Hatching eggs under duck - really need help....please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by manxminx, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. manxminx

    manxminx In the Brooder

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    I have a cayuga duck called Rosie who is broody but was sitting on duff eggs, so I bought 3 eggs for hatching and they arrived on the 24th May. I left 3 of her duff eggs under her too, but she ate them over 3 days about 2 weeks later. Then about 7 days ago she kicked one of the good eggs out of the nest and broke it (nature I guess, she knows best). She has been sitting on the other 2 eggs happily ever since.
    I worked out that they should have hatched about Monday (21st June). One egg didn't and still hasn't done a thing, but the other did have a crack in it on Monday evening. The crack looks like a whack from the inside, and I'm sure the cracks have spread slightly. I looked on the internet about how long it takes for the ducklings to crack their way out and alot of places say 24-48 hours - it's now 3 days. I just got home from a day trip to hospital and the first thing I did was check Rosie, I think (but am not sure) the crack has spread a little. I even took some pics, but they aren't good
    Is this normal???
    Any advice, as I'm starting to get worried about whats happening - or not happening as the case may be.
    Thank you
    Kate

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  2. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

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    This looks like 2 of my eggs at day 19, which is way too early to start pipping. Maybe yours are a little late? I was advised that higher temps mean accelerated growth, so perhaps cooler temps mean delayed growth, and therefore late hatching?

    I am no expert, and this is just a theory, so I am sure someone knowledgeable will jump in soon with some good advice.
     
  3. manxminx

    manxminx In the Brooder

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    I sure hope so, as its now day 4
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

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    I hate being the bearer of bad news but... I don't think that egg is going to hatch. If it's a pip, then it's at the wrong end of the egg. And three days is too long between pip and hatch anyway.

    I suspect, rather, that at some point the developing bird died and the gases inside the egg have expanded causing pressure that led to a crack that has gradually expanded as pressure increases.

    If you have a strong flashlight and a dark room, you can candle the egg to see what is going on. If there is a viable bird in there, you should see movement inside the air cell.

    Also, I can't tell from the picture what the crack looks like. Was it roughly circular in shape at first, like a dent punched from the inside? That is what a pip should look like. If it's a pressure crack it will just look like a crack, although it would also look like it came from the inside since that's where the pressure originates. A pip will gradually expand, but again it will expand in a roughly circular pattern, OR it will move as the baby re-positions itself, but it will always center around the area where the little one is poking its bill/beak.

    You can also submit the egg to the smell test--if it's going bad, it will probably have an unpleasant odor. If it is healthy, it will smell clean and fresh (except any poop that might be on it from the nest, lol).

    I do want to give you kudos--many people have a hard time waiting even 24 hours for an egg to go from pip to hatch, and they end up injuring or causing a premature hatch. You have done right to wait and let nature take its course--if the egg is dead, there is nothing you could have done to help. And if it's alive, then it will hatch in its own good time.

    I hope I'm wrong about this egg, but it doesn't look or sound promising to me. I'm sorry for your broody troubles. I have not had success with a broody yet, but then I don't have a good broody breed. I like my trusty incubator better.

    Good luck!
     
  5. manxminx

    manxminx In the Brooder

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    100 % correct Charlotte. About 2 hours ago Rosie went running up the garden with said egg in her bill. It looks like its been dead for a while ( I didn't see it but my brother did). The last egg does smell, so think that has passed too [​IMG]
    So, I've done the natural thing - didn't work, so I'm going to get an incubator.
    Looks like the old saying 'Don't count your chickens (or ducks!) before they've hatched' really rings true for me.
    I'll candle the last egg anyway, just to 100% sure.
    Thank you for your help [​IMG]
    Kate
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

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    Yes, it's amazing how the old "don't count your chicks" adage becomes so much more real once you start hatching birds!

    I am sorry about your eggs. It's always a disappointment after waiting so long to not have babies to enjoy, and it's especially hard when it's your first try.

    But don't despair! Get yourself a nice incubator (I like my forced-air Hovabator, but others have other preferences) and have fun. [​IMG]
     
  7. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

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    Manxminx - I hope you don't completely give up on Rosie - she might be a much better mum next time round, or it might have just been bad quality eggs or the posting process.[​IMG]

    I am still waiting for mine to hatch and crossing my fingers. I have 6 - I think one is bad, and 2 have started to pip too early, so really hoping I might get 3 ducklings from the hatch. My broody chicken is a sex-link hybrid and not supposed to ever go broody at all, but she did an excellent job last year brooding and raising 12 ducklings, and is being a great mum this year too. I just think the eggs may have suffered, having been posted.

    You mentioned about doing the natural thing - nothing is more natural than a mummy bird doing the job (OK, different species in my case, so bending the rules of nature a bit!). I think it also saves expense and is better for the babies. They will learn how to forage and what to be afraid of and will be protected and kept warm while they need it. They will have to learn to swim by themselves though [​IMG]

    I was also keen not to have a stinky broody box in the house to clean out 3 times a day while they were tiny [​IMG]
     
  8. manxminx

    manxminx In the Brooder

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    I think I'm going to get an incubator, and try again with another 3 eggs. I already have 3 ducks so don't want too many. I have a big garden, but too many ducks can be sooooo messy!!.
    Thing is, I will be starting chemo in the next few weeks, so having baby ducks to look after and watch come into the world will be something to look forward too and keep my spirits up. Hopefully when they get old enough, Rosie and Olive (my other female - who's now broody too!) will take them under their wing (no pun intended [​IMG])
     
  9. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

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    So sorry to hear you are having to have chemo treatment. Hope all goes well.
    I certainly find that my animals bring me so much comfort and love when I am feeling down or stressed or unhappy.

    I read somewhere once that animals have great healing power, because they make our brains release happy chemicals and that helps us to fight off illnesses. In the UK, they have therapy dogs that visit hospitals and it cheers everyone up and speeds up their recovery! I am sure your duckies (new and old) will help to do this for you:)
     
  10. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

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    So sorry to hear it was not good news for your broody duck - I have had eggs pipping for 3 days and it resulted in 12 Indian Runner chicks last Wednesday - sadly 1 died but the rest look very healthy with "Mum" - I am lucky in sofar as I have a great broody Silkie and an Indian Runner who is now 8 months old and a very proud Mum.

    I have never owned an incubator - all of my chicks are hatched here and the great think for me is to watch their Mum clucking and screeching when they call their chicks for feeding - the Mum protects them from the other chickens, ducks and geese here too. Silkie Mum is VERY feisty!

    Good luck with the chemo treatment!
     

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