Hens abandoned duck eggs after chicks hatched! HELP!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 29, 2012
San Jose
Ok so our hens were sitting on some eggs, 2 were duck eggs. They hatched 3 days ago and the hens aren't really sitting much anymore. I have gone outside a few times and the eggs are cold. I candled them and the babies are still alive inside. I put them in a box with a heat lamp yesterday during the day and I couldn't get the temp to stay in at a certain degree. I have researched proper temps and humidty for hatching ducks, but since they are so close to hatching, what should I do. I don't want them to die. It's pretty warm here, no colder that the upper 50's night and 70"s during the day. At what temps would they die? Basically what can I do to get them by until they hatch? I have a thermometer and humity gauge. What temp should they be at, humidity and when should they be hatiching? Do you think they are ok, if I see movement in the egg, even if they are cold? These are Peking ducks. I placed them on April 1, they have basically been abandoned as of 2 days ago. :( HELP!!! Thanks!

Another thing, could I separate one of the hens from the babies and have her sit on the eggs? Will she actually sit, or stress about losing her babies?
Hens are programmed to leave the nest site approximately 36 hours after their chicks hatch. The only way such a staggered hatch works is if the duck eggs are started a week before the chicken eggs. You will not be able to 'force' one of the hens to go back to setting. Good luck at keeping the eggs warm enough that they will hatch.
They have to be at least 50 degrees to live. Movement is a good sign. If you are too worried you can put a light black cloth over the box.
Hey guys, update.
So here is what I tried so far..... I put them in a box, put a light, thermometer, wet sponge, and covered it. Left vent holes, but couldn't get the temp exact. I am now becoming obsessed. I didn't ask for the duck eggs, our friend gave us a bunch of chicken eggs from her farm and threw in the 2 duck eggs as a surprise. LOL I was excited, but that has now turned to sadness. I tried to get the incubator thing going, only to have it over heat and under heat. I tried coralling one of the Mom hens to see if she would just focus on sitting, woke up to again cold eggs. I have now put them in the box with a light and a heating pad under the box and it is staying at about 92-99 degrees. This is going to have to work because my Husband will not let us buy an incubator for 2 ducks eggs. SOOOOO, now my question is (to the duck experts):

1. will the ducklings still hatch if kept in these temps?
2. Did the hot/cold periods possibly kill them? Meaning did them going hot and cold too much, maybe do them in? They never got colder than like 65. The box got pretty hot at one point but the eggs showed 101 (with laser thermometer).
3. Should I just keep them in the bator box and cross my fingers? Remeber the temp is around 95 average. It gets too hot otherwise.

4. WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT THEY WILL HATCH WITH THIS 96-98 varying temp? The hens temps vary too right?

I will just be so heartbroken if they don't hatch and die.

It is hard to say if they survived the hot/cold issue. They should hatch at those temps if they are still alive. The hens temps don't vary but a hen gets of the nest to eat and drink so that small variance should be fine.

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