Can I sneak new duckling under broody Pekin?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BirdMom, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. BirdMom

    BirdMom Songster

    183
    2
    109
    Mar 15, 2009
    Odd as it may be, I have a broody Pekin. She's been broody for a week now, only getting off the nest for a few minutes once or twice a day. We don't have a drake, so all her eggs she's on are not fertile.

    As it happens, I have two mixed breed duck eggs due to hatch any day now. One has just pipped in the last hour. They are in a homemade incubator in my kitchen. [​IMG]

    I am wondering if anyone has experience popping just hatched ducklings under a broody duck? Is it successful? How would I do it and what would I watch for in terms of rejection? I'd hate to put the little guys at risk, but I'd love to have her be able to raise them if she wants babies, which it appears she does. She's got a beautiful fluffy nest built for the eggs and she seems quite determined.

    Any advice for or against would be welcome! [​IMG] All responses will be carefully considered.
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    103
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I think it would be great if you could pull it off. Can you switch out the pipped eggs for some of the non-fertile eggs?
     
  3. I tossed a couple of WH ducklings in with my Runner's clutch, but that was a few days after her's had hatched. She claimed them for herself before I could even put them down. She was like "You get your nasty human hands off MY babies!" [​IMG]
     
  4. BirdMom

    BirdMom Songster

    183
    2
    109
    Mar 15, 2009
    Wifezilla, I was thinking I might try that, but I'm afraid I might make a mistake on the way out to the duck pen, like dropping one or somehow making it get malpositioned for hatching. They're both pipping now and seem to be zipping a bit. I think I'll wait until they're hatched and try to put them under her and see what happens.

    Dances with Ducks, that's hilarious! I hope our duck will be that happy to get them. I'd hate to have anything happen to them, but I'd love to let her raise them. She's the sweetest duck, and seems so happy being broody!

    I'll let everyone know what happens when I try to give them to her. Provided they hatch successfully, of course!

    Any other stories or advice on the subject is welcome! [​IMG]
     
  5. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Songster

    1,968
    20
    181
    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    it would be smarter to put them under her as eggs, that way she can feel them hatch, you shouldve done that if you wanted her to accept them
     
  6. BirdMom

    BirdMom Songster

    183
    2
    109
    Mar 15, 2009
    Austin, thanks. [​IMG] I had hoped to do that, but they pipped before I could and I was afraid of messing up their hatch by trying to move them out there with her. I'd rather raise them myself than accidentally drop them as I was taking them out to her. [​IMG] I'm kind of a butterfingers. If she doesn't accept them when we try to put them out with her tonight, I may get her some fertile eggs to go under her in the next couple of days. There are several people in our area with fertile eggs I could get for her.

    Next time I'll try to put the eggs under her before they get to pip stage! [​IMG] I wasn't sure she was totally broody, and by the time we could tell she wasn't coming off the nest, the eggs were ready to go. I also am not sure how a mama duck does if she's only broody a few days and suddenly has ducklings. Do they notice that it's too early, or do they just take to them anyway if they hatch them out?
     
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    103
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    It is all going to depend on how her hormones react. Just watch things carefully.
     
  8. Lolliegee

    Lolliegee Songster

    331
    4
    131
    Dec 8, 2008
    Cottage Grove, OR
    Did she accept them??? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. BirdMom

    BirdMom Songster

    183
    2
    109
    Mar 15, 2009
    Sorry to be so late on the update. Things are hectic here! [​IMG] I've got ten 1 week old baby quail, three 4 week old guineas, three 1 week old chicks, and four 5 week old silkies, along with our two baby ducks, and trying to get all their brooders cleaned, keep them all fed, and train a new puppy all at the same time is kind of taking up my attention.

    Okay, so we got two ducklings out of two eggs! Yay! This was our first attempt at hatching duck eggs.

    The second duckling was kind of sideways in the egg, and after 24 hours of no progress after pip, I carefully zipped the egg for him, leaving the membrane intact and kind of wrapping it with a damp paper towel. Still no progress after a few more hours, so I very carefully opened some of the membrane so I could see better how he was positioned. I tried to do as little as possible each time, and eventually ended up having to remove the top and gently help him extricate himself from the shell, as he was obviously getting weaker and making no progress. He would not have been able to get out himself. He was pretty weak on his legs for a day or so, but he's doing great now, running around the brooder with the first hatched duckling.

    I didn't put them in with the broody mom yet because of the second one's weak legs, but he seems just fine now, so we may try putting them with her tomorrow. She's still firmly broody.

    I'm just kind of scared that she won't accept them and will try killing them before we can stop her. [​IMG]

    Here's a cute pic of them being Yin and Yang:

    [​IMG]

    Them trying to dry off
    [​IMG]

    We don't know what kind they are. The man we got the eggs from has several different kinds of ducks all ranging together, so these are firmly in the "designer" category.
     
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    103
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    [​IMG]

    Yes...designer! LOL

    I guess I have to stop calling my khaki/buff mix a mutt and tell her she is a "designer" duck! LOL
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: