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Ducklings still haven't hatched--it's been 31 days--what should I do?  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
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We've had a crazy time with our ancona and her eggs. She hatched out one duckling on the 28th, but the other two eggs that are under her still haven't hatched. She's still sitting faithfully on the eggs, which have been under her for 30-31 days (I noticed her broody on one of her eggs and some chicken eggs May 31st, and added green eggs from another duck under her on the 31st, as well as the 1st of June). There were two times during the month, however, that some eggs had gotten pushed out from under Mama during the night by our chicken who wanted to lay there and moved the eggs out. After candling, I put them back under Mama duck, and she's been sitting faithfully on them.

Mama has the nesting box, and I have food and drinking water for both her and the duckling less that a foot from Mama. The duckling seems to stay under mama most of the time, but has come out to eat. During the day, they are latched into the duck house by themselves, and during the night I close them off from the other ducks.

How long should I let Mama sit on the eggs? Is there any chance they might still hatch?

Thanks!
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Duckling and her mama, and the two green eggs that will hopefully hatch?!
 
Jim Fry
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Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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If the duck wasn't on the eggs over night it isn't likely they are still viable. If chicken eggs cool off they die, I imagine ducks are the same. But, since duck egg incubation is from 21 to 31 days, wait a bit and see what happens. Some water fowl will actually die from lack of food from sitting on the nest beyond what they should, so I wouldn't wait too long.
http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/the-incubation-period
 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I'd let HER make the decision on when to leave the nest. As long as she has food and water, she'll be fine. Has she been eating/drinking? She won't let anything happen to the duckling she has.
 
Justyn Mavis
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We normally let them sit on the eggs until she pushes the eggs out or breaks them open and eats them. (which is normal) sometime she just leaves with her babies. (and sometime we steal her babies to be raised by Silkies)

Eggs get laid in our ducks nest many time during the nest building time. Guineas will even sneak eggs in. So....

I think it's safe to bet the eggs most likely wont hatch, but what does it hurt to let her try.

Cheers

 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you all for your replies! Mama Duck is still sitting on her eggs. Baby duck seems to be doing well. Sometimes at night she escapes from their barracaded portion of the duck house...and then nestles under a different duck that wants to be broody. She did that the night she hatched out, as well as last night. Both times I placed her successfully back with Mama Duck.

I don't know if Mama Duck is eating. There's food and water very close for both her and baby, so hopefully she's eating. This morning when I checked on them, she stood up and I saw that one of the eggs had a little hole pecked in it! But, when I checked again a few hours later, I couldn't see the hole and the duckling still hasn't hatched. Is it normal for Mama duck to rotate an egg that's hatching?

I'm going to let her keep sitting on those eggs for a few more days, just in case. Hopefully at least one will hatch out with another duck!
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My Little Escape Artist Duckling
 
Nicole Alderman
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Well, after yesterday's good news, I have to report some sad news. I went to check on Mama and Baby today and noticed Mama half off of her eggs, and couldn't see Baby. I went into the coop to find Baby duck dead, about a foot from Mama duck. We didn't notice any bite marks or exterior damage. She's just dead. My heart is rather broken.

Mama duck seems to still be eating, as there was a giant, broody-stinky poop in the coop. I just checked on her again. She's still on the eggs. At this point, she might just hatch out the other egg in there that got laid the day Baby duck hatched out (I didn't touch it because I didn't want to disturb the nest). One of the green eggs is turning blue inside. Pretty sure it's rotten. I'm just lost as to what I should do...
 
Laurie Dyer
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Oh dear! So sad about the duckling. Fingers crossed another egg hatches.
 
Craig Dobbson
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This is exactly what happened with my ducks a couple years ago.  A hen laid 6 eggs, hatched 3 then threw the other eggs out of the nest.  I figured she was done with them so I took the bad eggs off to the compost pile.  I'm glad I did, because when they broke open I nearly passed out from the smell.  It's not a smell that you want hanging around in the coop, so it may be advised to remove them. 
None of the ducklings survived either.  The other hens in the coop harassed the mother duck off the nest and the ducklings got pecked to death.  Sad. 

Next time I'll move any broody birds to a private space to have some peace and quiet.  I've always had better luck doing it that way. 

Sorry to hear that it hasn't worked out yet.  If she's still broody maybe you could try again? 
Best wishes
 
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