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how to tell if duck eggs are fertile

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I also posted in the duck area, but thought I'd try here as well.  I have a Pekin duck that's been sitting for a while now...I think we should be closing in on 28 days.  I'm not quite sure because I wan't expecting her to sit on eggs so it took me a while to figure out what was going on.  Oops.  Is there a way I can see if they're developing?

We had a predator get into their enclosure (coon I think) and lost one girl duck and some eggs.  I knew something was up because they were all in our pool when I woke up...with the wounded girl riding low in the water.  I got them out and saw she wasn't doing well...checked her over for wounds and found some scratches.  She was up and walking but died later on in the day.  The other girls had been laying eggs around the pen and I collected them every few days.  Whatever got the duck ate the loose eggs, and looks like it got about 1/3 of the eggs in the nest.  However, the broody duck went right back to her nest once they were fished out of the pool.  This happened a little over a week ago and she's still sitting...will get out to eat and is very careful with the nest...turning them, etc.

I'm not expecting much with all the commotion and sadness, but don't want to disturb her if there is a chance that something will hatch.  What does everyone think?  Can I check somehow?

Thanks!

Laura

Oh yeah...I know they are fertile because we have a boy, too.

post #2 of 6

You need to wait until it is dark, take a strong small flashlight and candle them. If most of the egg is dark, and just s mall white bit at the bigger end, there's ducks in them, but this alone may not tell you if they are alive. If they are bright and clear through the whole egg, with just a yellowy shadow, no duck in there. They could be at any stage in between, but it is very hard to tell movement from about 5 days before hatching.

Hope it works out for you.

Edit: oh, and you can take a pan of warm (just warmer than your hand) water and pop the eggs in one by one, gently. If they bob about, live ducks inside.


Edited by SarahIrl - 6/29/10 at 3:36pm
My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks!!!  So if I go out at night to candle them I'll have to get her off her nest.  Will this be a problem?  Other than the fact that she hisses at me?

Laura

post #4 of 6

If it's prett dark, and you can slip your hand under and remove one egg, you'll be fine. She'll be sleepy anyway. One or two should give you an idea, candle first, then try bobbing if it's all dark in there. Good luck!

My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

ok...out of the seven eggs 5 were light/clear....2 were dark but didn't bobble...just sank...so I'm assuming no babies.  Do I just let her continue to sit on the eggs?  What's best for her?

Thanks for all of the help.

Laura

post #6 of 6

Let her sit on the dark ones a while longer. She'll either hatch them or leave them. It won't do her any harm.

My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
My daughter, everything to me, but all I have to do for her is be.

Left is Leafy: my DD's favourite chicken. He thunders around the garden offering me treats, and crows like an old owl...!
Reply
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