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Hatch and die?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Frank Phinster, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello everyone,

    today seems to be hatching day fpr my muscovies, but unfortunately, my only evidence so far is dead ducklings near the nest...

    What could have caused this?

    First I suspected the drake. He stood guard at the nest when I came home and I thought that he might lurk for the offspring to show up under their mother and kill them.

    Then I examined the ducklings and saw that they had wounds at their abdomen that looked like the cut-off umbilical cord of a human baby. I assume that this was the position of the yolk sac and that something went wrong with it. I know that it usually gets absorbed into the body to feed the newly hatched for the next 24 hours, but I also heard that sometimes this fails to happen and kills the duckling.

    What could have caused this irregularity? Have you ever experienced it? May the whole clutch be affected of this or just part of it?

    i would be glad to get answers.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Just to be on the safe side i would put your drake in a separate area till ducklings have finished hatching and are at least 3-4 weeks old, the yolk sac sometimes is still evident after hatch and can still be absorbed so it may or may not had anything to do with the death, did it look like it had been chewed on? possible it had been. Sometimes if they hatch with the yolk sac outside still they can get infection and die or it could have been just a defect. I still would not trust the drake being there when they hatch, mom is going to sit tight and not do anything if drake attacks her ducklings. So sorry for your loss, I try to keep my drakes away from mom and ducklings for at least 2-3 weeks at the most. would be best if it could be longer.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would be concerned that it may be the mother kicking them out of the nest as soon as they zip out of the shell. If the mom isn't protective at all then maybe the drake is grabbing them but typically they don't let ANYTHING near the nest especially once babies arrive. Are there any alive or have all been found out of the nest? I'd still seperate the drake and any other females, just in case.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    True jw, my mama duck attacked her own duckling and almost killed it so one never knows, but having the drake there posses a problem also and yes other ducks in the area. I have never seen one of my Scovie mamas defend her nest from a large drake thats why I keep the drakes away.
     
  5. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your replies so far [​IMG]

    I chased him out of the shed when I found the first dead duckling and put him together with my pekins and runners for the night. I always keep an eye on the drakes when my ducks have offspring but they usually weren't anywhere near the nest during hatching and never killed a duckling even when they had the chance.

    So far I found two dead ducklings. Unless I made a mistake, the ducklings are about 6 days late and the conditions were not always the best - it was cold recently, the pond froze solid and altought I broke the ice to give the ducks access to the pond they usually do not like to go swimming when it's that cold, espeacilly the muscovies. So maybe the eggs got a little too cold when the mother took a break from breeding and too dry because she would not bathe for a while. Could that have caused the problems?

    Thanks for the hint that it might be the mother, although I hope it's not her...
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my muscovy hatched her brood in December, it was a few days later than expected. I had some cold weather and freezes when she started brooding and I think that may have affected the incubation period. Has this hen hatched ducklings before?
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Last summer one of my 8 yr old Scovie moms did not bathe like she should have to keep up the humidity for her egg to hatch and the poor duckling got shrink wrapped, it took me from fri till Monday to help her get out of that egg. I'd chip a little and put her back and let her work at it,. finally she hatched. Lack of humidity under mom can cause ducklings to shrink wrap and have a very difficult time getting through the membrane so they usually suffocate. Sounds like yours are hatching but having problems during and afterward. It's so hard to know unless your right there and watching. One thing I have noticed about Brooding ducks most of them anyway is if there's water in a bucket or bowl deep enough they will bath.
     
  8. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    My duck bathed every time she took a break, but when it got cold (about 26 °F during day, maybe colder) she refused to go into the icy pond. And since she came radomly out of the shed without any reliable pattern I could not provide her with a bucket of fresh, ice-free water because it would be frozen almost instantly and since I have to attend my classes and my parents have to work we could not stand guard for her the whole day. I always feared that this might influence the hatching.

    I got that duck last year as a duckling so it's her first time as a mother. So she might have bad mother qualities that get revealed today.
     
  9. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good news!

    This morning I looked after the duck and her clutch and this time I could hear at least one duckling. I could even see it once, but mother duck is very protective and shoves the duckling back under her belly when it tries to get a look at the world when I am around. It sounds lively so I hope it survives and yet may get some siblings [​IMG]
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Congrats!!!
     

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