Odds of late-incubation duck egg surviving trauma? (Updated 6/25)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by iamcuriositycat, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have a broody Indian Runner hen who has been shut in the secure pen all day (but others are in with her at night). Runners are not known for mothering ability, which may have something to do with this.

    Babies are due to hatch on Monday, so they could begin pipping as early as tomorrow (they tend to pip two days before hatch, and sometimes hatch two days early).

    Four eggs still viable under her.

    This afternoon I went out to put the others in the pen with her and before they went in (while I was preparing food), I noticed one of her eggs out of the nest, beside their pool.

    Status of egg is slightly gruesome. She has punched a large hole in the side (I've hatched enough eggs, and also seen enough rotten ones thrown out of the nest to be fairly confident that the cause of the hole is a duck's bill--there have been no other birds in the pen today and I counted the eggs under her this morning, so it has to have been her). There is a long gash in the membrane where she poked through. And it is BLOODY. Egg is cool to touch, but it is 90+ degrees out, so it's not exactly a cold egg.

    I picked it up to bring inside for egg-topsy, but because it is bloody, I'm fairly sure the baby was living when she poked through. In the house several minutes later, I squeeze the egg ever so slightly to look inside (this opens the gash a bit) and gaze at the yolk & veins & baby and....... it moves.

    Ai ai ai.

    Soooo..... I powered up my recently powered down hatcher, threw in a bunch of wet rags, wrapped the egg in a wet towel (but with the gash not covered), and... now I'm posting here.

    Any chance this critter will survive? It did not fill up the entire egg, but it was close. Did the mother perchance hear it peeping and decide it needed to be disposed of? What is the deal?

    She has gotten meaner and meaner every morning when I go in to check on her. I assumed it meant she is ready to be done already--why would she destroy a viable egg?

    Argh!

    Anyway... I welcome input...

    Edited to add: There are mites or some small creature crawling on it & into the hole. Not many, and I wiped off what I could get to, but a few. Yikes??

    Edited again to change heading. Thanks MotherofMars! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  2. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Palouse
    I know nothing about ducks, but hopefully someone will help out. You may try renaming the thread to attract those who raise ducks.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Palouse
    Is the little guy still hanging in there? [​IMG]
     
  4. chickenlady81

    chickenlady81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2008
    Weare, NH
    Momma proably had mites and thats what she was doing was pecking at the lice/mite when she pecked the egg...Im sure she didnt do it intentionaly. I would treat her with some poultry dust to help get the mites under control.
     
  5. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Sending good luck your way!
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Thank you! Are mites common in broody ducks? Can I pick the dust up at the feed store? I've never dealt with it before... but they do look awfully "mite-like."

    Unfortunately, she kicked her remaining eggs out last night. One of them is missing altogether, the other two were lying nearby undamaged but cold. She was sitting on a new egg someone had laid in her nest. Still vicious and for all the world broody, but sitting on NOTHING now.

    I think I am done with broody Runners. It was sort of just an experiment anyway to see if they would do it. She's been great at sitting, not so great at hatching. I could set more eggs under her to start the incubation process but honestly, I have much better luck just tucking them in the incubator--she started with eight and by the time she started kicking them out was down to four--she'd lost a couple to rotting, one to a snake, and one other unknown.

    Update on the eggs: The two I found cold I put in the incubator just in case. I candled them first and they looked all right--pretty much just dark with a small but not impossibly small air cell, but no visible movement. I put them in anyway in case they were sleeping or sluggish from chill.

    The one that's been in the incubator I haven't touched. I want it to stay in the moist, hot atmosphere of the locked down incubator because I imagine it is very vulnerable to lost moisture with a gaping gash in its side. I do flash the light in there and can see a tiny sliver inside the egg through the gash, and the yolk I can see looks yellow and bright, and I can still see healthy-looking veins on it, so I haven't given up on it.

    They're not due till Monday, so it will be Wednesday or so before I know anything for sure, although perhaps tomorrow I'll pull the two new ones and candle them just to see.

    I'm a little sad, because I was looking forward to having little duckies running after their momma. But it's all okay. I know Runners are not made to be moms, so it's fine. I plan to get silkies at some point and try the experiment again.
     
  7. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Palouse
    Pleased to hear the cracked one is still looking hopeful. Let us know what you see when you candle the other two. [​IMG]
     
  8. msheets

    msheets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hurricane, WV
    Awwww I hope they make it!!
     
  9. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    awww man that is strange...maybe she was feeling them moving in the egg or hearing them peep? and being in a P'd off mood decided to take it out on the eggs that were annoying her? I have no idea. My main experience with broodies have been silkies and a cochin. [​IMG] - and they'd practically go broody at the sight of a couple eggs in a pile [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] hoping for the best!!!!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks, everyone!

    Well, the egg died. I left it in even after it started looking bad, but when it started stinking up the entire room it's in, I finally tossed it.

    Of the other two in the incubator, one was also dead and the other is rocking...

    I'm quite sure it's not ready to hatch--it hasn't filled up the egg all the way by any means. I have always hatched in turners and cartons except my first hatch, so I didn't know they would rock and move so much so long before hatching. I think it's got at least two to three days before it even pips internally. It's kind of fun to watch.

    Of course, if it does hatch it will be the only one in its batch. Fortunately, I have two ducklings in the brooder who will be only at most a couple weeks older, so I should be able to brood them together. They'll be pretty different in size, but as long as the olders don't abuse the youngest, it will be preferable to having a lonely duckling. The older two will probably appreciate the additional company.
     

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