs can sometimes be cured by using a pipe cleaner, or thin band aid, etc.. You basically tie the legs together, leaving a space between them, so that they stand correctly. They will learn to walk and the muscles will strengthen. Try Google on the subject for pictures.

  6. Asha says:


  7. The Jillybean says:

    Oh my goodness!!! The little ducks are even cuter than the little chicks!

  8. Wheezay says:

    Wow!!..chicks and ducklings all together..cuteness overload, I’m loving it !! :snoopy: I hope that little chick makes out ok.

  9. Christine says:

    Oh, the baby ducks are adorable! Have you checked out spraddle leg on yet? There are some folks who have been successful making little splints for their chicks to help with the problem.

  10. Lauri says:

    Oh, they are so cute! We rescued a baby duck when I was younger and he would follow me around the block on walks. He thought I was his mama. Once he grew up we took him to the neighborhood pond. He flew home a couple times but eventually stayed with the other ducks. I have such good memories of that little guy. Enjoy those babies! I am jealous.

  11. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    You’re a sweetheart for helping the little chick, and I see some great ideas here for you to try, Dr. Suzanne!!! I always love your stories – a great way to start the day.

    Thanks! :chicken:

  12. Claudia W. says:

    Awww duckies!!! The chicks are so adorable…the ducks, I want to hug them! So so so cute!!! Congratulations!

  13. Michelle says:

    I read somewhere recently (or heard it on a local radio broadcast here in North Carolina), that chickens are becoming one of the top kept farm animals. One of my friends in South Carolina is even considering adding them to her roost (which currently just has 7 dogs and a few small mammals), since she wants to possibly start keeping a small egg business on her property in time or to simply have her own fresh eggs. I’m in awe of everything that goes into raising chickens, ducks, etc. Your weblog is incredibly inspiring. Beautiful pictures and details. Kudos. :chicken:

  14. Betty says:

    I so love your website,you brighten my day, thank-you!! Love the pictures today, takes me back to my duck days!!

  15. Carol says:

    Chick and ducks! It reminds me of Friends when Joey and Chandler had a chick and a duck. LOL Good luck with the little spraddle-legged chick. I’d have helped it out of its shell, too.
    All your critters are so cute….except maybe the mean rooster. :bugeyed:

  16. Jan says:

    Go to this Long Island blogger’s June 5th posting and see the photo of the baby swan just coming into the world. Next, Suzanne, you will add swans to your farm!

  17. Valeria in NC says:

    Excellent chicks and ducklings! Great pics. I do so enjoy your site.

    You most likely CAN fix the spraddle-legged chick as Cathy J. said. Here is a link to the PoultryHelp site with good pics on how to do it. Thing is, time is off the essence. And they use band-aids, which you probably have to hand. Good luck!

  18. M says:

    My duck eggs hatched late…6 days late! And I had to help 2 out…they lay for dead in the incubator for 2 days and then got up and hopped around….3 are doing fine now…I just have to find them a home or send them back to the gross farm where I got the eggs. One of our chicks has a leg problem too…perhaps a cousin of yours?

  19. Kate says:

    Here is a link showing what to do for your chick:

  20. monica says:

    I have heard too about fixing straddle legs with using little bandaids. Oh please try it! :yes: It will be the cutest storyies and pictures of a little chick with “braces”!

    Congratulations with the ducks! Proud papa knows how to get the job done.

  21. catslady says:

    Awwwwwwww just too darn cute and I’m sure you can help the little chick.

  22. Shelly D. says:

    You are cracking me up with the rooster!

  23. Jen R ( says:

    I love the duck story! I had to read it to Aaron, and he laughed.

  24. Linda says:

    Love the pics. They are so cute but your ducks are my favorite of the two. Good luck with the baby chick.

  25. jean says:

    It’s the quite ones that you have to watch. Go Ducks.

  26. Estella says:

    Good luck with the baby chick.

    The baby ducks are so cute!

  27. Miss Becky says:

    :purpleflower: Oh, please help the little chickie. Love your stories. :happyflower:

  28. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    You have talked me into it. We are back from vacation and I’m getting duck eggs for the incubator. They are just too cute to pass up!

  29. The Retired One says:

    Oh Gosh….I would be in there staring and holding all those babies all day long!!!! They are all adorable!

  30. Lisa says:

    I had one this spring just like yours and it eventually died 🙁 I was so heartbroken…….Try taping her legs together with a bandaid…….you can look up the technique on……Supposedly it really can help! Good luck with the new babes!

  31. Runningtrails says:

    Your little chick needs a splint. You can see how to do it with bandaid on Velvet Sparrow’s site here:

    She has such a great site! It’s all you would ever want to know about chickens and it is so well done, even I can understand it. Lots of pics and info.

    Those babies you’ve got there are just so sweet!11

  32. Donna says:

    Oh, those chicks and duckers are the cutest thing!! I love those baby duckies!!!!!! We have two baby Doves in our front yard and they remind me of little grey ducks. LOVE BABIES!

  33. Ms E says:

    Those little duckies are too cute! Good luck with the lame chick, there’s more hope there than you probably imagined.

    I think you need to add guinea hens to your farm. They are a definite free range bird and an alarm system that beats ADT any day of the week!

  34. Chance says:

    Sweet, sweet pictures and Mr. Duck looks like a true Romantic — soulful even.

  35. sandyz says:

    These are such gorgeous photos of the chicks. Love coming here and seeing these.

  36. Darlene says:

    The babies are so cute!
    I hope that those talking about getting ducks/ducklings/hatching ducks will take some time to think it through. Babies are really cute. Big ducks pooping in the kids’ wading pool are NOT so cute. The babies grow up and will need feed and care – and then the adults aren’t so cute anymore. What do you plan to do with them when they’re grown? I’ve seen too many people buy “Easter” chicks, bunnies and ducklings with no thought as to what the animal needs and what they will do with it/them when they are grown.

    Suzanne, I hope that considering the problems you’ve had with Mean Rooster that you NEVER get GEESE! They are BIG and they guard their babies and territory aggressively! I had one chase me back into my truck – and I’m pretty fearless around animals. lol This guy came above my waist and with his wing span, up on his toes, I wasn’t going to get into a fight with him. Mean Rooster is a COWARDLY WIMP compared to a Pappa Gander! And Mamma Goose is no slouch herself.

  37. Kate says:

    I think it’s been about a year or more that I’ve been by and I must say your photos are beautiful! I’ll have to come back for more. Love your chicken photos. And the ducks.

Add Your Thoughts