The owners of the shop/post office in the village keep ducks and one day when I was in the shop they were telling me their ducks had eggs but as they didn't want the eggs to hatch --they pierce the eggs with a pin and this stops them hatching but they hadn't done that yet.
Then they remembered that a few years ago I had been given a duck egg from their dad and I had hatched out that duck egg in my incubator.
Next question was "Do you want any eggs to put in your incubator before we pierce them?"
My answer was "NO thank you-- I'll be in big trouble if I put duck eggs in the incubator" but after we had chatted for a while I agreed to take just ONE egg.
Now I didn't get back to the shop for a few days and the next time I was there the owners were out, so now it was over two weeks since I had agreed to take an egg.
Next time I was in the shop (May 4th ) I apologised and said maybe it was just as well I hadn’t managed to collect the egg then came the bombshell! He told me he still had the FOUR eggs in the shop for me but he also told me that he had read that after eggs had been away from the nest for 7 days there would be little chance of them developing. and those 4 eggs had been away from the nest for almost 3 weeks so feeling relieved that they wouldn't hatch I said "OK I'll pop them in the incubator and let you know"
After a few days it was obvious nothing was happening with the eggs so early next morning I decided to put one of them into the bin in the kitchen, then later on in the afternoon I binned two more, I don't know why I still left one in the incubator but that night about 11pm I made up my mind that I would switch off the incubator and bin the fourth egg but for some reason unknown to me I decided to check it with the ovascope before I binned it and that's when I got a shock this egg was showing the first signs of being fertile!! Without a moment to lose it was quickly returned to the incubator.
Now it was panic stations what if those other two eggs that had been binned in the afternoon had been fertile too?
Very carefully I searched the bin found the two eggs I had binned in the afternoon (they hadn't broken) I washed them and then checked them and Yes they were showing signs of being fertile too. Very quickly those two eggs were back in the incubator too.
I felt there was no sense looking for the egg I had binned early that morning because it had been without heat for over 16 hours so I went to bed -- but all night I couldn't settle thinking about that other egg still in the bin so I got up at 6am and eventually found the 4th egg at the bottom of the bin and it too was still intact but cold. So it got washed and when I tested it? Yes! Unbelievable it too was showing signs of being fertile so it went back into the incubator too.
The surprising thing was all 4 eggs were developing normally so I numbered the eggs 1 to 4 (number 1 being the one that never left the incubator, 2& 3 were the two that had been binned in the afternoon and No 4 was the egg that had spent 16 hours in the bin! -- they have been named already
No .1 - is Lucky
No. 2 - is Binny
No. 3 - is Bucket
and no. 4.- is Miracle because it is a miracle it has survived and developed.
Those ducklings will definitely have a story to tell if they hatch out and survive - They not only beat the deadline of 7 days but had a short holiday in the kitchen bin before getting down to the job in hand (lol)