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Ducks crushing/cracking eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by animalz11, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2012
    QLD Australia
    Hi all, I seem to have a problem with my Muscovy ducks constantly putting cracks in their eggs, one of the more recent incidents was when there was a crack in an egg, so I fixed it with candle wax and the embreyo kept growing, I went to check on it yesterday and about a 1.5 cm circle of membrane was showing, the shell had been taken off, I candled to egg and the baby was still moving inside! I put some wax around the weakest parts of the egg but left the membrane and hoped it would survive until it was ready to come out, I went to check on it today and more shell was missing, there was fluid in the air sack and the baby wasn't moving at all, even when I rotated the egg there was still no movement.

    So knowing the baby was dead I peeled back some of the membrane and instantly I saw green inside what looked like the white of the egg, I peeled it back further and tipped out the contents, unfortunatley I saw the baby, almost fully feathered with developed feat, wings, basically everything but a beak, and in minture version, no movement at all, I suspect it died a day or so ago, it took up about half of the egg in size.

    So my question is, besides from constantly loosing ducklings/embreyo's and repairing cracked eggs, how can I stop the girls from cracking their eggs? 2 of them are broody and have 2 nests (I know they shouldn't share eggs but the only way I can stop this would be to separate them, and because there is only 1 hen house it means one would have to sleep outside or I would have to take away the fertile and developing eggs to take them out of 'broodyness'), when one gets off the nest the other moves the eggs under her, non of the eggs are Muscovy eggs but are Rouen eggs as the Rouens are the only ones who will let the male near them.

    Any suggestions? I don't have an incubator as I wouldn't be able to turn the eggs 3 times a day and the auto ones are too expensive...

    No pics as I still can't figure out how to charge my camera and I don't have a lead to transfer pics from my phone.

    I'd hate to get no ducklings after all of the effort the girls have put in.
     
  2. chickentooth

    chickentooth Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2012
    Hartland, Michigan
    Sounds like the shells are weak. A diet with extra calcium might help improve the shell strength.


    You also might check the nest for anything that might be breaking the eggs, and from there I would find something that offers as much protection as possible from what ever is happening. A nice lofty straw nest rather than just wood shavings or whatever you use. Wood shavings can get compacted and pretty firm. The nest should also be dish shaped so when the bid sits most of the weight is on the edges, i only mention this cause i don't know what the situation is. Normally momma will take a fair amount of care when she deals with her eggs but maybe she isn't.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    What is the flooring made of where they have the nests? As stated, they need a bowl shape hollow with soft bedding.

    Are you finding these eggs in the nest? Or pushed out? If in, then you need to fix the nest problem. If out, mom most likely removed it because it was dead, defective etc.
     
  4. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2012
    QLD Australia
    The flooring is shreaded newspaper and all of the cracked eggs are in the nest, which is a semi-circle in shape, sometimes I'll find the fake eggs outside of the nest but never any of the real ones, and when a baby is dead they still sit on it.

    How can I give them extra calcium?
    Right now they have about a cup full of poultry grain and about 3-4 cups of fresh veg (Small handful of ice-berg lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, other dark green and purple lettuces, occasional cheese and whatever else I can find really), and some pony pellets because they seem to love theses (I've tried them they taste just like bland weet-bix).
     
  5. chickentooth

    chickentooth Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2012
    Hartland, Michigan
    You can mix crushed oyster shell into their food and even crushed egg shell. you can buy crushed oyster shell sold as grit at the feed store.

    or get some calcium suppliment from the vitamin section at walmart or meijers and crush it up into their feed.

    The other idea is a good layer food that is fortified with vitamins and minerals for laying eggs. Any food called layer would have those suppliments added.

    As far as the nest i would consider using straw for the nesting boxes, although i have not used news paper i would think it would compact and become a bit hard. The birds should make a bowl shape on their own in the straw if they don't you can do that for them, but keep it thick on the bottom.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    In my experience poultry sharing a common nest generally results in diminished % hatch rates. Even hens that get along are continually stealing eggs from one another, shifting nests, and cracking eggs.
     
  7. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
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    Jul 20, 2012
    QLD Australia
    "You can mix crushed oyster shell into their food and even crushed egg shell. you can buy crushed oyster shell sold as grit at the feed store.

    or get some calcium suppliment from the vitamin section at walmart or meijers and crush it up into their feed.

    The other idea is a good layer food that is fortified with vitamins and minerals for laying eggs. Any food called layer would have those suppliments added.

    As far as the nest i would consider using straw for the nesting boxes, although i have not used news paper i would think it would compact and become a bit hard. The birds should make a bowl shape on their own in the straw if they don't you can do that for them, but keep it thick on the bottom."

    Ok, next time I buy the grain I'll get the laying mix, I don't know why I didn't this time...

    Newspaper only compacts when wet any then it goes hard but because the girls are nesting they poop outside... It's actually quite soft, I wouldn't mind sleeping on it...

    All of my girls make the "bowl" shape for their eggs so that's not a problem.

    Thank you all for your help!
     

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