So, the new mother with 14 hatched a couple of days ago still has 14 today! I did not take any away from her or confine her and the babies to quarters for 2 weeks. But she is the second to hatch babies and there are 4 more that I know of sitting on nests. There are also 5 chickens that I am aware of sitting on huge nests. Sometimes when there are too many eggs, none of only one or two will hatch. The duck with 14 babies had over 20 eggs in her nest and they rotted, though she had a very successful hatch. She is highly protective and an excellent mother, a purebred Rouen duck. Some of her babies appear to be other breeds, so most likely, she was not the only duck who laid in that nest.
The oldest ducklings were hatched on May 4 and will be sent to the butcher on July 21st. They should still be small, but tender and tasty and easy to pluck. The pin feathers of older ducks are hard to remove and the Hutterites who do the job are not very careful about pin feathers.
In the meantime, there are so many ducklings and ducks and geese. It is almost over running the farm! And they are eating more now than they will at any other time in their lives as they grow the fastest after a few weeks old. Duck city, you bet! I love duckies. Good thing, eh?