By Bảo Ngọc
Children throughout the country are going through a lonely time due to having to study online and not being able to hang out with friends.
To create fun while at home, many parents are incubating duck eggs so that their children have pets to keep them company. Thanks to the low cost and ease of incubating the eggs, raising cute little ducklings has become a popular trend during the pandemic.
Giang Thị Hoa in Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội, received many compliments after sharing her story of raising ducklings at home.
Giang Thị Hoa incubated 20 eggs and got 16 ducklings. — Photo courtesy of Giang Thị Hoa
She told Việt Nam News that initially she tried to incubate five duck eggs at home, but they failed to hatch. The second time she decided to incubate 20 eggs and ended up with 16 baby ducks.
To incubate the ducks, Hoa had to use a 10-20-watt heating lamp for about 8-10 days. She put a layer of straw and cloth in a styrofoam box, arranged the eggs evenly and covered them with a thin layer of cloth and straw on top. She then placed a bowl of water next to the eggs, and adjusted the temperature of the heater to be constantly above 36 but below 40 degrees Celsius.
Giang Thị Hoa's 5-year-old daughter considers these ducks her best friends. — Photo courtesy of Giang Thị Hoa
After the ducklings hatched, for 1-2 weeks she continued to use the heater but did not bathe the birds to avoid them getting cold. Fortunately, her family owns a large garden, so it is convenient for taking care of the tiny animals.
Hoa said the ducks had brought joy to her children, making playing at home more enjoyable, especially during the pandemic.
In mid-September, the family of Trịnh Ngọc Trâm added some lovely new members to their household, two ducks named Pfizer and Astra.
Two ducklings named Pfizer and Astra become new members of Ngọc Trâm's family. — Photo courtesy of Trịnh Ngọc Trâm
To save space, Trâm and her children used their rooftop to incubate the duck eggs in shoe boxes, keeping them warm by filling the boxes with rice husks and covering them with a clean cloth.
The family carefully monitored the incubation process each morning to make sure the eggs were warm enough. On the 13th day, the eggs finally hatched bringing much happiness to Trâm and her kids.
"Goodbye to delicious duck dishes such as grilled duck, duck vermicelli and duck eggs. After foolishly listening to my children and incubating eggs and raising ducks, all my favourite duck dishes are gone from the menu,” she joked.
Trâm uses a pot of water lilies as a 'swimming pool' for her ducks. — Photo courtesy of Trịnh Ngọc Trâm
More than two months have passed since Trâm’s family decided to raise ducks at home. Now, Pfizer and Astra are an indispensable part of the family. Her two children are excited when talking about raising the ducklings, and the process has brought them much joy during the citywide lockdown and also helps them practise responsibility as well as teaching them about the animals.
Recently singer Trọng Tấn, famous for his songs about love for the country, surprised fans by sharing his process of raising ducks at home. He said his home had "reluctantly" become a "duck farm" when eggs stored at his house suddenly hatched.
Singer Trọng Tấn spends time with his lovely ducks. — Photo courtesy of the singer
Tấn used a cat cage to make temporary 'accommodation' for the fowls and kept them warm with cotton towels.
Cute photos of the singer's duck raising received hundreds of comments from fans, with many people saying they were inspired to keep ducks at home themselves.
Easy to raise, hard to keep
People can find thousands of places selling baby ducks by typing some simple keywords in to Google. Each duckling costs anything from a few hundred to tens of millions of Vietnamese đồng depending on its breed.
Most families choose to buy duck eggs and incubate at home to save costs and let their children observe the entire breeding process, which can be wonderfully educational.
Ducklings are adorable when young, but as they grow older can be a nuisance to families who do not have much space. Large ducks can be noisy and hygiene can pose problems for owners.
Some parents say that when the ducks grow up, they lock them in the toilet and only let them walk around the house when wearing "homemade diapers". At the beginning of the new school year, teaching children how to balance learning and caring for the ducks is also a challenge for many parents.
Raising ducks at home during the lockdown has been an unforgettable experience for many families, however those living in apartments, shared houses or densely populated areas should think very carefully before deciding to take on any feathered friends. VNS