Wildlife Club just completed a project that taught the students a lot about how a duck develops and grows. Not only did we get to watch the egg go through different stages by candling it each week, but once the ducklings were hatched, we got to see how each one is really unique!
We were kindly given 7 eggs by Matt, the farmer at Lower Shaw Farm in Swindon. He told us that once we hatched the ducklings, and watched them grow for a few weeks, he would welcome them back to live freely on his children’s farm. We were excited about this offer, as we would never have been able to do this project if the ducklings were not guaranteed a safe and happy home!
It took 27 days for the eggs to develop. We were able to see the blood vessels and duck embryo after about a week! We did this by holding a torch to the egg in a darkened room. A few days before they hatched, we saw the beaks in the air-pocket and we heard the ducklings chirp in the egg!
There were 6 ducklings that made it and we were excited to meet our ducks! We named them after characters from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” We quickly learned that each duckling had a unique personality. We learned how they liked to follow us and would cuddle closely in our arms.
We all pitched in to help feed, clean, and bathe them. The whole experience taught us so much! Everyone has now promised never to chase a duck in the wild ever again. We also discussed how pigeons, and other birds do not really like to be chased, and we all have new respect and understanding for our feathered friends.
After 3 weeks, with the ducks already quite big, our teacher took them back to the farm. Matt the farmer could not believe how big and healthy our ducklings were. He also mentioned that they were very calm. We know it is because we loved them so much!
The ducks now live on the farm with their biological family. In fact, when our teacher brought the ducks home, some grown ducks came running to see her. We know that our ducks are happy and secure. They will live a life running freely on the farm, and many children will have the chance to see how wonderful they are! Learning more about animals helps to develop a respect and care for all animals, and helps us to work towards protecting wildlife around us.