On Saturday, my husband found a wayward egg in the grass near the chicken house. This isn't terribly unusual, so he brought it in and left it to sit on the counter. When I saw it a couple of days later, something became immediately clear to me. This was not a stray egg dropped carelessly by one of our hens. This was, in fact, our very first duck egg! I resolved to watch the ducks carefully from that moment on. Sure enough, one of the females, that very morning, was anxiously pacing outside the closed chicken house, looking desperately for an entry point. I opened the door, and as usual the chickens spilled out in a noisy, black and white wave. The moment the last tail feather crossed the threshhold, our girl was in, and began settling into a small divet she'd made in the pine shavings. There was one egg already in place, and I left her alone to deposit a second one, which she did.
The other female payed her a visit and provided a bit of fussing - helped move pine bedding around just so, confirmed she was comfortable, and then excused herself. The drakes waited steadfastly outside. After about 45 minutes, she emerged, her parcel faithfully delivered. And then there were two.
This morning, the same drill - three eggs today. These ducks are known to be reliable setters, so I'm anxiously awaiting the day she goes in and stays. Then we count the days. And wait.