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Mother ducks trampling ducklings? I can only hatch males???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by awryexperiment, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. awryexperiment

    awryexperiment Hatching

    Jan 5, 2011
    I have been raising ducks for 12+ yrs. I had kept females only for many years. After getting a couple of males, I had tried twice to allow some of the broody girls (once a crested and once a khaki) to hatch some eggs. One both occasions, multiple eggs hatched but several ducklings were trampled (literally flattened in the nest). The only ducklings that survived were males and they seemed to interact normally with the sitting "mother" duck (i.e. she cared for them and raised them well.)

    Has anyone else seen this? Do you think its a coincidence that only males survived?

    Other thoughts??

    I have avoided further hatchings because I really don't want more male-only hatchings.

  2. Chances are you would have had some females survive had they not been trampled. Did you separate the hen and ducklings from the rest of the flock? If it was the momma hen that trampled them maybe you could take the ducklings right after she hatches them and raise them in a brooder. A lot of hens just don't make good mothers, especially Khaki Campbells, although there are exceptions. Sometimes a first time mother will do better after more experience.

    You could have had a high male to female ratio in the ducklings, and some people think they notice a difference in behavior in the sexes which may account for their survival? I noticed last year the first ducklings from a certain hen were all male, but that evened out as the season went on. Another hen gave a much high ratio of males to females throughout the season.
    I also was hatching eggs from an eight year old hen I really like. A lot of her eggs didn't make it but of those that did only about one in ten were male.
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Aw, so sorry about your ducklings and gender ratio!

    I agree with what has already been said. I have heard that male embryos tend to be hardier than female so if there are problems during incubation, it can cause a higher male ratio too. Also, some hens will purportedly lay a higher proportion of one gender or another.

    But I suspect that if you fix the crushing issue, you will see a better gender proportion. Sometimes it's just luck of the draw, too. Better luck next time, I hope!

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