late hatch/duck 8 eggs/now what?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by poultryprincess, May 16, 2004.

  1. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to post here,but tried for 4 days to post under Poultry & It won't go thru -I am totally stressed about this duck stuff(even though I have read 3 books on them I am still stumped)- the details *bought a drake for our 2 'scovy gals.Put in a few nests,fake eggs,fed breeder mash & increased the lite.When they had a dozen eggs,frost hit for a few days.I was advised to remove the eggs & let them lay more.After laying 6 eggs duck A started to set,@ this time she started to chase & pull out feathers of duck B.I removed the fake eggs & candled,but couldn't see anything ( Newbie to fertile eggs)I snuck 2 of duck B's eggs under duck A,but then found her eating a couple of eggs...figured she knew! Thurs.was day 38 & decided to candle again.Found only 3 eggs :confused: one was rotten so I ditched it-but the other 2 had similar large air space.I made sure not to turn or jar the eggs,but I noticed one had a soft spot.We have had a hot spell for a few days & Thurs.was 85.I went to put fresh water in their pool & beside it I found a fully formed & feathered duckling in a crushed shell :waa: She is now on a single egg.*Sooooo do I remove the last egg?<maybe she laid it later & I didn't see> Can she be trusted to hatch,or is she an egg eater? My new ducklings arrive Wed.-is it safe to slip them under her?Could she have done this because the egg was soft or because she smelt me on eggs?The drake still came for some luvin', could this have stressed her out? I am sorry for asking so many questions,but I could not sleep thinking about that poor duckling. I know I will have to get a tougher skin if I plan to raise livestock...but it was so sad :waa: Any bright idea's from you brainiacs would be appreciated :worship:
     
  2. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Although, I'm not exactly positive why you had problems with your muscovey hatching her eggs in my opinion there was quite a lot of interference from you. No offense meant there. All of my muscovey hens find or make their own nests and I let nature take it's course. I generally DO NOT mess with the nests or the eggs until it's several days past hatching. Sometimes I even wait until I absoluetly smell rotting eggs. And then I wait until they're off the nest to eat and drink before I take a peek. I don't candle or exchange eggs with other ducks, etc. I take a glance at the duck while doing chores and that is all. Sure my ducks might be sitting on a few unfertile eggs, but within a day or so of the fertile ones hatching the hens have kicked out the unfertile ones.
    I'm not sure if your muscovey hen will accept your other boughten ducklings. Try slipping a few under her at night. With some of my breeds of ducks, this works. Others it doesn't. Have a brooder prepared just in case. I know it's sad when baby animals die. There has been a few occassion where I feel like I've failed my animals. But like my six year old daughter tells her city grandma, "things like this happen sometimes." Don't feel too bad. Everyone has a different opinion of how "involved" we should be in our animals lives. I feed, water, provide shelter, first aid when they are hurt, and assistance WHEN needed with the larger livestock during birthing but otherwise I pretty much let them do what's instinct for the animals. Hope this helps. Becky
     

  3. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely NO offence taken...I appreciate any input. :) I candled as indicated in the book, I think their reasoning was that rotten eggs can explode & infect the other eggs. They suggest candling on the 7th,15th & 27th day. (I tried it on the 7th, then again on day 38) I will not try to add eggs again,but a friend does this on a regular basis & has never had a problem. I heard that removing the other hen & drake would be better,but I do not have a lot of space....I am getting a partition ready for the next time.(the duck on the nest will not have access to the pool, she will have to get by with a small bucket) You have given me some sound advice & I Truly thank you for your suggestions :)
     
  4. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    :) ps/ I have decided NOT to slip any ducklings under her....there is no sense taking any chances! Tomorrow will be day 42, so I am leaning toward just cleaning out the nest & letting things settle down.The other duck has just started laying again so perhaps she will have a go @ it this time.Thanxxxx again.