Broody lost the eggs? Just days before hatching!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by down2roots, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. down2roots

    down2roots Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2011
    I have a broody duck (actually 2 but one is primary) setting on a nest of 4 eggs. She was doing a wonderful job and everything looked good. I candled the eggs about a week ago and all had big, wiggling embryos inside.

    Yesterday I noticed that she had moved the nest, and she was now directly under the heatlamp in a place that's hard for me to access. I figured she moved for extra warmth and protection for her babies' hatching in about a week or less. But today I noticed she'd moved the nest back to the normal spot (near the egg door), so while she went out to eat I opened the coop and found no nest! -just a pile of straw where the nest had been. I couldn't find the eggs in the pile, or under the heatlamp spot, so I started digging. I only found 2 of the 4 eggs, and they were at the very bottom of the bedding in a random place, and stone cold! I candled and there's no movement inside. SO very sad... [​IMG]

    So this is my question: What in the world happened??? This was her first season and first time going broody or setting, and there is just a drake and the 2 females in my flock right now. The eggs were at about day 23-26 (i don't know exact dates and they were laid at least during 2-3 days) Is it common for a broody to randomly move the nest and loose track of the eggs, leaving them to freeze? Could the current ongoing snowstorm have caused her to decide to stop incubating her babes to wait for better hatching weather on another clutch? Is she just too young and doesn't know what she's doing yet? What happened?!?

    Thanks all...I really appreciate any help, input, suggestions anyone has. I'm SO sad!! My son and I were very excited for 4 little ducklings to be hatched and raised by their mother(s), incubated the good old-fashioned way... And now, just days before hatching, we have lost them all!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    even though the eggs were developing, there are reasons they may have quit developing. This may have happened and she quit. She may have given up or gotten too cold herself. who knows what goes through their little brains.
    I'm sorry for the loss [​IMG]
     
  3. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Georgia
    I had a broody hen last year hatch all but one, I kind of "forgot" about the egg it got buried in the shavings. A week later, it pipped, I took it in the house and warmed it under a bulb and it hatched. So if that egg could survive a week, well...... maybe yours can survive. Anyway to keep them warm?
     
  4. down2roots

    down2roots Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2011
    I brought one of the 2 eggs I found inside to candle, and it didn't look good at all. No movement and no definition at all. I put the other one I found in a good spot and she's setting on it and she pulled a nest up around it. She's still very much broody, so maybe she'll find the others in time to re-warm them, but it's pretty cold out there, so I'm not holding my breath.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  5. down2roots

    down2roots Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2011
    Well, it's been a little while... And my Ancona girl became broody again in early June. This time she sat on 9 eggs! Maybe she figured since she had 4 last time and none hatched, that she'd go for double +1 just to be safe this time. I was candling and most looked good, one was infertile, but I left it because every time I took one, she'd lay another in it's place anyway. She had her head set on 9, I suppose. I really don't have the ability to keep all 9 babes, so hopefully another few are infertile, too!

    This morning I woke early to her quacking loudly, and went out to find 3 had hatched! I want to hand-raise at least half of them so they are not as disagreeable and aggressive as their parents. With that in mind, we pulled 2 out and brought them inside in a tub with a heatlamp and all their needs. Awhile later I observed the drake pecking repeatedly at the duckling that we left with momma, and I couldn't get the drake out of the coop, so I snatched the 3rd duckling and brought him in, too. Later I was able to get him out and shut mom in so the new hatchlings will be safe from his over-dominant behavior.

    So far they are doing great! Less than 12 or 24 hours old, and they are eating and drinking well on their own, and they love to be held and snuggled. We are being very gentle with them, and they are taking to us wonderfully. [​IMG]

    Second brood's a charm, I guess! My son and I couldn't be more thrilled [​IMG]
     

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