HELP!!! MOM DIED!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MrsK, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. MrsK

    MrsK New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    28 days ago TODAY we saw a wild swedish duck lay her final egg and begin sitting on them in our garden. She had 13 of them. We watch her every day and can get within 6 feet of her (we won't get any closer, but she never got scared.) This afternoon we checked on her to see if any of the eggs were hatching yet and she was sitting there. For the last few days the nest had been spread out a bit and instead of them being piled and her sitting on top, she had them all side by side and she couldn't cover them all. Make sense what I am saying? Ok. Well a few hours ago things were fine with her sitting there, and we checked about 4 hours later and the nest was destroyed, only 9 eggs remained, the mom was dead and there's no sign of the other 4 eggs. Most of them were still hot but a few had cooled off to warm. One was a foot away from the nest and was cool. One of the remaining has a peck mark, which leads me to believe seagulls are the culprits. I saw a lot of webbed bird tracks, but no cat tracks.

    We brought the eggs in and put them under a heat lamp (just a regular light bulb with a metal cone) after we used a hair dryer to warm them up first. They are in a thick fleece lined foam insulated cuddle cup that I had used for my guinea pig years ago. I covered them with a heavy fleece blanket piece that I cut to fit over them and have the heat lamp almost touching them.

    What else can I do? I feel terrible that they might die. My kids and I have been watching them for a month. They are so close! No peeping sounds can be heard, no movement. I know they are probably doomed, but I wanna at least try.

    And if they do hatch, what do I do in the first moments and then after that? I am completely unprepared for this!
     
  2. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Hi MrsK! I'm so sorry about the mama duck! [​IMG] I don't have much experience with hatching eggs - I had a hen once who hatched a few chicks about two years ago. But you came to the right place - hopefully some more experienced duck-keepers can help you out. [​IMG] Hang in there. If they do start hatching, they'll likely be able to do it themselves. Just make sure they're kept warm until (and after) they dry out. It's possible the pecked one could be a pip - a first hole that the duckling will make before it starts to hatch. Does it look like its a puncture in, or a puncture out?
     
  3. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    How're they doing? [​IMG]
     
  4. MrsK

    MrsK New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    It is definitely a puncture in. Didn't go through all the way. I checked the heat with a household thermometer you use when you're sick and they are over 100 degrees so I sprayed them with water and pulled the heat lamp back. I have the thermometer in there now to see what the temp is now and will adjust it as needed. I candled them and put the air sac at the top in case they peck at it. I think that's what I read! I marked the air sac with marker so I know if they move and I spray them with water since the mom won't be peeing on them anymore. I think somewhere I read they have to be kept at 98 degrees and humidity at 95?

    Now we are praying hard for these babies but the kids know it might not be good enough and they still might die. I'm off to research what to do if they do hatch. They only thing I know is to make sure the ducklings' water is a milk jug with a tiny hole just big enough for their head to go through so they don't drown. That's not enough to raise them!
     
  5. TheChicknGarden

    TheChicknGarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2012
    san antonio, texas
     
  6. Ilovemyduckies

    Ilovemyduckies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry about your momma duck! I would say just keep doing what your doing. Although, you may want to candle them and see what's going on inside the eggs. Chances are grim that they will hatch if you are using a heat lamp. When I first started hatching, I put some in one day, and then put some more in a week later. I did not have a hatcher so I put them in a box with a heat lamp none hatched. out of the other eggs (there were five) I had one late duckling. Again, so sorry about your duck :(
     
  7. MrsK

    MrsK New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    What's a better way to keep them warm? I have a heating pad but it has auto shut off. I can keep turning it back on by setting my alarm. Is there a better way? I candled them but don't know what to look for. I see the air sac thing, but everything else is dark. The eggs themselves are greenish. By my calculations they are 28 days today.
     
  8. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    I would recommend doing a float test for the eggs to see if still alive. Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and place egg in water. The egg should rise fat end to the top (where the air cell is). If they are alive, the egg will wiggle. If it wiggles, very quickly remove egg, pat it dry and place back in warm moist environment. If you do not have an incubator, you can use a styrofoam cooler. Puncture small holes top and bottom in it. Then place a small hand towel on bottom and add a few hot wet washclothes to bring up humidity. Place a high wattage bulb to shine through a hole from top to warm. Chances are good IF the babies are still alive, they may have shrinkwrap problems and will need assistance hatching.

    But first things first... try the float test.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  9. Ilovemyduckies

    Ilovemyduckies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try to use the heating pad, just do whatever you can to keep them in the 95-100 range. If the eggs is dark than that means their is a chick in there. When it gets to that point, I candle them from the bottom and it is way easier to see. Just look for movement. Make sure to keep a close eye on the air cells. I candled mine right before lockdown and my cousin saw one pushing at the membrane. I would have totally missed that. All you can do is wait and see.... Good Luck
     
  10. MrsK

    MrsK New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    I did the float test. They all floated, but not one wiggled :(. Does that mean they are all dead? Until I hear for sure, I will proceed with your instructions of building the styrofoam cooler incubator.
     

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