how long can duck eggs be left alone? mama went out and they were cool

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by newbiechickenowner, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Georgia, VT
    How long can a duck be off of her eggs? This is all new to us and our Aztec hen. We had no idea she was feeling "broody" [​IMG] Anyway, yesterday I noticed that she started to sit on her egg. So, I ran in the house and got the 3 others that were fertile from the day before and waiting on the shelf to go to an incubator at another persons house. Put them under her to when she took a stroll out to the water. She sat all day yesterday, all night, went out this morning for a quick swim and was back in in 10 minutes or under. Sat most of the day, came out once so I went to check and they were warm and there were 7! so she took some of the other ladies eggs...yeaaah! Anyway, this evening, she came out for a swim and she was off for a longer time. I went in the back and snuck a peak and they were cool.....she went in and went back on them and is there tonight...>How long can she safely be off? How cool can they get? Is the first time they go a learning curve for them or is it completely nature and she will just do this just fine and we don't have to worry unless we really see her off of the eggs?
     
  2. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    How long was she off the nest? They say up to 1/2 hour, but they can go longer. Yes, the first time doesn't always go smoothly. Let her set them. She'll hatch what she hatches. Remember, they turn them alot more than we do.

    Did she sort of cover them with straw or hay. Mine do but not always. Make sure she has extra nesting matterial to cover them with if she wants. If she strays to long. Lock her down and only let her out to bath for 1/2 hour, she'll get the idea. Also, as she adds more eggs, she'll set longer, instincts will kick in full force.
     
  3. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Georgia, VT
    This is SO EXCITING! I can barely stand it! Of course, I thought that it was "ironic" [​IMG] that the bugger started setting on the exact day that my new ducklings were shipped in the mail to me!!!!!!!!!!!! Silly girl...did she hear us talking and get nervous? Just KIDDING! Anyway, it was definately not longer than a half hour. I am so worried about bothering her though. I would like to give her more hay...where she decided to lay really could use a clean, but, I guess it should be ok. I don't know how to clean around it without disturbing the actual nest. And, HOW CUTE....I realized that when you asked me about the covering with hay...she does! I realized that when she got spooked off yesterday, I had a clear view, but, when I snuck a peak today because she had gone outside for a stroll and a quick swim, they were covered up a bit. I also heard that her going for a quick swim is good and part of her natural instincts kicking in because it wets the eggs a bit and helps in the humidity, etc. How GREAT?!!!!
     
  4. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Georgia, VT
    so it is safe to sneak in when she heads out for a stroll and add some bedding around the nest so she can do what she wants with it?
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
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    Remember Charlotte's Web by E.B. White? There's a part where the goose talks about setting her clutch of eggs, and says that on warm days she'd put some straw over her eggs and take a stroll. A smart broody bird can time her breaks to go with the ambient outside temperature. The warmer the day the longer she can take her break. It may not be ideal for her to let the eggs go cold but let's hope Mama knows best.

    I'm sure it would help to have extra straw handy by the nest, and place food/drink/bathing water nearby so she won't have to travel further away than necessary.

    Thank you for sharing that bit of info about how essential it is for broody ducks to have bathing water, to help with the humidity of the eggs. Right now I have a Khaki Campbell who went broody on a nest of her choosing under a bush. Last night I took out the duck eggs and replaced them with 2 goose eggs I'd rather her incubate for me. This morning I saw her walking across the yard muttering to herself, I hadn't yet had a chance to put out the food & water for her. When I gave her a big pan of water she took a thorough bath in it. Now she has her necessities right near her nest site.

    Still, I've had chicken hens successfully incubate duck and goose eggs. Seems they don't have any problem keeping the right humidity even with their dry feathers.
     
  6. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Don't put everything right next to the nest. It could make the nest dirty. She needs to walk about and exercise and deposit her load for the day away from the nest. Her eggs also need to breath a bit while she is gone.
    Just put some hay next to her nest while she is away. She will tuck it where she wants it, if she wants it. She may not use it right away, leave it there for her. She will build up the sides of the nest then move her eggs around, she will cover them to hide them from others and to insulate them in heat or cold.

    I only have water in the Duck house and not by the nests. Only when the hatch is eminent do I put a water basin (dog dish from Walmart- oil pan like) for her and food dishes for her (glass pie pan) and for the ducklings (Cat food dish). I also put a small wood block (a cut 2x4) at mom's water dish for the ducklings to jump up on to get to the water. Mom will push them up on the block and lean over them making them duck their beaks into the water if they haven't dipped in themselves. Mom will teach them.

    I would suggest you get a camera and get ready to watch some duck TV. Best investment I've made in a long time. I love it when there is a hatch, usually at night. Otherwise they may be several days old before you know they even exist. Waite until you see a little one riding Mom's back down to the water dish, toooo cute.

    When they are just sitting, when they bath they will normally go dry off in the sun and flap all over to dry off abit before returning to the nest. About 5 days before you think they are due, you will notice her bathing and then pretty much just going straight back to the nest. She's getting ready to hatch the eggs, she's raising the humidity. 3 days later I get the food dishes and water basin into the duck house for the babies.

    With food in the duck house and sitting on eggs, this is a very dangerous time for the Ducks. They are easy prey for predators, so protect them. That is why I like to have a few camera's inside the duck house. Obviously you have a Drake. I left mine in the house until the Ducklings started hatching to protect the Ducks and the eggs. Some people move the Drake out though before the hatch starts. That is something you will need to decide. Other ducks could kill the ducklings, watch for trouble there. A Drake can and will kill ducklings, it is instinct. Mine was very proud of his babies and strutted around their yard with his boys when they were 2 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  7. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Georgia, VT
    This is incredible information! Thank you all. I will print it and digest it as I go along. I have the drakes now separated on the other side of the house. This actually started before, but they were still mating when they were let out. There were 2 drakes to 3 females and one of the drakes was getting unsafe with the hens. So, there is one side of the coop for them and then the other side, where the hens have access, has a small back area and a little door that leads to the front area where the food, water and chicken wire are. She laid in the back where the "nesting" area or "warm" area is in the winter. I still have a couple of questions if you don't mind......what do you do with the other two girls around and after laying? Should I separate them too? Also, the area where she is nesting, she is taking up quite a bit of it, will the other girls just "mind their business"? Or, once they come, should I set the back up like you suggested with mini water, etc, and block the girls out? This entire structure is then surrounded by a very large outside pen with water pools, etc. We lock at night and the run is locked all the time. So, if they had to, they could stay outside of the house for awhile if I make another little house for the other two girls in there. then, she could have the whole other half of the coop....also, the drakes can still see them, etc. I have chicken wire separating the quarters. This is great info! again, I thank you for taking the time to write it and I look forward to ANY other thoughts or suggestions you have.
     
  8. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Good question. I put my drake and other duck in with my chickens for 2 weeks. Personally, I would get rid of the other duck that was getting unsafe with the hens. I would put the other 2 ducks in with the one drake. You don't want them outside in the run unless it is totally enclosed, remember predators will be drawn to the duck house.

    Are your other ducks laying? If you don't collect their eggs daily they could also start to sit. Would be best if they sit in the duck house. I had 2 that sat together, then all three set their eggs at once when my drake died. Yes, mom will take up even more room later, she'll make room for the ducklings. You can't really lock her in to close off the other ducks. As soon as the babies are good to go, she'll go for a walk with them out in their yard, this can be as early as day 2 or 3.

    If you don't want to get rid of the one drake then I would move the drakes out to the run with shelter and move the other ducks into the bachelor pad. We're talking about a few weeks, unless more ducks go broody.

    You might want to start a new question on the Duck thread to see what others have to say.

    You will have to watch your drakes though. Especially the misbehaving one, I suspect it will try to kill the ducklings. I would have gotten rid of it before now if it messed with my ducks. Sorry but that sucker would have been duck sausage. I only want gentlemen Drakes.

    I am not familiar with Aztec ducks, do you know if they normally sit their eggs? Are they family oriented like Muscovies. Not all ducks will follow through with the hatch or taking care of the young. Some of the duck people, take the ducklings and brood them once they hatch. You need to know what the Azrec ducks are like when it comes to sitting and brooding their young. I tried looking them up and found nothing, not one thing on Aztec ducks.
     
  9. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Georgia, VT
    The Aztecs are hard to find info on. Apparently, there is a breeder in the Midwest that "makes" specialized breeds until they are established and can carry on their breeding. Some he keeps for a long, long time and then other lines he eventually stops breeding. One of the women in the Vermont Bird Fanciers club in Vermont had got a lot of his birds and continued breeding the breed. I wish I knew how to post a pic cause thye are GORGEOUS! Anyway, I bought three hens from her last year in the fall at our local fair. I can't find her name so I am going through someone to try to find her to find out more about them.... I know that they are a mix of mallard and call duck and some other kinds so with that breeding, I am hopeful, but have no idea. I will see if I can post a pic. I believe that the boys are both going tonight to a home on the lake. I think it is time they moved on, but, they would not leave on their own so I think that I have sold them to a gentleman a couple towns up. This would leave both sides of the coop that are separated, but together and the outside run for the girls. The sitting hen is fortunately inside in the back of the coop completely enclosed. Should I separate the other girls? Or, should I just see how it goes for now? Also, where is the "duck board" and how do I get to it? I am still on the learning curve with this board.....Thanks so much for the info! Oh, and she is still collecting! She had 8 out there yesterday...she is obviously taking the other two girls' eggs once they lay them! stinker. Will she stop taking them soon? I am So new to this!
     
  10. newbiechickenowner

    newbiechickenowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2009
    Georgia, VT
    OK so I was able to upload the image using the above upload image, but it is in my uploaded images and I can't figure out how to post it here................any thoughts?
     

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