My Muskcovys eggs hatch and I find them dead all around the pen..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Marggy, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Marggy

    Marggy New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2013
    I have a muskcovy duck that's been sitting on her eggs for over 5 weeks she started with 9 eggs I have been waiting patiently for them to hatch. In the last week I have found dead baby's around the pen. All a day or two apart. One looked like it had some yoke still attached and was a fair distance away form the mother. One I found in a water tray with only a couple of centimeters of water.. In total I have found 4 dead ducklings and have 3 eggs missing. I have taken the remaining 2 eggs and have them in a Tupperware bowl with my desk lamp on them. I'm lost in what to do!!
    I put the eggs to my ear and they both are alive as I can hear there heart beat and they both quack.. I read that they must be sprayed with water is this true..
    Another thing that has me baffled there are no egg shells in the pen! Does the mother eat the shell?
    Im in Australia and have 20 acres I have goannas that come around so we put he in a closed pen with cement floors she has plenty of hay to nest.. She is very devoted to her eggs but I had to take them as I wasn't sure if she was killing them or what was happening..

    Any help would be appreciated..
    What do I do with these eggs..
    Thanks
    Marggy
    I hope I'm in the right place to post this this time
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Could be a number of things. Um, so what have you done with the remaining eggs? set them in a damp paper towel. and keep them under a warm lamp, ie; heat lamp.

    Now as for what could be happening, are they preds that could be getting in there? egg shells should be there, they don't eat them. The lack of shells is what first directs me to preds, now there can be problems with hatching too, is this a new mum? sometimes they don't know what to do and either don't assist right or over assist etc.

    I have had a duck who killed her ducklings, sadly. I also this summer had a premature hatch of two eggs because one of dogs had gotten into the eggs, so we had one still attached to the yolk sac and one still mainly in the egg, we brought them in and did the heat lamp and damp towels.

    They did live, the two i am showing below are now very confident 5mths old drakes lol

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, deaths do occur with nests, it was something that i did not expect the first time we ever had hatches here, i now am expecting it not that it gets easier, some clutches go very smoothly, my nest that hatched this past Mar went fine, even despite the weather which was still in full winter mode.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  3. Marggy

    Marggy New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2013
    Thank you for your info.. First I'm not sure if she is a new mum. She was given to me.
    I have given her back her eggs she wouldn't leave the nest, and just hope she go's ok with these two.
    I'm sure preds can't get into the cage it's made with a steal frame and cement floor with small chicken wire.
    I can't see how anything could be getting in for the shell to disappear..
    Thank you
     
  4. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good thing you broke up the arrangement with the desk lamp because as long as the heat in the room was not noticably turned up, that would have been a death sentence.

    Hatching complications are a common thing, ducklings die during hatching or shortly after and are then removed by the duck or might crawl away by themselves. This year three ducklings of mine were dead before I had even set eyes upon them, one oddly enough a week before hatch day and quite far away from the nest.
    The fact that you could see remains of the yolk sack is s clear indicator for hatching complications that can be caused by breeding conditions.
    Predators may be possible, but those would rather drag the fetus away to eat it.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Okay, i wasn't sure the set-up that is why i say preds first and then we go from there. I hope it works out, again i never realized how much death could follow with hatching, it's always acted as though it generally goes well. My first year, i buried more babies than i care to count.

    Fingers crossed all goes well, it may still albeit a smaller clutch but i had one duck who ended up with only a single before.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'm thinking it's mama duck, My duck did this she was the perfect broody but when ducklings began to hatch she freaked out and tried to kill the first one, thank goodness I came in and was able to get it out, I left the last egg because it had just a small pip in the egg, At that time I wasn't sure what to do to help the last duckling. Some ducks make wonderful broody's but don't do so good once ducklings begin to hatch. I'd set up camp and watch from a distance so you can intervene if need be.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, this too my baby killer was the same.. great broody terrible mum, yet oddly enough she's been good with future babies from other ducks, watching over etc... i have never let her set again though, i know you had success with a past killer didn't you?

    Mind you i am done setting here, i don't need more drakes. The orders have been more than filled. [​IMG]
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes she did great the next year, I was ready to intervene and she was a great mama, sometimes I think it's the first timers and then some are just not cut out to be mamas.
    I'm at my limit also, now we just have to work at convincing the ducks of our plans. [​IMG] which won't be easy as you well know.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Good my memory hasn't failed(yet!) first times can be an interesting ride, my Lilly is an excellent mum almost extreme though, those babies were being guarded well past when they should have had mama on side.

    I know, i dread each spring with the broody craziness... scovies need an off button for it. [​IMG]
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yep an off button would be nice.
     

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