Female duck has fertilized eggs - what to do?

Scoutsfish

So.. I have 2 male ducks and 1 female(others have died over years). The girl-hannah- has decided she wants to lay on eggs just like she does every year unsuccessfully. Well it was super windy and the chicken house and 2 eggs blew away. Chicken house and momma duck is back to normal but eggs had cracks. She still has like 20 eggs under her.. we took the cracked ggs and cracked them and found developing embryos in each. Should we let her continue to lay on them? How long until they hatch? How to raise them for first while etc if anything hatches. She is very protective!
 

becky3086

Well, my duck hen actually hatched a few last year and she had never hatched any before..however, 20 eggs is probably too many for her to cover and some will end up on the outside of the nest and get cold. Still I would leave her with them. Make sure she has PLENTY of fresh hay all the time and that the nest stays dry. Keep hay around the nest where she walks so she doesn't drag in any mud to the nest.
As far as how long, depends on what type of duck she is, most ducks are 28 days but muscovies can be 35-40 days. Also make sure she has access to clean water all the time as she will wet herself from time to time which is good for keeping the right high humidity on the eggs which duck eggs need.
After they hatch I would set up a brooder at the proper temperature and take the babies away from her as I think it would be very hard for her to raise them with two males around. Mine did raise one of her babies in a pen by herself but two did die and I think if I had put them in a brooder they would have been fine.
 

Scoutsfish

Ill freshen hay tomorrow its already dark. Yes. She can hardly cover them all. they get fresh water daily and we don't have brooder so if any hatch we can separate her in separate cage where she can still see others. They're housed with 2 chickens 1 rooster(others died) we also have heat lamps that can be used. Idk what kind she is but they stand upright and are white with brown/cream head and some on wings. Her and one male are that kind the other is chocolate brown all over and stands normally..
 

shelleyd2008

My ducks try to hatch babies every year. They usually end up hatching a few, but they break twice as many eggs as they hatch. If you don't have any other way to hatch them yourself, I would let her keep them, though I would seriously consider reducing the number of eggs in her nest to less than 10. You can check the eggs with a flashlight (in the dark). Shine the light through the 'big end' of the egg and it will light up like a light bulb. You can see the embryos and veins by doing this. If you don't see any veins in the egg or if you see a black spot or if you see nothing but the yolk, then you know those eggs are no good. This is called candling. Candle the eggs before you remove any cause you don't want to take away the 'good' eggs and leave her with the bad. Also take away any eggs that are cracked because those won't make it to hatch day.

Your duck and 1 drake are Fawn & White Indian Runners, which take 28-ish days to hatch. I'm not sure what breed the other (chocolate) colored drake is, but possibly a KhakI Campbell.
 

Scoutsfish

Indian runners sounds correct! Unsure bout the other... if Ican snatch a few eggs when she's gone ill candle them - she hisses and lunges if I get near. What kind of flashlight is best? How long can eggs be without her on them? Thanks for help!
 

shelleyd2008

They'd be fine for a while without her on them. Any flashlight will do but you want one that is very bright. The smaller the better too, so it doesn't blind you in the process. Take her off the nest and stick her in a cage if you have to while checking her eggs, she'll go back to it when you let her back out. You wouldn't think so, but ducks can bite pretty hard! I had a 'hickey' on my hand from a broody duck once, I think it surprised me more than it hurt, but it made me realize why my son wouldn't readily reach under a sitting duck LOL

ETA: Google s result for khakI campbell ducks. Since he doesn't walk upright, this breed is my best guess. There are chocolate-colored Indian Runners but they stand up straight too
 

Scoutsfish

Nths btw)Don't think he's that kind.. he looks like a mallard/ domestic mallard look alikes.. but is completely brown. His he'd slightly darker but still brown.. idk.

I put fresh straw in there tonight and had a small bright flash light ready but just by putting bedding in there she lunged at me and ran her beak into the side of wood coop making loud sound. She did this several times and became quite irritated.. so I decided to wait.. she covers just about all but maybe 1 and she is a small duck to. I've had ducks be about 20 lbs and she's not even like 5... lol! Btw.. did I tell you guys she has one eye? She was attacked by mink couple years ago. Her friend was brutelly killed and she escaped with one good eye, the other healed but with skin over it. It was damaged when healed over. She gets along fine without it though! Anyway.. may have to take out a banana next time for her... hannah LOVES bananas! Lol so do my bunnies anyway. Thank you al so much for the help! Haha funny story..

So one year one chicken started laying on eggs. Soon she had to many to cover so... another hen started to lay on them too next to her side. Once to many eggs another came then another! We had 4 hens laying on like 60 eggs all on same nest! Hahaha then all eggs started disappearing... and a strange smell came about with an occasional POP! Sound.. haha they were exploding under the hens! Well. That was the worst day ever having to remove rotten eggs as they exploded on us and in garbage bag! Ya... learned that lesson hard way! (This went for like 2+
 

shelleyd2008

The khakI campbells do look like mallards in the sense that they have green heads (males). They also have the wing bars and markings on their feathers like a mallard would.
 

Scoutsfish

Hmm Ithink you may be right now as I look at more pics well charlie brown is a khakI campbell then and smores and hannah are indian runners! Lol I once had 9 ducks as once. 1 pekin, 1 swedish 2 mallard look a likes, 2 indian runners , a all black one, the khakI campbell and a cream colored one. Idk what kind.. haha luckily a friend with big farm took 5 and left us 4. One died though... anyway. It is late and I must go! Hopefully I can candle eggs tomorrow!
 

shelleyd2008

I currently have 20 ducks: 4 F&W Indian runners, 11 Pekins, 4 call ducks, and 1 wild mallard who decided to join the flock Plus a friend has some baby ducks in his incubator for me (I didn't have any room in mine), but those don't count because I won't have them long.

Oh, and I forgot about the 2 babies who are in the house that we are keeping so long as they aren't male! So that makes 22 ducks that 'live' here.
 

Scoutsfish

Haha wow! That is a lot! You must have some good land or a farm or something for them. I thought 9 was a lot! Lol we have mallards try to join them but our dogs won't let them and chase any wilds off that come! They know which are ours and which aren't. Lol! Gotta love aussie/Pyrenees mixes
 

shelleyd2008

We have 8-10 acres. In addition to the ducks, I have 14 geese, 9 pigeons, 7 button quail, 2 coturnix quail, 2 doves, and at least 200 chickens. Oh, and 2 dogs and a guinea pig In addition, my dad has 18-ish guineas and probably another 20 chickens. Oh, and dad also has another 15 dogs (8 dogs, 7 puppies that I wish he would hurry up and get rid of!). Oh, and a horse....I think that's all of them lol

I think of it more like a zoo than a farm lol

Oh wait, I forgot about my Lady Amherst pheasant ****. So it is more like a zoo
 

Scoutsfish

Haha wow! I have.. 2 dogs 1 cat 2 bunnies 2 chickens 1 roo 3 ducks 1 parakeet and fish. I once had a wild mallard who got hurt and I nursed it back to health same with a young dove who couldn't quite fly. Last year Iraised a starling bird that had hardly any feathers, had fallen fro nest, been powerwashed and looked dead. He/she made it! Fed it and kept it until it was able to fly and eat on own. Even after release it would come back and land on my arm if I whistled he still hangs around but has since joined a flock. We have bout an acre of yard not pasture:/ its a lot of work and Iwish it were pasture.
 

shelleyd2008

We surprisingly haven't found any baby mourning doves this year. The best thing to do with them (if you find them) is to hang an Easter basket or ice cream bucket (or similar) in a tree near where you found the baby with some grass, straw, or hay in it and put the baby in the basket. The parents will find it and care for it if not in 'their' nest. They really are terrible nest builders, it's a wonder that any of the babies survive!

I edited my above post, I forgot some critters LOL
 

Scoutsfish

lol and we found the dove on side of road with hurt leg and couldn't walk(half a toothpick and some medical tape come in handy when least expected!!). My parents brought him/her home and I nursed it back to health and released it as for the starling, the nest is.. well.. in the roof(found the baby on complete opposite side of house though so no clue how in the world it got there..) They have somehow found a small crack on side of house and squeeze in, building nests from straw. They come back EVERY year to the same spot which happens to be in the corner of my room (but on the outside of course!)

update on my duck so I eventually got her away from nest no matter how unhappy it made her. She got a nice swim and drink while away and I was able to fully count and candle eggs. There are 10 duck eggs and 2 chicken(sneaky chickens getting ducks to hatch your eggs!! or try.. haha) It looked like a lot more before hand as straw was covering most. I got my flashlight and tried to candle them, but the shell was to thick and I saw nothing. It didn't even glow like it normally wouldve(seen candling pics online before) Same with chickens eggs as they are the green/blue ones. Well.. candling failed. But I was very happy to see how well fed and healthy she was! usually she gets pretty skinny when trying to hatch eggs. She'll go forever without anything no matter how close or far or fresh her food is.
 

Scoutsfish

Just another update: hannah is STILL laying on those eggs! who knows what the end result will be.. hopefully if they hatch it won't be while I'm gone!
 

shelleyd2008

The eggs should take 28 days to hatch from the time she started sitting on them, so you might have a little bit more to wait
 

Scoutsfish

Hmmm let's see.. its been like 10 days since this thread....and she was on them for atleast a week before that...0.0 for all Iknow they could hatch this nextweek!! When I'm in denver... let's hope they don't until I get back... would they eat just mash food? May have to let my family know... super excited!
 

shelleyd2008

12 days since you started this thread + 7 days (+/-) = 19 days. You should still have over a week left They will eat mash food but you need to make sure, especially if you have a bowl for water, that there is something in the bowl they can stand on to climb out. They WILL get in the water if at all possible, and they would be fine, just as long as they can get back out of it. Or you could use a chick waterer, but it's so much more fun seeing baby ducks 'swimming' in a 3" deep dog bowl of water lol
 

Scoutsfish

ill prepare the house for them before Ileave just in case. We have little chick/duck feeders and waterers so ill use those. We had a chick nearly drown once when it was little and I don't want it to happen again... should I separate the momma immediately or just the babies? With like a heat lampp and straw..
 

shelleyd2008

Leave the babies with mom but put them in an area together. It's much easier to let mom raise babies
 

Scoutsfish

Haha well that will be an interesting time for my mom to catch her! However.. may be slightly easier since hannahs blind on one side.. lol they'd be fine outside? And what if one or 2 eggs hatch but not rest? Nest is in different place than the safe place we're putting her. Do we move babies and keep mom where she's at on nest? Goodness I hope she has them while I'm home!
 

Scoutsfish

Guess what????! My mom is hearing peeping and crackin! She says she's seen little grey things! More eggs hatching at moment mommas being awesome. The house she's in has been closed off with water and food and lamps soon. Wish I was home! soo happy and excited! Anyone in utah want some baby ducks??
 

shelleyd2008

You don't need lamps, she will keep them warm enough on her own. Putting lamps in there will only make them too hot and cause a lot of problems.
 

Scoutsfish

Alright ill let my mom know no lamps I'm going to try to upload a picture... so far they've seen like 3 but she's laying on more. We think a chicken got one though before we realized they were hatching.
 

Scoutsfish

Up to 4 ducklings as of this afternoon! momma duck is still very protective at staying on eggs! I get home tomorrow night!
 

Lucy

I hope we see pics of baby ducks!
 

shelleyd2008

I have 1 mama duck with 3 babies right now. They aren't "hers", but she'd sat on bad eggs a week longer than it takes for them to hatch, so at least 5 weeks. I felt sorry for her so I gave her some pipping eggs from the incubator

I also have a mama goose with 4 babies, they are such good parents! No one is bothering mama duck, which is a surprise. Unfortunately, I think her babies are Pekins, she is a Runner. I really didn't need anymore Pekin ducks LOL
 

Scoutsfish

Finally home!!! They are so cute! Fit into your palm and are just adorable. They stick to their moms side almost constantly. Still at 4 but there are 4 or 5 more eggs. 3 of them are just normal, 1 looks like the babies currently hatching and another welll.... I'm not quite sure. Its like weird. The shell is off but yet still there. Its hard and just looks funky... Imoved mom and babies and eggs into bigger hen house where they could run a little and have more venilation. Mom immediately found a corner and remade her nest. I put a round snow sled(we use them for water holders) in with 2 inches of water/less than half full and put food and another water container with a tray in there. Plenty of fresh straw how long after first hatch do I wait for others/when to decide eggs are no good? I'm not sure bout the ones semI cracked. The one looks like duck is peeping out of it but my mom says its been that way all day. They're brown/grey with yellow spots on them very darling! Some stand upright some don't.. dads my brown duck. Moms the upright runner? Duck..
 

shelleyd2008

If she has left the nest with the babies, she won't hatch the rest. You need to take the babies away from her for a few days to see if the other eggs will hatch. She'll take the babies back

But if she's been off the nest for too long, it's probably already too late. Since she started incubating them at the same time, they should have hatched about the same time.

Again, you can candle them with a flashlight to see if they have internal pips (pips into the air cell but not to the shell).
 

Scoutsfish

She stays with the nest, leaving it for water and food with the ducklings. The one egg with duck trying to hatch has cracked more but was also squished and flattened D; there was def a baby in that one, feathers are showing from the cracks. Mom keeps pecking at it.. I'm not sure rest will hatch... we have 4 very healthy babies! 3 are more upright and long necked like mom and 4th is shorter, closer to ground with short neck. They are so cute when swimming! I filled container little more and now the mom splashes in it while babies dive below and splash. They are all very skittish around me and I'm wondering if I can separate them from mom to get them used to me... if she senses danger she sounds the alarm and all little ones rush behind her. Lol
 

shelleyd2008

Try to help the one that is cracked hatch, that's what mom is trying to do. Gently pull the 'top' of the shell of and get the baby's head out. Don't pull the other end of the shell off its legs or you could cause it to bleed (or pull its intestines out!).

You can separate them from mom, but you should be able to tame them with her if she is tame. Get her to eat out of your hand and the babies will follow.
 

Scoutsfish

Honestly...I think its to late for the one....its like squished... and cold.. I feel bad and mommas semI tame.....she's still trying to attack me when I get near... but she's most tame of all 3 adults...
 

shelleyd2008

I don't think it is. She wouldn't be trying to break it open (unless she's trying to eat it) unless it was still alive. Being cold doesn't bother a fully-developed duckling nearly as much as it does an early-development egg.
 

Scoutsfish

So I went out and peeled open the 2 very carefully. They were literally flattened...Iwatched them for a while but they had no signs of life whatsoever.. there's still atleast 2 more I can see the duckling through the egg shell. Niether have cracks in them... haven't checked this morning, don't know if they've hatched...
 

Scoutsfish

Only 4 ever hatched. The four are starting to get big feathers in and they have been accepted into the flock with the other 2 males as well. Their names are.. shasta, rootbeer/rb(arby), waffles and idk what or if last got named... haha we let friends and family name them.. now I just need a home for them! I really don't want 7 ducks! Btw mom still is super protective! Haha she won't go across yard without the two males helping her protect the ducklings. I think we have atleast one girl... or atleast one boy... either way we have a mix I think. Will have to wait for feathers to come in.. anyone want some super cute ducks? They're brown with white around necks and on wings super cute!! Except at moment they're in that ugly teenage stage... either way.. id post pics but idk how on here, phone and computer never let me/ load the pictures..
 

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