mother duck, baby goslings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by muus, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. muus

    muus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    My mallard hen is incubating her eggs and chinese geese eggs.

    I want her to take care of all te chicks (in total 6, 4 ducklings and 2 goslings I had some infertile eggs) and I don't know if I should take away the duck eggs and let them hatch in the incubator and when the goslings hatch return the ducklings to her mother or let the ducklings hatch with it's mother and when the goslings hatch put them with the mallard, but, she would accept them?
    Other thing I don't understand is why only 4 of the 12 eggs were fertile? They hace water in a pond everyday and I see them mating so whats going wrong? and why gosling embryos die in the middle of the incubation? I had 2 deaths at days 16 and 17.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  2. muus

    muus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone can tell me what is better to do?
     
  3. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aside from giving your ducks good mating conditions, you have not much influence on fertilization itself. When the guys from my poultry club complain collectively about low fertilization rates, they usually blame the weather. It may also be the drake at fault here or just a subject to random success. Appearently random deaths among developing embryos is not uncommon, either.

    According to my book, goose eggs take about 30 days to incubate, which, assuming that prior to the duck's care the goose eggs have not been incubated, would mean that the ducklings would be introduced to their mother two days after hatching.
    This could become quite troublesome because usually ducks only accept what hatched under them and tend to kill ducklings they do recognize as their offspring. I know about some exceptions, but those were muscovies.

    If you want to try this, stay with at the nest ready to interfere in case mother duck turns hostile and be prepared to rear the ducks by yourself.

    Personally, I would let the whole clutch together. Ducks often stay a while longer on their nests despite hatched ducklings as long as some eggs are still in the nest.
     
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can be tricky, but usually it's quite easy to get a duck to accept new ducklings (or goslings in this case) that aren't hers, so long as they are a similar age at the time.

    I used to work as an avian keeper and we did this often when we'd have ducklings rejected by their own mothers, or that hatched in an incubator. We'd do what we called a "shake and bake". Basically, you take the hen's own ducklings into a crate, add in the new ones, give them a little shake (just figuratively of course!) so they're all mixed together, and then release them back in with the hen. Ducks can't count, so they won't notice if there are some extras in the bunch. She'll be so happy to get her babies back that she won't notice any new ones in the mix, even if they are a different species/color from her own.

    Here's an example of a momma Mandarin who took in this Common Shelduck after a "shake and bake", never noticing that he was a different size and color:
    [​IMG]

    A little later on, when he had grown bigger than his "mom", who is standing to the right of him here:
    [​IMG]

    So, it's possible! I would let her hatch out the ducklings under her. She may not stay on the nest long enough for the goslings to hatch out, so in that case pop them into an incubator to finish hatching. Then try introducing the goslings a day or so after they hatch and have had time to get a little more steady on their feet, so they can keep up with the ducklings that will be a little older. Do a "shake and bake"! ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  5. muus

    muus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much, you helped me so mucj so my decision is to let all the cluch together and if the hen abandon the nest I'll make a "shake and bakes" as you said.
    It' the first hen incubating, I never had ducks or nothing and the last year I did an imprinting project so all my ducks are very tame. She is the only that I got when she was 2 months but is as tame as the other mallards.
    Thanks
     
  6. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds good! Please come back and let me know how it goes! :) When are they due to start hatching?

    That is so sweet, your first clutch from your super friendly ducks! That will make for some super friendly ducklings/goslings for you I think! So exciting! ^-^
     
  7. muus

    muus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll catch the first week of April, days 3 and 5.
    I will tell you how it goes ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  8. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent! Good luck! :)
     
  9. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thimblerigging and infant care, great mixture [​IMG]
     
  10. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol! I had to Google "thimblerigging", but yes, absolutely! ;)
     

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