I have (had) 3 White Pekin ducks in my yard. We have a pond and a lot of acreage with woods. 1 of the Pekin ducks is a male the other 2 are females.
Recently, both females made nests and started laying. I was surprised because before, they never really cared about taking care of their eggs. About a week ago, one of the females hatched 3 ducklings. When we went away for the weekend and returned, only 1 duckling remained. We almost instantly assumed a coyote ate the other 2. I got the 1 duckling and took him inside to protect him. He is growing like a weed and very healthy and social.
Just this morning, I went to check on the other mother and she was not there. I saw a lot of feathers around the nest, and began looking for a trail. I followed a trail of feathers to the wood line and there she was, killed and ripped to pieces. I instantly thought about the 15 eggs she has in the nest.
I went inside, got a foam cooler and filled it with straw like a nest. I put the eggs in the foam cooler and put a lamp overtop of them with a thermometer. The current temp is hovering around 96 degrees. I also have a damp cloth hanging on the edge for humidity.
I do not remember when the mother laid these eggs, so I have no clue how far along the embryos are. I candled some of the eggs with a very bright flashlight. There are visible veins through the lighter fluid and a dark blob that takes up about 1/2 of the egg which I assume is the growing duckling? The air pocket is visible below.
If I candle the eggs and take pictures, would anyone know how far along the ducklings are? Also, I believe I saw some of the embryos moving. Will the setup of my incubator be able to continue to warm them until they hatch? I am very worried now that the eggs are without a mother.
Any help is appreciated. I will be coyote hunting tonight.