What to do when ducklings first hatch?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by huckleberrypres, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I would keep the Mallard drake out as well, but you CAN try him out first and just watch him very very carefully for awhile to see what he does. Remove him immediately if the starts to go after or try to grab any of the ducklings. Drakes will often attack and kill ducklings, so it is a danger to have him in with them. That said, some drakes do just fine with ducklings, so it's up to you if you want to give him a chance or not.
     
  2. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll just run with keeping them separate. If the ducklings get killed I'll be totally bummed!

    any moment now...they should be hatching.
     
  3. CyndiD

    CyndiD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm excited for you and your mallard ducklings... are they hatching yet??? I have 9 in my bator (Buff & Runners) and I have 5 broody ducks sitting on eggs for 2 wks now... They should hatch in a couple of weeks. I feel your excitement!!!
     
  4. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    They aren't hatching yet. I candled a couple eggs yesterday, and it seems like they are on track. If I assume she started brooding in earnest a few days after Christmas, it seems like the eggs should be hatching any minute. She's been working diligently. I hope they hatch for her sake and for my ability to avoid being dissappointed. ;)
     
  5. CyndiD

    CyndiD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try not to be too upset if it doesn't happen this time around. If your ducks are mating, it will happen, and then you will have lots of ducklings running around.
    I started with a full bator (36 eggs) and have been discarding the non-fertile and the deceased embryos. I get sad, but then I think why, was it me, the bator, the room, the ducks.... etc. It is just nature and I am ok with it. I certainly didn't want 36 ducklings but I knew that all of them wouldn't make it. I will post pics when they hatch. Healthy hatching to you and your mallard ducky...
     
  6. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    She's still sitting on them, with great focus, I might add. Next time I'll mark a calendar, but no matter how I slice it, when she laid the last egg and began sitting...she should be hatching any moment. Will she give up if it's a no go? Is there a point I should take the eggs and cut bait?

    Trying hard to be patient and not worry. I *hope* they hatch!
     
  7. CyndiD

    CyndiD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @amiga or @Miss Lydia maybe either of you can answer huckleberrypres Q about "how long to let her duck sit on eggs"?
    @huckleberrypres when my fawn & white runner was broody last summer she sat on them for over a month. I knew they were not fertile and would not hatch. so, when my other f/w duck would lay an egg, I would trade the newer ones for the older ones, because I didn't want them to rot for too long and possibly explode, one did stink. Afer about 1.5 months or more I just took the eggs out and the 2 of my ducks didn't lay another egg for months and months.
    So, to make a short story long...tee hee, I would candle her eggs and see if they are even viable, (do this when she gets up to eat and bath) this is when I would candle. I would let her sit for as long as she wants, as long as the eggs don't rot, if they are not viable.
    Do you have a stethoscope, to listen to the eggs? Do you have a candler? My DH made me one, they are easy to make.
    Hope this helps you?
     
  8. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    At the risk of irritating her beyond repair, I reached in, got pinched mercilessly and checked out one of her eggs. Absolute confirmation those duckies...at least that one...are viable. There's a little duck in there moving around! A lot more movement than I would have imagined.

    so....it seems like it's going to happen!

    I am counting the minutes.
     
  9. CyndiD

    CyndiD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    YAAAAA!!!! EXCITING. post pic when you can. Well, your Q is answered.
    I dont know if ducks are the same as chickens, but when my seabright chicken sat on 8 eggs last summer, 5 hatched and then started leaving the nest and my seabright left the nest to follow the chicks and protect them and she left 3 eggs behind. 2 of the 3 eggs were peeping and one was zipping, I ran them inside into my hatcher and they hatched and lived. They are beautiful chickens.
    I don't know if ducks will go back to a nest of eggs and continue to hatch all the eggs??? I will find this out myself with my 5 ducks that are sitting on dozens of eggs!!!
    Maybe @amiga or @miss lydia will answer this Q???
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  10. frenchbet

    frenchbet Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had ducklings twice. Both with young(6-7 month old first time moms Khaki Campbells). Shocking as they don't usually go broody. I recommend keeping a very close eye on them especially close to hatch time. I found my second hatch duck sitting next to her nest. The eggs were hatching and one egg had the bill exposed and was peeping. She sat there looking and tilting her head. I think she was afraid of it. I closed the door that led to the pen and guided her back to the nest. She finished the job. If possible you may want to close your sitting ducks inside when the eggs are hatching and keep water/food close by. They will get off the eggs and not always finish the job for all the eggs. I'm not sure where you live but the eggs can get cold quickly esp in this cold weather if mom is off too long. I think eggs tend to hatch within a day or so of each other so it's not too long of a time for them to be closed in. I know you have numerous ducks sitting so may not be an option. Just to prepare you you probably need to have a seperate area for your new moms and duckings. The other hens and drakes can be really mean to ducklings. Be prepared to keep them seperate for months until they are fully feathered and the size of the others. It's best to have them where the others can see them thru fencing. That seems to help when time to introduce them to the others. Thankfully they grow fast! Good luck! It's so fun to have little ones but definitely extra work. We had to build another shelter and put up fence seperation in pen for the drake and an very mean Aunt who sat next to the sitting mom the whole time and then turned very mean to the ducklings. The human mother in me thought she was going to co-raise the ducklings with the mom. Not the case at all! Enjoy your pending babies.
     

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