Candling call duck eggs

Candling call duck eggs

Candling call duck eggs is just like candling eggs of any type, except more exciting because they are call duck eggs! I get a few questions about how to know if eggs are still good or not, especially if a duck gets off of her nest. The best way to tell is to candle the eggs by shining a bright light through them. This can be done with a special candler or even just by using the light on your cell phone. This photo shows me using the built in candling light on my Nature Right 360 incubator. I can tell you that I definitely look at my eggs a lot more than I ever have with this because it’s right there and so darn easy to just take a little peak! This egg is just 5 days along. I couldn’t resist. Now if you don’t see any veins or anything at this point DO NOT THROW IT OUT. This is a very early stage and it is best to wait until 10 days to decide if any eggs haven’t been fertilized. Have you ever seen a developing call duck egg move while candling it? It’s pretty cool. This short video shows what it looks like. Yes, it’s on TikTok 🙂 The folks at Metzer Farms have put together a great example of what you should see from day 1 through 28. You can find their excellent photos of candling call duck eggs here. Is there anything specific you want to know on this topic? Leave me a question and I will do my best to...
Dogwood in Summer

Dogwood in Summer

Why would I write about dogwood in summer? Probably because my big, hulking dogwood are growing like crazy and I need to remind myself how much I love them from November through April. I have three Arctic Fire dogwood in our front bed. During the winter months these stems are a bright red. They almost look fake with their fire engine red color and they are the first thing your eyes find in the garden during these months. As soon as the cool weather comes and the leaves fall off, the branches transform into these amazing colors. This photo shows the same dogwood in early April. Until the leaves begin to grow they remain their bright red color. However, these same dogwood in summer turn in to the big green masses in my front bed. They are beginning to consume the nearby perennials. Is this their fault? No. It’s mine. I planted them too close to their companions. The mass on the left side is my three Arctic Fire dogwood in summer. The branches of the dogwood in summer begin to fade to a creamy color. Their abundance of large green leaves hides them, but the show is over for these branches during the summer months. Can you trim dogwood in summer? Thankfully, yes you can. I am trying to show restraint on this though because I know that the larger the branches are in the winter the more they will shine though the cold and snow. That being said, they are starting to strangle out some nearby plants. I will use a pair of pruners to create some space around those plants and tame any unruly branches from the overall mounded shape of these dogwood shrubs. Can you plant dogwood in summer? Yes! And you should! Your garden will thank you from November until April. Just be mindful of their full size and try to space accordingly. I will just be over here, giving my dogwood a gentle trim this summer and knowing that they will pull their weight this...
Great Garden Blogs

Great Garden Blogs

Over the past three years I have been lucky enough to be a member of GardenComm’s “Power Circle” focused on blogging. I didn’t even know what a Power Circle was when I signed up, but it turns out it is a group of people to support you and push you to be better. We have been doing this for almost three years and I am sad to see it winding down. Keeping a gardening blog active is tough work and these folks are the best. Amy Whitney blogs at Small Garden News and she is the Southeast USA. Her blog concentrates on organic food gardening and she has two books that you will want to check out — one on Fall Garden Planning and the other is a Garden Planner and Notebook. Duane Pancoast blogs at The Geriatric Gardener. He covers issues surrounding aging in the garden. He just published a book on that same topic and you should be able to order that soon. Gail Pabst co-writes her No Farm Needed blog with her daughter. Check out their online store which features their pressed flower crafts from flowers that they both grow. Gerald Simcoe‘s web site is GeraldSimcoe.com. He studied horticulture at Longwood Gardens, but now spends his time painting. Check out his floral still lifes — from flowers grown in his own garden. Kathy Jentz’ blog is the Washington Gardener. She writes for and oversees both the blog and the printed version of the magazine. Kathy knows and covers all things gardening in the Washington DC area. She has been our leader of the Power Circle for the past three years so we are indebted to her organization and prompting for our regular chats. Marianne Willburn writes at Small Town Gardener and is often found in her garden with her dog and chickens in Lovettsville, VA. You may also know her book Big Dreams, Small Garden as...

Garden Gifts for Mom

Mother’s day is this weekend but there is still time to get the perfect garden gifts ordered or purchased! Now, more than ever, gardening is a great way to relieve stress, stay at home, and create a beautiful landscape. Garden Gifts It might be hard to get to a garden center this year, so how about a gift certificate to Classic Caladiums? Mom will love her garden gifts that include selecting her favorite caladiums! Need to see more caladiums? Check out this post for inspiration on new caladium varieties! How cool are these?!? I would love to get these Marimo Moss balls as one of my favorite spring garden gifts. They are easy– you simply take a cool container and drop them in. The folks at The Sill have these available. One of my favorite garden gifts last year was a hummingbird feeder. There are countless styles and price points for these, but it really doesn’t take much to attract hummingbirds to your yard.  I hesitate to include weeding products on here, but the gardener in your life is sure to appreciate the thought that went into selecting the CobraHead weeder for their use! This handy tool is so easy to use and is very efficient at getting to weeds that have a large root system without tearing up nearby plants.  For a smaller gift that could be shared with anyone, how about this Hanging Glass Bulb Vase from Ferry Morse? At only $3.99 each, these would be a great unique gift for just about anyone! Possibly the ultimate garden gift! Does your gardener already have a fountain in their garden? This is a great way to add a focal point and attract wildlife to the garden. There are many to chose from, but high on my list right now is this fountain at Wayfair. I love all of these Campania products, so selecting one might be hard but you really can’t go wrong.  You know what garden gifts I would love? A gift certificate to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. For one thing, their catalog reads like a book and I know the gardener in your life will enjoy reading these lively plant descriptions before choosing their purchase. Be warned: they are going to spend more than your gift certificate! It might seem crazy, but clothes are important garden gifts too! I am a big fan of my Duluth Trading long tailed shirts for covering me while I am working and my Tommy John women’s underwear that stay in place while I am planting. I have three different Tula hats because I love them all! These look great and help keep the sun off of your face. I think a Tula hat would be an unexpected and greatly appreciated garden gift this spring. How about a raincoat too? A new rain jacket will let mom keep working even when the weather is bad. Okay, if this garden gifts list doesn’t give you some ideas then you are on your own! Have you given or received something special? I would love to hear what garden gifts were special to you. Need even more ideas? My friend at the Washington Gardener have put together their suggestions for great garden gifts...
How do eggs hatch?

How do eggs hatch?

We had a very busy weekend around our house with 13 duck eggs and 4 chicken eggs hatching! I was sharing photos on Instagram and had a lot of questions about the hatching process and how do eggs hatch? There are lots of sources online, but I am going to share some photos from this weekend and try to explain without using too many technical terms. The above image shows an egg being “candled” to reveal the chicks growth inside the egg. This egg was about 7 days along in its development. The veining is really good to see! The empty spot on the left of the egg is the air sack. Three days before my eggs are scheduled to hatch I again candle the eggs and use a pencil to draw on the egg where the air sack is at within. Ideally, the chick will begin to “pip” or break the egg right at the edge of the air sack. If the chick is positioned correctly within the egg then its head will be close to the air cell. It is so exciting to see this first part of hatching taking place! From here the chick will start “zipping” the egg and peck a break in the egg all the way around the air sac. From here it is able to push this end off and break out! Below you can see the tiny little beak of a duckling as it is working on zipping its way around the egg. Notice that in the background you can see other ducklings that have already hatched. I keep the incubator closed for at least 24 hours to give the new chicks a chance to completely dry and also to keep the other eggs from losing humidity and adding difficulty to their hatching. Hatching call duck eggs and chicken eggs varies a bit, but here was our guide to hatching these call duck eggs. One of the benefits of marking the air cell on the outside of the egg is so that I can keep an eye out for any chicks that pip in an unusual area. These are the ones that might require some assistance if they don’t progress in hatching. How do eggs hatch? Well, they hatch with a lot of patience on our part! It is so exciting and painstaking to watch this happen, but that moment that they finally pop out of the shell is totally worth...
Back To Top