Duck and chick hatch results 6/12

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SeaHen, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. SeaHen

    SeaHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Springfield, OR
    For anyone who remembers, I was incubating some chicken eggs in my newly-finished homemade 'bator a few weeks ago when I became the recipient of a new pair of ducks and their 15 fertile eggs. The mother subsequently abandoned the nest, so I put her eggs in the incubator with the others, not having any idea when they were due to hatch.

    My biggest concern - aside from wondering how to adjust the temperature and humidity to accommodate both species and their development - was that one duck egg had the air cell on the side rather than the end. Even though I had read several posts on BYC affirming that these babies can hatch and be perfectly fine, I worried.

    I locked down on the 10th because I knew the chicks were due around the 12th-13th, and I could see the ducklings breaking through the inner membrane of their shells when I candled. Incredibly, everyone - ducks and chicks alike - started pipping at the same time! Thirteen duck eggs and 7 chicken eggs had made it to this point, and all were vocal and active. One chick zipped and popped out quickly, then everything seemed to come to a standstill. Many hours passed with no progress after all but one egg had pipped, so I increased the humidity thinking the shells were too tough and dry. We waited a few more hours and there was some slow progress, but in the end we had to assist with almost all of them hatching. By the time we intervened four of the chicks and one duckling had expired. The duckling with the air cell on the side was extremely tiny and frail, and sadly was never able to stand or walk or eat or drink without help. S/he died last night at the age of one week, but we lavished her/him with love and attention.

    The biggest mystery of all is where these ducklings came from! The mom is a Pekin and the "dad" is a Welsh Harlequin, only none of the babies resemble the drake at all! Of the 11 surviving ducklings, six are yellow and five are Rouen-y or Mallard-ish. I'm going to attempt to upload some pix and hopefully someone can give me a hint! I don't have any decent closeups of the chicks, but they're kind of mysterious looking too. They are all growing incredibly fast and are so adorable and entertaining!

    It was a fun but nerve-wracking experience, and I think it will be awhile before I attempt to incubate again. One of my hens just went broody, and I had set four extra eggs in the bator on June 5th that I transferred under her last night. Mother Nature is just so much better at this stuff than I am!

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  2. drmeyes236

    drmeyes236 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    ohio
    I don't have an answers to your questions But...........HOW CUTE THEY ALL ARE!!! Congrats!
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