[EMERGENCY] Duck hatched an egg, we don't know what to do


Dec 19, 2021
Hi, so I have a Male Welsh Harlequin who turns 11 in July and a Female Saxony thats about 2-3. We never expected them to hatch any young, but I heard peeps from the nest she sits on, and now I'm scrambled figuring out what to do. We have raised ducklings before but never beyond the nest. We need help ASAP. The ducklings likely hatched today in a metal tub. I can post whatever is necessary.

The worst part is that I leave for a vacation TOMORROW, so I have no idea how to plane others taking care of them and helping them stick to a good spot. I know I need a heat lamp but what else?


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Ok so the duckling is halfway hatched, we may need some way to nab it out. It can’t stay in the pen because we have rat snakes and rats.
Aww they are cute!! I would have left them with their mom
Sorry, I just have rat snakes out there and didn’t want to take chances. The small one isn’t looking too good, and they dont seem to get the food and water. Should I wait it out or will they eat on their own.
Both have a wobbly head, and one is coughing. Is this just Day 1 side effects?
When ducklings first hatch they often will look like they're dying. Most of the time they will not be running around or walking very well for hours to an entire day after hatch which is perfectly normal. Hatching is exhausting and they really need their rest. They also often will not eat or drink for 1-2 days because they are living off of the absorbed yolk. Offering a separate bowl of electrolytes and vitamins can help perk them up for when they do start to get thirsty.
Are you able to move mom and babies to a safe place away from snakes and rats ?
Mom would take better care as you will be away
Babies don’t need to eat or drink for up to 48 hours as the yolk keeps them going
Showing them where it is then letting them decide when
I usually don’t worry till 24 hours then show them again then mine tend to hsve a few little bites but drink water till day 2 then they are fully eating and drinking
Make sure that heat lamp doesn’t cover the whole brooder as they need a place to cool down
They will need water deep enough to dunk their heads in around day 3 that chicken water dish won’t be deep enough. I use plastic container with holes cut so they don’t swim in the dish but can dunk their heads.
The sneezing can be from the wood shavings are last it does have dust as well as feed has dust if the nose was in it.
Yes they can be wobbly on day one
Sometimes it takes then 24 hours to be fully moving. Others do it in 4 hours.
Good luck and congrats
They are adorable

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