winter hatching

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by heatherindeskies, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    I just noticed my call duck setting on 4 eggs at the bottom of the hay bales. I have one drake and 4 hens. I think this is a relatively new nest, but what are my options here, should i even let her hatch at this time of the year? BRRRR!!!!
    They are in a large pole barn and locked in until nicer weather and i do have heat lamps available if she would feel the need to keep the little ones under it....
    personally I can take them or leave them, but i hate to see the maternal instinct disrupted.
    what do you guys think?
     
  2. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    I say leave her. She'll keep them nice and warm and when they get to wandering around you can just wrangle them up in a place with a heat lamp till warmer weather.
     
  3. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Quote:thanks! Do you think the eggs belong to this one hen or could they be from the community of hens?
     
  4. Funniducki1

    Funniducki1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    Ooh! That's tough.

    1st thing I would do is candle them. They may be infertile or not even starting to form yet. It also depends if you are up to the extra care involved to care for them in Midwest. Nice thing is, you have a broody who will be doing most of the work. [​IMG]

    Calls are also more fragile than the larger domestic ducks but I have personally never lost one, so I guess it depends.
    If you have an old cow tank you can hang the lamp above that so the momma and hatchlings can stay in a safe protected heated place. Or, if you're like me, and don't have a cow tank [​IMG] you can make your own brooder.
    Step #1.
    Take two same size kiddie pools.
    #3. Put one down on the ground and the other one on top of it. Screw them together.
    #4.Now cut a hole in the top one. Leave as much over-hang as you want, it keeps the drafts out and the ducks in, but you also must have some ventilation.

    Voila! You now have an instant disposable $12 brooder. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    If you decide to let them hatch them, I would seriously look into some type of good plant-based vitamin/mineral supplement in the drinking water for the ducklings. Also, fresh greens and veggies to keep them balanced in the winter. Sunlight is important, also.
    I know it's tough with snow on the ground. It looked like a blizzard nearly all day here too.

    I hope this helps, heatherindeskies!
     
  5. Funniducki1

    Funniducki1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    As to who's eggs they may be, you can't really be 100% sure. You can check to see who has soft bottoms from laying...but maybe several do. You can see if the eggs all look identical, but again, that's not 100% reliable either [​IMG].
    Sorry! It's a big possibility that they're from more than one girl, my girls love to share nests.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  6. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Quote:thank you so much!
    How about a pen where i have a heat lamp attached to the side, or do they need to be confined to a brooder?
    That way if cool, they can get under it or just under mom so she isn't roasting by being trapped near a heat lamp.
     
  7. Funniducki1

    Funniducki1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    Oh yes I'm sure a pen would be just fine. [​IMG]
    Especially if she turns out to be a really good mom [​IMG]. Just keep an eye on the babies and how much they are huddling. All you might need is a draft-free place.
    Guess we'll find out!

    Keep us posted.
     
  8. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Quote:thanks, i will! i think she will be a good mom. she is totally VICIOUS when i touch the eggs. My skin has never been grabbed and twisted so hard before.
     
  9. Funniducki1

    Funniducki1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    LOL!
    Good mom for sure! [​IMG]
     

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