TASIS Wildlife Club has hatched 7 ducklings! Of course, it is important that we are responsible in our doing this project, so we have partnered with a wonderful children’s farm, Lower Shaw Farm in Swindon.
The farm has provided us with some eggs, and we put them in our incubator. After about a week, we were able to “candle” the eggs and view the developing embryo. We saw blood vessels and a heart! It was amazing to see life in our eggs.
We then went on spring break, and the eggs continued to develop over the two weeks we were away. When we came back to school, halfway through the week, our ducklings began to hatch.
The duckling pips the egg and then it takes another day or two until it is really to push the egg it has cracked open. All along, you can hear the duckling peep! Finally, on Thursday morning, 16th of April, the first duckling hatched! Our class was able to watch this hatch, and it was so exciting. The other ducks hatched in the middle of the night, so only Ms. Gediman got to watch!!
We had an extra egg that did not initially fit in our small incubator, so there was someone at school who offered to place it in her incubator. Well, she forgot the egg over the weekend, and this meant that the last egg was 5 days late being put in the incubator. (The original eggs went in on a Thursday evening, and the extra egg went in on a Tuesday morning). The last egg hatched five days later, so she is smaller in the photos, but she thinks that she is big and gets along beautifully with her siblings!
We love the ducklings!! We have watched them grow each day. It is amazing how fast they grow and change. They are now two and a half weeks old, while the baby is nearly two weeks old. They are beginning to grow feathers, and their voices are beginning to change. Ducklings are very vocal!
We take the ducklings out every day to play and have a bath. We have learned how to care for them, and how to hold them gently. Mostly, we just watch them play and take delight in this special time.
We have been discussing all that this has taught us, and it includes life cycles, animal behaviour, how to care for an animal, and how animals are all unique with their own personalities! We have also noticed that there is a lot of little bits of rubbish that is dangerous for our ducklings in the school grass playground. And, if it is dangerous for our ducklings, then it is also dangerous the whole year for the wildlife that shares our campus. We will now take part in a project to help the whole student and teacher population become more aware of litter, no matter how small!! We have all been taking turns to check for plastic and foil pieces in the grass.
As well, we have decided that the ducklings have taught us things that are included in several of our Core Virtues, which we learn about each month. Some of the virtues that are related to caring for the ducks are: Respect and Responsibility, Gratitude, Compassion, Hope, Wonder, Kindness, Joy, and Gentleness.
We have become so close to our ducklings and we love them so much. Next weekend will be the time that they need to go back to live on the farm. They will join their biological family and have a wonderful life living free range in the duck area set aside for their enjoyment and safety. The have a lovely river to swim in, and lots of vegetation to enjoy. The ducklings will have a wonderful life on the farm, and we will forever hold them in our hearts!