Out of 9 ducklings only 2 survive...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by animalz11, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    QLD Australia
    Hi all,
    This is very sad but out of 12 eggs, there were 9 healthy ducklings (others infertile/quitters), out of 9 healthy ducklings, only 2 survived.
    The first one to hatch had completly dried out and was eating, drinking, had no abnormalties but was suffocated by one of his mums, they stood on his neck.
    The second and third ducklings to hatch are fine, although I did find one of them struggling to breath with the mums wing acoss it's neck so I quickly moved him. They are both running around outside now with their mum.
    The fourth duckling to hatch also completely dried off and went for a walk outside the main pen with the mums and other ducklings, again no abnormalties, come out the next morning to find it outside dead, I'm gussing everyone went into the hutch and left it outside to freeze. I have found the first one to hatch outside like this one so I chases him inside with everyone else, I guess I didn't get to this one in time.
    The fifth duckling to hatch had pipped well and was starting to crack around the edges, I come out this morning to find that as it was hatching they must have squashed the egg and broken it's neck, the only thing holding it's head onto the rest of it's body was it's skin. The egg was dangling off the duckling.

    The other four died in their shells. I went to candle one of the eggs who was kicked out the nest and it wasn't moving at all, the rest had pipped but this one hadn't, it had started to smell so I figured I would burry it, I cracked it open (partially out of curiosity and partially because I wanted it to be remembered as a duckling not an egg) and when the dead duckling falls out it doesn't even have a head or a beak, just a stump.

    Please, if there is anyone who can tell me why these poor ducklings keep getting killed please let me know.
  2. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
    I can't answer your questions as I have yet to attempt hatching duck eggs but I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure one of the many experienced duck persons on this forum will be able to offer you some answers.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    It may be that the mother ducks just aren't very good at caring for the ducklings. That can happen with domestic ducks. I would take the survivors in to brood them.
  4. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds like a real mess [​IMG]

    Two ( or more? ) ducks on one nest can be a problem because they can disturb each other and thus make a fuss on the nest during hatching so crushed ducklings become more likely.
    As Amiga has stated before, some domestics ducks are just lousy mothers. They handle their offspring so rough that they can be a real threat to the ducklings and do not really care for them.
    How do the ducks behave towards the little ones when outside? What breed to you have?

    That one duckling appearently did not develop a head and four died in their shells might indicate that something went wrong during incubation, either because the process was disturbed or for genetical reasons. You would have to go for another hatch to find that out, though.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I agree that it might be bevause there were 2 on the nest. My hen was VERY protective of her young and would respond if 1 of the 13 was peeping because it got separated. With 2 moms both ducks may be assuming that it is not their duckling that is in trouble. The dead in the shells may be due to the fact there were 2 moms also. In the future I'd try to keep seperate nests and move one as soon as you notice nest sharing. Sorry for the losses. I hope the rest do well.
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I'm sorry, that would be upsetting. I know i found it to be when i had these things happen when we had a few nests last year. The shared nest ended in a mess, no live ducklings, the next nests, HA learned the one duck was KILLING the ducklings, so they all went to another duck who ended up raising the largest of the clutches we got last year(9) we also had another nest where a few never developed correctly, so i was often finding tossed out eggs with partly developed ducklings, one clutch had two babies but for reasons unknown one died and was tossed out of the nest, the other continued on just fine.

    My point? i learned this breeding business is filled with loss, sometimes there are reasons but other times it's just nature. I am partially dreading this new nest being started as i know all to well, you just don't know what you'll get in the end.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

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