Ducklings hatch, Duck abandons remaining eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by douglas, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. douglas

    douglas New Egg

    Aug 2, 2010

    My duck just had 11 ducklings hatch, 1 of which (I think it was the first one to hatch) died in the nest. Yesterday it smelled really really bad but she still sat on the remaining eggs, all the while covering her new ducklings. This morning, I saw that she was out with her babies, playing with them and showing them their new world. I went in the house and removed the dead and smelly duck and found that there are still about 8 eggs that look like they're about to hatch (they are very black looking). I thought that after removing the dead duckling she might go back and finish setting on the remaining eggs but no, she seems more interested in her new babies (which is commendable, but I'm wondering how close to hatching the other eggs are).

    I don't have an incubator. Should I just let those soon-to-be duckling eggs chill and leave it to mother nature or do something about it and what?

  2. secretquail

    secretquail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    Chapel Hill
    I'm new to ducks, but I always think mother nature knows best. Good luck!
  3. douglas

    douglas New Egg

    Aug 2, 2010
    I totally agree with you and told my husband exactly that yesterday but this morning, when I saw all the eggs that were left, I thought it is such a shame that they were abandoned when they are so close to hatching.

    People often feel like they can save a life... and I can't help but ask myself that question.

    The ten new ducklings are the cutest things in the world! I saw them testing out the pond this morning, and checking out grass and muddy water. So cute![​IMG]
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Wow--that's a lot of eggs--10 ducklings plus 1 dead plus 8 eggs=19 eggs! Good job to her for hatching them out!

    If you want to try and save the rest, the first thing to do is to see if they are living. If your weather is like ours, they won't get chilled quickly if at all during the day. Bring them into the house, into the darkest spot you can find--climb in a closet if you have to. Use a very bright flashlight and cup it against the egg so that no light escapes around the edges but it shines right through the egg. Look at it from different angles and see if you can spot any movement. If something in it moves of its own accord, you've got a live duckling in there. If not, there's a good chance it's already dead, and the mother duck knew what she was doing.

    If you have living ducklings, there is a good chance of saving them by bringing them in and keeping them warm. At this stage, the temp doesn't have to be exact--try to keep it between 97-101 (lower is better than higher--they can overhead very quickly), and try to keep the air around them as humid as possible--that may mean keeping them on top of warm, moist paper towels, or something similar. Then just wait, and keep posting updates.

    Of course, it's also perfectly legitimate to assume the mother knows what she's doing and let nature take its course.

    If you are able to hatch some, you can probably tuck them under the mother at night and she'll raise them along with the others.

    Good luck and congrats on the babies!
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Be careful with "black" eggs. They are probably rotten and about to explode.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010

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