LOVE my ducks, I need ADVICE for all of you!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by charlieandpete, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. charlieandpete

    charlieandpete New Egg

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    Hi, new to your post, thanks for being out there. I have searched books, internet, talked to people and have had a very hard time getting good information. I have several questions, please help if you can! HISTORY: I live in a cold climate (UTAH, mountains, snow in winter, below freezing, hot in summer). I bought 4 baby ducks (2 mallards, 2 Uprights) last April. We raised them with love and care and they are a big part of our family. In late September, two of my ducks (males) just flat out disappeared. Never found them, no feathers, etc. HEART BROKEN. My two females are now left. About days after the boys disappeared, my black up right duck started laying on her eggs. I didn't know which ones were old and which ones might be a baby. QUESTION #1: if the male "got" her, how long after she was fertalized will there be real eggs? Is there any way these are real eggs? She has been on the next FULL time and doesn't want to leave them. QUESTION #2: how can I tell if these are fertalized? I looked at the posting for telling about fertile chicken eggs, is this the same for DUCK eggs? QUESTION #3: If I determine these are not babies, can I/should I take them away from her? It has been about 2.5 weeks that she has laid on them full time. QUESTION # 4 Does SHE know if they are fertile or not? If they weren't real babies, why does she lay on them? QUESTION # 5: is a 100 watt bulb in a flood light over her head enough to keep her warm? They are in a horse stall, 12 by 12 with bedding and inside of barn but it still gets cold! Ok, so many more questions about keeping ducks warm in the winter but I will stop here and see if anyone has ideas so far. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Charlie and Petie, and Heidi the owner!
     
  2. charlieandpete

    charlieandpete New Egg

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    Quote:
    2 kids, 3 horses, 2 cats, 2 ducks, 1 dog and 1 very patient (most of the time!) husband:)
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Quote:There is a chance that they are fertile, but it is not very high. This is due to the fact that most of the time the first two weeks of a new laying hen are not good. This means most of the eggs laid during that period are infertile. The best way to tell is to candle them with a very bright flash light. If they are clear then they are not fertile. You will see development from about day 4 of permanently sitting on the eggs. So you need to subtract the time she was not actively sitting on them. You should remove all eggs that are not fertile or you risk that they will explode due to bad bacteria incubation. I weed my eggs out weekly, but I'm using an incubator. Exploded eggs will contaminate and possible kill the good eggs. The duck most likely does not know which egg is good or bad. They sometimes know, but don't count on it. She is broody, she will sit on eggs regardless if they are good or bad. A broody hen will even sit on rocks, if she really wants to sit. Mine did that for a few days and then gave up. I would not add a heat lamp into the barn, it is protected enough. Ducks can handle up to -20 degrees with wind protection. You will however do something when the babies are born.
     
  4. charlieandpete

    charlieandpete New Egg

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    oh my gosh, thank you SOOOO much. I have checked on her 5 times today, and she is STILL sitting on her eggs. I have put them up to the light and I do see some "stuff" in there, but nothing that looks like it is moving. So, you recommend that I take them from her? Will she then go out and enjoy the last few days of Fall or just want to stay in the barn? THANK YOU so much for caring enough to respond!
     
  5. srsmith69

    srsmith69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If th eggs are not fertile, the light will shine through the entire egg and make it kind of translucent. There will be no dark spots. If there are dark spots in the egg it may be fertile and developing into a duck. You won't always see movement. Hens can remain fertile for up to 3 weeks I've read after the drake is gone
     
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

  7. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My drake, chester, was killed so I let my duck keep the eggs she was laying from then on and hoped for the best - 10 out of 15 hatched, 2 of those were quitters and the other three I dont think were fertalised at all. Very happy with the outcome [​IMG] so aslong as your males were mating with them, there should hopefully be fertalised babies, even if they are new layers.
    Good luck!!
     
  8. charlieandpete

    charlieandpete New Egg

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    Sorry that you lost your drake:( but happy that you actually hatched the eggs:). Thanks for the words of encouragment!
     
  9. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    I'm new to duck too. I've had the occassional duckling bought at Easter but I recently got a dozen eggs and only got 1 duckling. I apparently didn't have the humidity high enough. I found this out a bit late but I did have it in with chicken eggs. Lesson 1 - learned. lesson 2 is how to take care of the duckling in winter. I have it in the grow pen with the EE chicks. They are under a heat lamp and the grow pen is enclosed with a lid also. NOt just a trough with a hanging light and open top. They won't get any drafts. The bottom of it has 1/2 wire but the sides of the pen are wrapped with a moving blanket. These things are thicker than a quilt and it reached to the floor and the pen has a lid/roof that raises up. The pen is also in the shed. So they have extra protection. It's only like 50 degrees outside and they have a 60 watt bulb in the heat lamp. The quail have been doing fine with the same thing. I checked on the about an hour ago and all seemed fine. They have been in the house up till today with no heat lamp.
    When I had the duckling inside it was in an aquarium by itself and had a bowl of water and a large tuna can full of food. Now there are 2 waterers in the grow pen. A chick waterer that holds a quart jar and a dog waterer that holds a 1/2 gallon water bottle. The feeder is a chick feeder that holds the quart jar. I know the water is fine but will that feeder work for the duck?

    When it gets feathers will it be ok in a pen by itself? I'm gonna try to get it some buddies to keep it company but they will be starting out as eggs. Our winters hardly ever get down below zero. Maybe a little at night but not 20 below.
     
  10. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Anytime [​IMG] I have a lil Chester junior now, so hopefully he'll grow up with the same fun personality!!

    Also, drakes usually mature before females, so if the females were just laying its likely the drakes were mating them.. probably during the day when you weren't watching maybe? Hopefully [​IMG]
     

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