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Duck Eggs

 
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This is our ducks’ first winter/spring. The weather has been hot and cold for a few weeks and one of our ducks (none have ever laid eggs before) has been laying eggs haphazardly. I’ve only found two because one was underwater in our creek (It’s where they like to hang out) and one was in the middle of our yard. I would have left them alone if not for the haphazard placing, one was a tiny bit cracked, and the ducks wanted nothing to do with them (even going out of their way to avoid them like the plague). I put a bit of candle wax over the cracked part of egg 1 because nail polish just wasn’t cutting it this time, but after some liquid leaked out, there was a rather large bubble in the egg. The egg from the creek (egg 2) had a smell but it’s gone away after a little incubation and is very heavy. They both sink in water, but now 3 days after finding egg 1, I can no longer see the bubble and there seems to be something moving inside when I turn it. Egg 2 is the same after day 2, no smell. I’ve been incubating them at about 95-ish degrees and they’re both warm to the touch. The trouble is that I can’t properly determine a fertile egg by candling, so any help in this situation would be much appreciated.
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garden master
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Hi Alyssa, welcome to permies!

I noticed in your post there's no mention of having a drake. Do you have one in your flock? Also, I'm afraid 95° may not be warm enough for proper incubation, the duck egg incubation needs to be closer to 100°.

Here's a link to some helpful duck information https://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/sects/duck/hatching.cfm

Here's a handy duck egg candling chart
 
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From my experience, and without more information, my guess is there is zero chance either egg will hatch. (In part because a crack is fatal and an egg being at any point below 55* is fatal) There are lots of books, and online, on how to incubate eggs. Birds, snakes and dinosaurs are quite good at it. Humans mostly are not, ~~unless you learn a good bit about it first.  
 
master steward
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One way to help ensure you get your ducks eggs is to keep them enclosed in their house until at least 9:00am. They tend to lay their eggs before then.
 
Alyssa Vernatter
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We have four drakes and two females. We’re getting more females in the spring to balance things out, since their genders were unknown when we got them. Despite having only two females I never see them fight and they are always stuck together like glue. The ducks, even being hand raised inside our house, will not go into the barn where we have their nesting area. We’ve even tried corraling them and luring them with food, but they will absolutely not go inside. I’ve turned up the heat a little on the eggs and I’ll wait a week or so before I make any immediate decision on them. We didn’t expect these eggs to live in the first place, but we’re just going to hope for the best until we find out.
 
pollinator
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Ducks and barns are difficult sometimes. But I was never a Duck Whisperer. Some people are, sadly, not me.

When I had Rouens, our place then had no pond. I could lure them into the barn most nights with food. But if it was raining enough to create puddles, I was unable, by myself, to get them inside, as no amount of bribery and no feeble attempts at my herding them would work. The only way I could get them inside when it was raining was my border collie - he had the needed speed and herding finesse. Years later we had a place with a pond. Even the border collie could not bring the khaki Campbells in from the pond in the evening, as they would just out swim him. But then they would go to sleep on the pond bank and coyotes would eat them in the middle of the night. I ended up harvesting the rest of that flock for the freezer, though I had wanted them for eggs.

There are reasons I switched to chickens. LOL!

But I wish you all the success with your ducks. They are cute and funny, if a PIA to manage sometimes. May you be a Duck Whisperer! 🦆
 
Alyssa Vernatter
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Update: just found two more eggs. One was in a mud puddle and the other two inches from the pond. Here are pictures of candling all four. 1:cracked one from the yard (3 days) 2:underwater in the creek (2 days) 3: Next to the pond (1 day) 4: In the mud puddle (1 day). All sink in water.
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Alyssa,

it looks to me like egg #1 was rotten, but the other three looked ok. Cant tell if they sre fertilized from the pic

Its been a few weeks since your post. Any new updates on what happened with them?
 
Alyssa Vernatter
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Bryan C Aldeghi wrote:Alyssa,

it looks to me like egg #1 was rotten, but the other three looked ok. Cant tell if they sre fertilized from the pic

Its been a few weeks since your post. Any new updates on what happened with them?



A few eggs have died but I have 12 now. Some have heartbeats, and they’re in an incubator now. They seem to be growing fine.
 
Doody calls. I would really rather that it didn't. Comfort me wise and sterile tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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