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*advice appreciated* Pekin eggs moving to incubator due to mom killing two.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
*PLEASE forgive me if I post this in the wrong spot.*

I hadn't planned on having new ducklings, but my pekin duck was determined.
We lost our drake suddenly last week and I'm still mourning him. We only had the 2 adult Pekins. They have been perfect for well over a year. I believe a hawk killed him and got a chicken at the same time. My drake had become quite protective of his mate.
So these precious duckling eggs are very important to us.
I kept my female in an extra large covered crate to sit on her eggs. I let her out several times per day and put my drake in with her at night.
I candled eggs and saw movement today. Yesterday I moved the interior nest box and the eggs fell and 6 of 8 had cracks. No membranes broke and I melted clear wax over breaks in hopes of saving them. Everything was fine and momma didn't notice that I could tell. She is very tame and waits for me to pick her up, eats out of my hand, and trusts me with her nest. This morning all was well. This afternoon I went to let her out again and she had opened 2 eggs. I saw blood, ducklings with feathers that looked almost done and one was moving. Both ended up dying. One of those eggs didn't have wax or cracks. I cant believe she did this... I removed the other 6 eggs and put on a heating pad under a glass bowl with a wet rag inside for humidity. I bought an incubator and turned it on to warm up. I gave my female warm chicken eggs to sit on.
I'm afraid of killing these last 6. I'm sick about cracking the eggs and feel awful. I need the best chance for these guys. I am unsure of exact hatch date. Any advice on humidity levels and temperature? To turn or not to turn? I read the instructions and didn't get an auto turner, but want the safest most effective way to save these guys.
TIA and I apologize for this long rambling post.
I have tons of chickens and wasn't prepared for this....
post #2 of 4

I don't think your duck intentionally broke her eggs. Even though you may not have seen cracks after the fall they may have been fragile.  At least in the incubator they won't get stepped on.


This link might help you with some of the information you're looking for.  It's Hatching Duck Eggs by Cornell University

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
THANK YOU! THANK YOU for the link and reply. So far momma is sitting on those chicken eggs happily. Incubator is doubg well with those 6 duck eggs. I'm hopeful. Thanks! ♡
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
OK so today we hatched 2 ducklings. They look great! I candled the 3 left and theythey look good and back in the incubator. The 2 dried off. I had already spotted a rotten egg a day earlier and disposed of it.
I let momma out, removed 2 eggs, added cleaner bedding on top, put a heat lamp in, the ducklings, and their used egg shells. Momma couldnt see me during this at all. She came looking when I opened the door and seemed interested right before she tried to nibble the baby's head. I kept her away enough no one was bit. She got on her eggs and fluffed a bit. Then paced a bit. The ducklings ate and drank a little and then wanted to be held. I'm so confused...we fought so hard to get here and now what? I have the ducklings inside to keep safe and warm, but worry they are imprinting. Poor momma looks upset and confused too. I cant have her sitting forever and lonely. I want her to raise her babies. I'm lost. I'm sad. What can I do?
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › *advice appreciated* Pekin eggs moving to incubator due to mom killing two.