incubating duck egg emergency!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SandraChick, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Well...I feel horrible, but now I need help.

    I forgot to lock up the fowl last night and my broody runner duck disappeared (probably a fox!!!). [​IMG]

    The eggs were all there and luke warm and I just happened to have a broody chicken who was sitting on "air", so I put the eggs next to her and she immediately put them under her.

    To complicate things, I believe they're due to hatch next week while I'm on vacation!

    Assuming it wasn't not too late and my broody chicken can pull off the hatching....

    I need advice on how to deal with a chicken raising ducks.

    Anyone have experience successfully doing this?
    Will the rest of the chickens attack the ducklings?- I've always allowed my chickens to raise their chicks without intervention or separation.

    I need some hand holding here!!! I'm freaked out! Worst of all it's all my fault![​IMG]

  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Sandra.....first of all....we ALL make mistakes. Maybe she was just scared away, and will yet return. As far as the hen hatching the ducks...that should be fine! She will show them how to eat and all....just like duckie momma would. However, if you are going to be away for a few days, on vacation, I would try to seperate her and the babies, if possible. Just to be safe. Make sure there is PLENTY water for them all....and good luck. Is there someone going to come check on them while you are away??
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    Yes, I have a WONDERFUL neighbor who will come check on everyone twice a day!!!! and if her two year old has a choice, she'll be here even more often!

    In the meantime, I still put up a sign at the feed store to see if anyone has a broody duck in the area. I figured that might work. A customer at the feed store also thought it'd be no problem to have the chicken raise the ducklings.

    I'm leaning towards separating the duck coop into two...with a fence inside that mama chicken can get in and out but papa duck and ducklings won't be able to go over (they're runner ducks, so I don't need a very high separator). This way....They'll have some space, water, food and some overall safety while I'm gone. I'm still really concerned about the chickens not accepting the ducklings and the drake not accepting them nor mama chicken!

    Ahhhhh--the DRAMA!

  4. Sharona

    Sharona Songster

    Jun 10, 2007
    I think Deb is exactly right. They should be just fine with momma hen and nature will take care of the rest. Have fun on vacation!
  5. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Well, I've come up with a solution.

    The duck coop has been split in half. Mama chicken has been moved to the nesting box in there (she didn't care at all, she's just sitting on those eggs!) I just hope the eggs didn't cool too much.

    The separator is high enough that papa duck can't get in that half of the coop by mama chicken can fly/hop over if she wants. I've added a cat litter box which will then have a large dog bowl full of water surrounded by rocks. Figured it would be better to have some kind of "catchment basin" for the water than to get the bedding all dirty. Then I have chick starter ready in there as well.

    I've decided it wouldn't hurt to have the chicks stay in there for a couple days (eggs due to hatch on a thursday and we're home on Saturday). I'd like to be there to see how papa duck deals with mama chicken and how the chickens deal with the ducklings. We'll have time to quarden off a seperate yard if necessary when we get back.

    I feel much better on its [​IMG] and hope for [​IMG]

    Thanks for your handholding!
  6. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    Good luck! I hope it all works out fine for you!
  7. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Leave a camera for the neighbor.....ask them to get pics if possible...then you wont "miss" it all.
  8. ml

    ml Songster

    Mar 4, 2007
    Been lucky with a small radio placed near my broodies nests, those that choose to raise little ones out side the coop. I like to play hard rock 24/7 to keep those nasty preds away. So far has worked for me. Not sure if my hens and ducks like the music but they have raised sevearl groups with the help of the radio on.

    Mine is a plug in radio and worry that it will be unpluged by a horse so far so good.

  9. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    well- it was a bust!

    Just before leaving, the hen quit sitting on the eggs and when I checked the eggs had gone rotten. I guess the eggs had gotten too cold before I got the hen on the eggs.

    It was a very sad event, both the loss of the mama duck and then knowing the eggs died mid-term. I was looking forward to a bunch of ducklings around.

    The poor drake is lonely, he's now hanging out with the chickens (which he used to chase off). Life is hectic for the next week or two, but we'll be getting him some new hens of his own here soon--he just doesn't make a good roo!


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