BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Duckling hatching ahead of others under mom
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Duckling hatching ahead of others under mom

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering how concerned I should be about one egg hatching ahead of the others.  To make a long story short, I have a mother duck sitting on 7 eggs and one of them is hatching today.  It pipped the last two days so it's a full on hatch now.  The other 6 eggs haven't started pipping yet, and at last check they should all be viable.  I've seen a few wiggle around when looking in the nest.  By my calculations, the eggs should be hatching Saturday-ish, but will it be a problem with this one coming days earlier?  I'm wondering if mom will still sit on those eggs or if I will need to quickly find an incubator.  This is my (and mother duck's) first time with hatching eggs.  She is a fawn Runner I raised last year and has been (surprisingly) a diligent and excellent sitter.


Edited by SometimesCraftr - 5/18/16 at 11:30am
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
post #2 of 9

There's always a early one. It will depend on your hen if she will keep sitting. I have had some stop setting shortly after a couple have hatched and I have had others that would not leave the nest even after the eggs all hatched. 

I have Bantam welsummers,   Bantam Olive eggers, MGB, LF Welsummers, BCM, BLRW, LF Buff and Golden Laced polish x Tolbunt, LF Sumatras, Bantam Sumatras, d'anvers, CCL, Bantam wyndottes   and bunch of free range birds

 

 
Reply

I have Bantam welsummers,   Bantam Olive eggers, MGB, LF Welsummers, BCM, BLRW, LF Buff and Golden Laced polish x Tolbunt, LF Sumatras, Bantam Sumatras, d'anvers, CCL, Bantam wyndottes   and bunch of free range birds

 

 
Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  I guess I'll just watch her and keep my fingers crossed...and have a Styrofoam cooler around for just-in-case.  The other eggs still aren't pipping, but there is movement, so they are fine and just behind.  This one was from an earlier clutch that was not being sat on regularly by the goose who wanted to sit, but I think Greta (the duck sitting) must have got to them sooner than I thought.  All the other eggs were tossed due to no growth.  The others should be hatching Saturday.  Lesson learned...I'll just start with a fresh batch next time this happens.  This duckling is so curious and friendly.  When it hears my voice it pops out from under mom and tries to get closer.  The coloring is so interesting (to me, anyway).  Our drake is a black Runner and I believe this egg was from the Khaki Campbell.  

 

6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
post #4 of 9
I had a hen hatch 7 ducklings and leave 2 eggs in the nest two days ago. We found the eggs cold hours later but we put them in the hatcher and they both hatched today.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh I'm so glad to hear that!  When I went out to put all the birds to bed two more of the eggs have pipped, so hoping the rest will begin pipping tomorrow since they are dated a day behind those two.  So far she's sitting and I think i'll just keep them closed in their house out there until they hatch so she's not tempted to wander off and out into the yard.  

6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
post #6 of 9
The ducklings like to snuggle in under their mama the first day or two so the biggest concern is her moving a newly hatched duckling before it has the strength to keep up with the brood.

As long as you can get to any unhatched eggs when she leaves the nest they can even be hatched out using your own body heat if you don't have an incubator and you are willing to carry them around against your skin. Armpits are a good place for them but people also hatch them in their bras (a man might even be able to wear a bra short term to hold eggs for hatching but women tend to be the ones to use this approach, lol).
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

All but one of the eggs has pipped now and the last one is pecking at the shell.  We will have one more tonight for sure.  For now I'm just keeping her shut into the house, since she wants to be on the nest still anyway.  I figure if she can't roam the yard she's more likely to stay with them.  It's a sizable house that usually holds a goose and 4 ducks, and has great ventilation, as well as being predator proof.  I also took one of the heat lamps out there (ceramic heat bulbs) so they still have a source of warmth if they aren't under mom (it's away from mom so she doesn't get overheated).  Probably overkill, but better safe than sorry.  Food and water are in there too, away from the nest, with a tall water source for mom that the ducklings can't get into.  How old should the ducklings be before I let them roam the yard?  My prior experience is raising inside, so they didn't go outdoors until they were 8 weeks.  Obviously this is going to be a little different.  I'm glad they are pipping now, I definitely couldn't talk my husband into wearing a bra with the ducks - lol.  I think i'm in the clear with my first concern and just need to watch that she doesn't leave new ones.  She's being an excellent mom so I don't think I need to worry. 

6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
post #8 of 9
The safety of the ducklings is the main concern so it depends on what dangers are in your yard. The crows are an issue here so the ducklings need to be big enough and predator savy enough to avoid the crows. It helps that our roosters sound out a warning for criws but they are smart and persistent. Our bantam ducklings are tiny so I keep them in a covered safe pen with the hen until they are a couple weeks old. I have a family in a chicken tractor right now that I have used before since it is not big enough to keep many chickens in.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yesterday our final egg hatched and everyone is doing well. I raised the heat lamp as mama wanted everyone under her (as it should be). It was great as she was sitting on the last eggs, though. For now I'm just keeping them in the duck house but I set up a yard off of it for them to venture in to in a few days as weather permits. My biggest concern is the resident crows. We have two that hatch eggs every year and I don't doubt they would take off with a duckling. I have a large covered pen I used last year that I'm going to modify slightly to work with our set up this year and that will be great protection for 8 to 12 weeks. Length of time will depend on how full it gets as they grow. I'm going to work on putting more cover in the barnyard where they will be until they are bigger and can join the main flock, so they will have plenty of places to hide if needed. Thanks for all the advice, I'm so glad it all world out. That first time around is always a big question mark.
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
6 ducks (Runner, Khaki Campbell, Pekin), 3 cats, 2 Royal Palm turkey poults, and a cranky Chinese goose...with 7 ducklings on the way
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ducks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Duckling hatching ahead of others under mom