exploded egg in nest emergency

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BirlyFive, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. BirlyFive

    BirlyFive New Egg

    Jun 20, 2011
    When I got up this morning two out of two of our Muscovy ducks were escaped from their hatching pens, and hanging out with Silver Drake in the main pen. They were both soaking wet, after apparently having their first bath in however-long-they've-been-trapped-in-that-lame-hatching-pen.

    One duck has 15 ducklings that are about a week and half old, so she's fine, I'll just put her back in in a bit. But the other duck is almost ready to hatch 10 or so eggs--except one of the eggs was rotten and exploded over night.

    My guess is that the rotten egg drove the broody duck to escape the hatching pen and then she had to wash off in Silver Drake's big waterer, and then the mama duck got jealous of the other duck having a bath/also couldn't stand the smell, so she escaped too.

    I put the broody duck back in the pen, but she very quickly showed me her escape route, carrying half of an egg shell out with her. So I checked the nest, and it smelled bad, and a couple of the eggs had some sticky rotten egg on them, but not too bad. They still felt a bit warm too. There was also approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons of rotten egg gunk on the straw at the bottom of the nest, so i added some straw to that spot, and then put broody duck back in the pen. She then climbed in her nest box, and was standing over the eggs, preening. I had to go back inside because I DO have to go to work today, despite how much fun it is to chase and grab wet ducks that are extra stinky from rotten egg juice.

    Finally, my questions:

    Should I do a better job cleaning out the nest box? The other nest box that mama duck was using is available, because she and her family just sleep out on the ground now. [How] Should I clean the eggs? What should I do if I go back out and the broody duck... still isn't broody anymore? We have a Pilgrim goose with ~13 eggs under her, and she is getting very close to hatch, and a Partridge Rock chicken with 12 Copper Marans under her who has a week more to go. I would rather not compromise either of their hatches though, especially since we already got 15 Muscovys from the first hatch. How do you get rotten egg smell off your hands!?!

    And while I'm asking questions, when should we let the first family of ducks out in the main pen to mingle with Silver Drake and the electric poultry netting? We've let Silver Drake "meet" one of the duckling, and he just nibbled on it a bit (not harder than mama or siblings would nibble), and then ignored it. Recently he has been trying to get through the wire separating them though. Maybe just jealous when they get a pile of grass clippings, even though he has a whole lush field to himself? The main reason we are not letting them out is the electric netting - they are small enough to go through it if the really wanted to, and we especially don't want them getting stuck in it. But mama duck is apparently very ready to move out of the hatching pen.
  2. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    I read that birds have a very poor sense of smell, relying on their excellent sight. So the smell wouldn't be bothering her, could she see the ruptured egg nest? It might have scared her and her instincts made her think a predator might come for them so she didn't want to stick around.

    and [​IMG]

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