I counted the eggs in Quakie’s nest again this morning – had to move fast as she and Frankie were away on a short foraging trip (including a stop by the kitchen for Quakie’s favourite frozen treats – green peas) and would be back quickly.
I brought a large basket to hold the straw and eggs, and carefully removed the eggs as I had did two days previously. To my surprise, there were 15 eggs this time! I thought I might have miscounted, but true enough, there were 13 eggs with pencilled crosses on them, and 2 eggs without.
Two new eggs! This means Quakie is still building up her clutch, and perhaps she hadn’t actually stopped laying at all. The mystery of why Quakie is not sitting on her eggs is solved – at least for now. Unfortunately now there is no way to know when she actually did start laying, and on which days, since the math doesn’t add up.
Quakie has gotten so fat in the last few days that she walks like a pregnant woman – waddling with difficulty! Her belly is also quite visibly distended, especially in the evenings. It’s like she is going through a whole pregnancy cycle every day and giving birth every morning. What an amazing reproductive system ducks have compared to us. No human (at least, no one I’ve heard of) could possibly give birth to a whole brood of young, who in total weigh more than half their mom’s own weight!