My broody hen, to whom I gave 3 fertile duck eggs, hatched out a duckling this afternoon. It was still wet when I checked on her, about 4:00 this afternoon. I moved her and the baby and the 2 remaining eggs to a level spot in a brooder cage my kid built for me. The last time I tried that she wouldn't sit back on the eggs so I gave up and put her back after a couple of hours. This time she tucked the baby underneath herself, ignored the other eggs for a while, then got them under her as well. So now what? She's skin and bone, having taken the surrogate broody Mama thing very seriously. When she was in her original nest I did leave water and food beside her (no, I never spoil my birds) but she hardly touched them. I have some 18% chick started, non-medicated, that my chicks eat and should give that to the duckling, yes? Considering Mama's state, I guess she'll be okay with that for a while? Yes, I know this is the duck place, but I have both all of a sudden. Honestly, I was just trying to make her happy. Who knew she'd take it so seriously? Oh, and I'm leaving in 10 days for a 5 day holiday. A friend will be looking after dogs, ducks, chickens and 10 week old chicks. I'm sure he didn't factor this into the mix!