I have three muscovies that have been sitting on a huge batch of eggs since mid april. I had given them what I thought (based on my count) was more than enough time to hatch any out if they were going to and went tonight to take the eggs away, The ducks are about a year old and have never sat on eggs before so I assumed something had gone wrong.
So I took all the eggs away and went to crack one open to see how far along it was and there was a live duckling inside who had actually already started pecking his way out. By the time I realized it was alive, I had already really busted the shell so I helped it out (I know I wasn't supposed to but I tried to put it back towards the hen but she pushed it away). Anyway, it hatched just fine and is alive and resting in a brooder inside. I tried to offer it to the mama duck but she tried to bite me, probably rightly protecting the rest of her babies.
The drake already stepped on him and when the mama bit me, she bit the baby too as it was in my hand.
So now what? If the other babies hatch, can I give this one back to her? Is there a possibility she will accept it or will I have to raise it inside? How should I try to reintegrate it into the flock? And when?