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Red ants inside almost-hatched egg!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lina500, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. lina500

    lina500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When our duck went for a bath tonight I went and had a look at her nest. She's been on the nest for 41 days now. I used a flashlight and saw that one egg is still moving inside. Another egg has pipped externally and is cheeping. However, I was horrified to see that small red ants were crawling out of the external pip hole. I think the ants were attracted because one of the eggs had exploded a few days ago. I immediately cleaned the entire duck house out, removed all of the nest material, sprayed Raid on the outside of the house only, and set ant bait traps underneath the house to attract any remaining ants. I got a lot of bites while I did this! I then added all new nesting material (torn up cardboard and goose feathers, similar to what she had before) and shooed her back into the house. She's in there now getting settled back in.

    Before I got her back in the house I watched the pipped egg for a while and I think all of the remaining ants have come out of the egg, and it's still making little peeping sounds. I'm terrified, though, that the ants are going to kill the duckling before it hatches. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Beer can

    Beer can Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow, that sucks. Sorry no suggestions I think you have done what you can. Maybe moveing the nest might have helped, but with them so close to hatching I think it best to let nature run its course. 41 days of setting and you have two hatching sounds like she continued to lay some after begining her incubation, what breed? Is it her first hatch? Some ducks and chickens that arn't known for being good broodies will sometimes go broody but lack the instinct do to it right. I don't think you want to speed up their hatch either. Good luck and hope she ends up with a couple little ducklings.
     
  3. lina500

    lina500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's a mixed breed Pekin-type duck, but not Muscovy. They are called "thear kaap" here, and have been bred to be good layers. She started going broody 41 days ago but didn't go full-time broody for a few more days. She and our other duck were adding new eggs to the nest for a good few days after that, so I guess she didn't fully start incubating until after she stopped adding eggs to the clutch. It's her first hatch, she's about 8.5 months old.

    I didn't candle the eggs at all until they were already a month gone, so by that time I was afraid to throw any away. I should have done it sooner and gotten rid of the bad ones from the get-go. There are a lot in there that look dead to me (but I've never done this before), but I figure I might as well let them go and see if some of them hatch. If I went on my instincts, I would have thrown them all away a week ago!

    From the time of the external pip, how long should I expect to wait to see if this duckling will make it? It has not "zipped" but has made progress since I first noticed about 8 hours ago, there's shell missing that wasn't missing before.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    It can take 24 hr to 36 from internal pip to zip so don't worry, but I hope you don't have any rotten eggs in the nest because if the bust that will be one nasty mess. And they can take sometimes up to 4 days to hatch so it's a waiting game. of nerves.
     
  5. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you did all of the right things. As long as the ants are gone, and you destroyed their scent trail, all you can do is wait. Hopefully they didn't damaged the duckling too much, if it is still peeping I think you are ok. Keep an eye without disterbing too much, and update!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    oops just saw your first post sorry, you've taken care of that. please be careful spraying poison even on the outside it gets into the air and water fowl have very sensitive air sacs.If you can get food grad DE and dust the nest and house with that it would be better. still don't do it around the birds though. and those ant traps, hopefully they aren't were anyone can get to them .you can use poultry dust in and around your house too even on the steps or ramp going inside, again not around the birds.
     
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    X2. Raid is HIGHLY toxic and even if you don't think it does, it seeps into the soil, into the air, it gets everywhere ducks like to play and damages their eyes and air sacs. Have you tried orange oil? I'm not sure if that's bad for duckies but it sure can't be as bad as RAID...

    Either way, your situation is heartbreaking and I understand you did what you did out of desperation. I really, really hope your babies pull through!
     
  8. lina500

    lina500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was a great believer in natural remedies for pests until I moved to the Cambodian countryside. The ants here are like nothing I have ever seen before. I would not have used Raid anywhere near the ducks if I didn't think it was a life or death situation, and I used the Raid only on the outside of the house and after clearing out the duck and the eggs. The traps are under the house and not accessible to any pets. There was a stream of red ants coming out of the egg, it was a horrible sight. I know how much these ant bites hurt! It's been about four hours since my cleanup and there are no ants in the house, the duck is sitting on her nest and the egg is still peeping. So fingers crossed.

    @Miss Lydia , I think we definitely have some rotten eggs in the clutch. At this point, is there any way to tell which ones are rotten so I can get rid of them?
     
  9. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While I'm not familiar with Cambodian ants, I did grow up in TX Panhandle and Fire Ants can KILL people! Have you tried Sevin, I use it on my fowl when needed.

    As for the rotten eggs, just pick them up and sniff! If the little one that the ants attacked has not hatched yet, it may be too weak due to the venom in the bites. You may want to assist. There are lots of threads on assisting, but I just use a damp paper towel to cradle the egg, damp Q-tips to remove the film, and slowly chip away the shell until little one is free.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Smell and candle if still not sure but handle carefully. and I'd give the duckling a bit more time before trying to help, if peeping is still strong, And remember with ducklings they work hard at hatching then rest so if you don't hear peeping don't freak out it just maybe resting.
     

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