I was just trying to humour her but ...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GrannySue, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broody hen, to whom I gave 3 fertile duck eggs, hatched out a duckling this afternoon. It was still wet when I checked on her, about 4:00 this afternoon.
    I moved her and the baby and the 2 remaining eggs to a level spot in a brooder cage my kid built for me. The last time I tried that she wouldn't sit back on the eggs so I gave up and put her back after a couple of hours. This time she tucked the baby underneath herself, ignored the other eggs for a while, then got them under her as well.

    So now what?

    She's skin and bone, having taken the surrogate broody Mama thing very seriously. When she was in her original nest I did leave water and food beside her (no, I never spoil my birds) but she hardly touched them.
    I have some 18% chick started, non-medicated, that my chicks eat and should give that to the duckling, yes? Considering Mama's state, I guess she'll be okay with that for a while?

    Yes, I know this is the duck place, but I have both all of a sudden.

    Honestly, I was just trying to make her happy. Who knew she'd take it so seriously?
    Oh, and I'm leaving in 10 days for a 5 day holiday. A friend will be looking after dogs, ducks, chickens and 10 week old chicks. I'm sure he didn't factor this into the mix!
  2. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Unmedicated chick starter will work for the ducklings, Grower will also work and your hen can eat either, also. She probably will eat and show her babies how to eat once the other eggs hatch, hopefully tomorrow, well today.

    Put a pie pan of water and another of food a short distance from her and some small grains if you have them. If you have some kitten food, put some in with the starter for her to eat, the ducklings won't eat it not to worry.

    My ducklings, love cooked mashed split peas, good for ducklings and momma hen both. I make it thick then use several big tablespoons with added water whe n I set it out for my duckings. Chop greens fine for the ducklings after day 2-3, momma hen might like those too. Temp her, but I bet she'll eat once the other eggs hatch. I am sure their hatch is emminent.

    You got yourself one good broody. Kitten food along with the starter, will bring her strength back pretty fast, very high protein.
  3. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    You know, in ten days momma and or ducklings will be so much bigger, might be able to put them with the 10 week old chicks and make your vacation caretakers job easier. Could try it if the duckings are big enough, they grow so fast. Just not sure they will grow that fast. Just a thought.
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Just be glad you didnt give that hen some goose or turkey eggs to sit on....[​IMG] A good broody will raise what ever she hatches. Well done to her and hope the other two eggs make it ok. Buttercup Chillin has given some good advise about the provision of food- But you might just want to keep on eye on how much mess the little ones make to ensure the hen has clean dry food as well.
  5. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Baby #2 is on its way. I didn't have a good look because Mama really wanted me to go away.

    The funny thing is that I was going to home-incubate some duck eggs this summer. Now I guess I don't have to!
  6. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Latest development is that the Momma rejected the second duckling. I guess that's what happened because when I lifted the door to see how things were coming along there was a new duckling, cold and still, in the corner of the house.

    I picked it up and cradled it in my hand, intending to throw it over the fence for crows (cycle of life and all that). I felt a bit of movement in my hand but figured it was just the after-death muscles contracting. Looked a bit closer and it was definitely moving! Still very cold.
    So I walked around clutching it gently between my boobies (blush) and for a little while there was no more movement.
    But after about 1/2 hour it was definitely wriggling!
    Figured I would have to set up a brooder if Momma didn't want it. Not an easy task with one hand but I got the brooder lamp and a big Rubbermaid tote ready. Put paper towels and shop towels on the bottom and in the corner I put a little crocheted kitten for softness.
    Still needed the other hand to get the place ready. Where to put little duck that needed to be kept warm? So I popped it under Momma for a bit to see what would happen. She snuggled it under her right away!

    That was about an hour ago. Baby D is all fluffy now and making little peep peep noises, under Mum. Not walking around yet but it's only a few hours old. I think I'll leave it with her and hope for the best.
    Baby #1 is giving her fits because it's all ready to explore the big scary world, even if it's only a 3'x3' wooden box.

    This is going to be a looooong day!
  7. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Yay! Good job rescueing the baby! [​IMG]
  8. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Grannysue, what to do with the duckling, that is so funny and cute. You could have put her in a pocket, or tied a scarf around your waist and tucked it in. But as it turned out, it is for the best. Baby probably wandered off to soon and got cold was certainly near death. Good rescue.[​IMG]

    One more to go, right.[​IMG]
  9. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    I threw the third egg out. Momma was a little worried for a while but then went back to looking after her 2 cuties.


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