HELP! Mother Duck Killed- How long can Eggs Survive W/O Heat?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickeepoo, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A setting muscovy hen was killed last night or early this morning by a predator- there are 7 eggs in her nest, cool but not cold. How long can they have gone without incubation and still survive to finish up in incubator? The neighbor says she's been setting close to a month, so they ducklings are probably well developed. Her sister was chased off her nest night before last, and all the eggs have been eaten by today, but she had just started setting a week ago.

    UPDATE one week later- no development in the eggs- I'm sure they didn't survive, or may have died before I found them:( But thank you for the help [​IMG]

    UPDATE 6/17- there ARE live ducklings trying to make it to the finish line, peeping intermittently- backing off and watching now.

    UPDATE 6/19 - no ducklings have pipped through the outer shell, though at least 3 of them entered the air cell 3 days ago… can still hear a little bit of peeping, but getting VERY worried at this stage.

    UPDATE 6/20 - BREAKTHROUGH! Egg #1 has broken through the shell and is visible while working on making his escape!

    UPDATE 6/20 - SUCCESS! Egg #1 has hatched and has been named Kramer! Still wet, and other eggs have cracks.
    11:30pm- #2 hatched (kicked his way out)- Duck Norris has arrived, Ninja style, with black feet and wet black fuzz!

    UPDATE 6/21 - #3 hatched just after 2:00am, and I'm so Dog tired I can't think of any names… later on that!
    #4 hatched between 3 and 4:00am, and everyone is ding fine. 2 last eggs to go.
    2:30pm- egg #5 hatched!

    FINAL UPDATE 6/22 - after a long unsuccessful pip and dry membrane, I assisted the last egg as a last resort over hours early this morning-the duckling was quite ready, but too big to turn in the shell to complete pipping/zipping. Arrived finally 5:00am and is drying and moving around some- all are alive and well, Thanks for all the help, especially Ancona (Kathy)! Pics better by daylight, will post today
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  2. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Got no replies to this emergency (unless they're already dead- then emergency is past I guess), so I put them in a still air incubator that's running at 97º and 60% humidity- have no idea if they're still alive, but 2 candled showed one almost fully developed and another just a couple days behind… guess we'll wait it out a few days. What humidity is correct for the last few days of incubation though, anyone?
     
  3. ancona91

    ancona91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello!!!!
    The ducklings may still very well hatch.......if you're in Florida I doubt they had gotten cold enough to kill the embryos. I've even had nearly frozen eggs still hatch(they were very cold and I decided to set them anyway....10 out of 11 hatched). The humidity should be 70-75 % during the last 3 or so days of incubation. Good luck!!! Let us know how it goes!!!! Hope I've helped a bit!!!
    Kathy
     
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I, too think the eggs can still hatch. I would even let them go up to 5 days after the day you think they would have hatched to be sure. If they don't hatch by that time, just check one by gently tapping it to see if you hear or feel movement. Sometimes they hatch under the toughest of situations so give them a good chance. Have you candled them to see if they have developed?

    sorry for the loss of the mama....
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  5. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orlando, FL
    Thanks, to you both… I need to somehow get the humidity up to 70%- it's down at between 56-60 right now. I borrowed this incubator this morning out of urgency, and it doesn't have much of a well for water. I guess I could add a wet sponge or something. I did candle 2 of the eggs when I brought them in, and one was near fully developed while the other looked to be a little behind that. I guess they must have been without the mother between 3-8 hours, judging in our neighborhood when they last took out the pit bull that lives at that address and when the cars quit coming in. Poor mother duck had built her nest in the planter right in front of the house, below a large window near the garage with the dog in it, maybe hoping for protection. From the looks of the carcass, it seems a raccoon got her… [​IMG]
    I'll leave the eggs for a week or so to give them a chance; we're in Central Florida with 90's temps and 100+ heat index, so they could very well be OK. I will update with developments (no pun intended).
     
  6. Hennypen

    Hennypen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put a wet maxi pad in the incubator. [​IMG]
     
  7. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orlando, FL
    GREAT idea, Hennypen! Yep- got some of those…

    Now my only other issue is, this incubator seems to be pre-calibrated to 97º (or else I'm reading this gadget wrong that my friend brought with it- measures humidity and temp, but there is one set of big numbers and 2 more sets of smaller ones). I've only used the wafer thermostats that you turn until it settles into a 2º range and cuts on and off to keep it there. It's CLOSE to 100º by staying about 97- will that do the trick, just take them a little longer?
     
  8. ancona91

    ancona91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2010
    Ellenville
    Hello chickeepoo!!!
    If the temperature you have is actually 97 degrees that is ideal!!! During the last 2 days or so of incubation it is advisable to lower the temp from 99.75 to 97-98 degrees. Ducklings create a lot of their own heat in the struggle to free themselves from the egg....this helps them not to overheat too much. You can also LIGHTLY spray the eggs with lukewarm water the last 2 days of incubation to prevent the membrane from drying out.
    I've been hatching duck eggs for over 8 years......the above suggestions really do help.
    Kathy
     
  9. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orlando, FL
    Ancona91, I've been just letting the eggs quietly incubate but turning twice to be sure nothing sticks… the temp went up to 99º by itself, and the humidity has been pretty much 70-72%. Now I wouldn't know how to get the temp DOWN if they need it lower! I'm wondering if they stopped developing, maybe even before I went to rescue them, because when candling them the one that seems to be ahead of the others still looks about the same as it did Monday, with a very defined line from dark to light at an angle where the air sac meets what's developed in the embryo. The others have an even larger light air sac visible. I guess I thought after 4 days they'd be showing more progress, but I'm not sure of dates for these little guys. They do take 28+ days for muscovy eggs, right? How do I judge rate of development that they should have if they're alive? And are there any candling pics of the last week or so of duck eggs?
     
  10. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Oops. there IS a little unmarked knob- got the temp in the incubator back to 97º with 70% humidity… just can't tell if they're dead or still growing… this makes about 100 hours since I put the eggs in after the mother was killed. Any ideas?
     

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