Extra Egg after Hatching


Apr 8, 2021
So my broody girls just hatched out 9 adorable little ducklings (a 10th died very shortly after emerging). I was pretty good about going through the nest every few days and picking out the new eggs (I marked the ones I wanted them to hatch), but they must have buried one that I missed. I had to take the ducklings away and put them in a brooder because the three mamas were fighting over them and kept stepping on them. So now I have three broody ducks all sitting on or around one lone egg that hasn't pipped. I looked at the egg, noticed it wasn't marked, candled it, and it looks like it's a week or even two away from hatching, and it's the only one.

My girls have to be tired. One of them has done nothing but sit for 28 straight days with super minimal 10 minute breaks to eat, drink, and bathe. She's lost a considerable amount of weight.

What should I do with the other egg? I'm tempted to just make it disappear and break their broodiness entirely, and one duckling 1-2 weeks behind the rest doesn't seem ideal... Or should I let them hatch it out?

Photo of the ducklings just for cuteness tax. Mothers are khaki campbell and fawn & white runners, fathers are rouens and khaki campbells.


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My two mallards sat on their shared nest for a month, hatched babies and took care of them for about 2 weeks and then started a new nest about a week or two after that and went broody again. Ugh... but because of the location of their new nest we had to remove it and put the eggs in an incubator. For whatever reason that seems to have broken their broodiness now. Good luck!
I had Muscovy ducks sharing a nests in 2 coops. I took the eggs before hatching date and finished them in an incubator. Did this because half of the eggs were actually peacock and duck eggs, and learned the hard way that the peachicks would be rejected/killed as they hatch.
Now I take every egg laid and have had to lock the ducks out of the coops to break brooding behaviour. It has taken a few days but things have settled down and the ducks are back to enjoying the outdoors, and eating and drinking all day instead just at breaks.
Strangely it seems as though the mama ducks made the decision for me. All the females (including the non-broody ones) all marched into the duck house. It was like they were having a meeting on what to do. Then they all walked around, collected and ate all the remaining eggshells from the hatch, and they went outside and re-joined the boys, leaving the one remaining egg in the nest abandoned. They're marching around foraging like none of them had just sat on a nest for a month and like they didn't just bite the crap out of my hand every time I stole a baby from them over the 2-day hatch.

I've heard runner ducks and khaki campbells don't make the best mothers anyway... But I certainly didn't expect them to all snap out of broodiness the second I took their babies, let alone the fact that they know that last egg isn't hatching any time soon and isn't worth sitting on to them (I'm going to toss it in the woods).

Ducks can be really peculiar.

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