Unhatched Mallard Egg

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
26
44
87
Dear all,

Each year Mallards choose my flat roof to nest amongst the herb boxes. This makes for exciting times as the female visits during breaks and the males thankfully seem to hang around for the rest of the day to wait for her - and enjoy the attention/food they receive from me as a bonus.

On Thursday morning (21st May) the Mum had made it down to the pond with 11 of the 12 that she had been incubating. I believed she had 10 and began incubating on the 20th April as on that day she no longer spent all day by the pond and began the expected long sit routine with occasional random visits to wash/eat/splash and return. I calculated that 28 days from this date would be 18th May - yet they were 3 days later. So, my concerns are with the single egg that remains. I don't have an incubator but am typing this in the smallest room of the house with a heater and the temperature and humidity sensor built into the mobile phone reading 85degreesF and 50+ humidity (I know temps should be closer to 100 but without equipment......) I've read much on these forums and have tried the float test a few times and each time the egg sack end bobs up the suggested 15% of so but there is no sign of movement. The egg has a slight whiff of..... err, egg but not in a rotten way. It's a fairly uniform colour through albeit a little blotchy but nowhere is it dis-coloured greatly.

I've read that duck eggs don't tend to move until they're ready to come out/pip. Could it be that this egg was laid after she began incubating? Do ducks ever lay again during their sitting - perhaps a male attached her during a break - could that happen - and so this egg is out of incubation alignment and I should just wait?

I was fairly comfortable that 10 eggs were in on the day (20th April) she began incubating as I had been counting and placing a seed label on the nest so I could see each time she had returned and so add one to the list. I checked each day and believed they lay every day or every other. She would typically be producing one each day.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm unable to see anything by pointing a bright LED light on the egg whilst I examine from the other side - so assume the egg is full of body. If the poor duckling had died when would I know for sure? How quickly would it begin ponging or changing colour perhaps?

Thank you in anticipation.
 

cheesy

Chirping
May 23, 2015
26
44
87
FWIW - I've got the humidity up towards the desired 90% by placing a damp rag and a cup of water in the room. All I can add to the mix is love, will power and best wishes - oh and fingers crossed - which is difficult to type with.
 

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