Duck sitting on eggs, what to look for when they are getting ready to hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Quackers n milk, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. Quackers n milk

    Quackers n milk Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2017
    One of my ducks is sitting on her eggs, I assume that means they can hatch since they have laid eggs before and did not sit on them. But what do I look for to see if they are getting ready to hatch? They should hatch the first or second week of May. Please help.
     
  2. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually you can hear them peeping and pecking before they hatch. If you know how to candle the eggs you can see them trying to hatch out.
     
  3. Quackers n milk

    Quackers n milk Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you candle the egg, and is it ok to touch the eggs?
     
  4. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To candle the eggs, you hold them up to a very bright light -such as a flashlight- and this will allow you to see the shadows of the chick and blood vessels inside.
    Generally mother ducks will hiss and even bite if they are there when you try to touch their eggs. It's therefore best to check the eggs while the mother is off the nest to eat and drink; when my ducks had nests, I would use this time to candle, check on, and even mark the eggs and remove those that weren't developing. You can also scare them off the nest so that you can work with the eggs as the hen will return to the nest when you leave, in my experience. I would however avoid scaring the hen if possible.

    It's also a good idea to keep an eye on the nest at hatch time, since mother ducks tend to leave behind eggs that are still alive but have not yet hatched if they have a few that have already hatched. I've raised several such ducklings, and the longer they are out there without mom the longer they have to be exposed to cold and pests that might do them harm.
     
  5. Quackers n milk

    Quackers n milk Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2017
    Will the mom abandon them
     
  6. Arielle2

    Arielle2 Just Hatched

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    My Muscovy mothers NEVER abandon eggs. THese are a wilder type duck than most domesticated ducks though. You didnt mention which you have.

    I just wait until mom is done incubating and brings her brood out for introductions. I know it is HARD to be patient. VERY HARD. You will know when you hear peeping as the babies talk to mom, and the mom needs to be free of interference to adjust her footing to step around babies as they hatch. My moms can have 20-25 ducklings to carefully step around. That many makes stepping on too easy so I leave mom alone to focus on the ducklings and not be stressed by my handling eggs or ducklings.

    Enjoy!!
     
  7. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of the ones I had leave nests were pekins, mallards, and brown ducks -I forgot the breed name for those-. I think I had a muscovy once, she did seem to stay longer than the others on the nest. They'd hatch several ducklings, then take them out of the nest, leaving a few eggs still in the process of hatching that I had to go out and save.
    Also beware of predators in your area if your ducks are not enclosed; anytime anything has babies around my property I either have to take them and raise them, or they'll get eaten by either the fish in my pond or other wildlife.
     
  8. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in the same boat as the OP. If my hen leaves the nest, will she be ok if I pick up an egg to candle it and place it back? (shes also Muscovy)

    She currently is under a small shelter with little head room. Should I remove said shelter once they start to hatch to make it easier on her?
     

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