Our coop has muscovies (2 drakes/4 ducks) and 8 chickens. Last year we had 2 successful hatches, one with 7 birds/one with 2. During July one of the ducks sat on 17 eggs which started to hatch about 6 weeks ago. Only 3 hatched successfully and all looked healthy but by the next day they had died. We assumed the mother duck had trampled them. There were 14 that didn't hatch so temperature was probably an issue too.
We had another batch hatch 2 days ago. There were 8 eggs sat on by 1 duck (who previously sat on the successful hatches) and 2 broody chooks. We ended up with 6 ducklings (1 unhatched, 1 died still half in the shell). The ducklings were all perfectly healthy yesterday. This morning when we went to check on them, only 1 was still alive. It looked weak and had lots of little mites on its face. We gave it water with a dropper and put it back in the nest with its mother. It died within an hour.
Anyone have any idea what's going on? Could mites kill ducklings?
This is a photo I took yesterday afternoon.
I really want to work out why we lost them 😢