An entire nest missing without a single shell either?

thepregnantgod

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 11, 2012
33
0
32
Last year on the side of our house a Muscovy was about 4-5 days from hatching a full clutch. I was watching her daily and then just suddenly she's gone and EVERY single egg too. Not even a shell cracked or egg broken open, nothing! So, I thought someone who hates Muscovies had done it at night.

Recently, we had two mothers sitting on clutches of about 15-18 eggs. One was very near our front porch. Each time we'd walk out she'd give a warning chirp. The other was a bit farther back. That one I built a little plastic fence around that would allow her to get in and out but prevent her from taking the babies to the pond immediately where about 75% die. I was planning on putting them in our fenced back yard for the first two weeks (where she could join them) until they were bigger (yes, I know, I shouldn't mess with mother nature).

Today, I woke up and found the front porch nest completely gone. Mother duck gone and EVERY single egg as well. The back nest about 15 feet away that was fenced with 1 ft of plastic, was still there but Momma duck who NEVER leaves her nest was gone and the eggs were very, very cold.

So, my question:

1. Assuming we have stuff like foxes and possums running our suburban neighborhood, do they eat the entire egg without breaking it - thus leaving no evidence or did someone come on to my porch and take them?
2. How long can eggs that were about 4 days from hatching be in 50 degree weather? I now have them in an incubator at hatching humidity and temps but I really hope to save them.

Thanks.
 

pamperedpoultry

CHICKENFIED
10 Years
Jan 28, 2009
4,569
20
233
(south West) Virginia
Something fishy going on. With the other duck gone but eggs left I'm going to go with some type of predator. You may have good luck with the eggs. I had someone bring me eggs from a mallard nest that were a cpl days old. They had mowed some hay and the mom had laid in the middle of the hay field, luckily the eggs weren't hurt. They waited to see if she was coming back and she never did so they brought them to me all of them hatched..

Good luck..

Next time you have a duck setting i don't know that I wouldn't invest in a game cam or borrow one from someone to see what is actually happening to them
 

thepregnantgod

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 11, 2012
33
0
32
Yeah, I was thinking predator too. I can't imagine a person would literally walk up to my front door (at least not in our neighborhood) in the middle of the night and take eggs and scare off the ducks. Plus, with the little 1 ft plastic fence I built around the other nest advertises the location of the other nest for humans...

I'm learning, just this morning, that some predators will/can eat 18 eggs whole without leaving a trace. And some others carry them off? I always assumed there would be evidence of cracked shells and such.

Went out back to feed the big ducks (they perch on my fence breakfast and dinner) and Momma duck #1 immediately starting giving her distinctive chirp. She's not on her nest though. If the cooled eggs can warm up and hatch I'll return them to her in a few weeks better than ever.
 

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