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5fathens

chicken sitting on duck eggs...advice needed

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Hi there,

We have a very broody hen but no cockerel so I popped 3 fertile duck eggs by her and she took them under her wing/bottom.

 

my questions are these

 

they are due I believe on the 26th 29th and then 2nd july as I took them straight from the duck to the hen, think maybe that was wrong? will she wait for the last to hatch or have I a need to get/borrow an incubator ready?

 

today when I collected the eggs I brought in what I thought the duck had laid but a few hours later when our broody was off her nest I went to check and found one missing- it then dawned on me that the one I had brought indoors was in fact the missing one! I have popped it back in the nest-any chance it might be ok? (I found it in a different area to the hens nest which is why it didn't cross my mind that she was moving them....

 

sorry to have gabbled a bit...hope somebody is able to let me know what to do....

 

also do I need to separate the other hens and ducks from the broody and her young if they hatch?

 

many thanks

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Hi yes she will be fine hatching duck eggs my birds hatch all sorts lol you should really put eggs under on the same day or day after if theres to much a gap she won't stay sitting but all you can do is wait now. yes she will need to go in her own little house and pen away from the others get a pencil and mark the eggs she's sat on with 2 big pencil crosses on each side so you don't get muddled again leanne :)

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Duck eggs take 28 days incase you didn't know and you count the day after you give them to the bird as day one but in your case you will just have to wait possibly 2 eggs will be ok but not good for the third the gap is to big :)

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thank you that makes sense, can I use an incubator for the last egg if she gives up after the first or second is hatched? if so do you think she'd then accept it as hers if reintroduced?

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It's always a hard one to know as you could hatch the third and she won't take it back them your left with a lone duckling to rear which would be very friendly but if was a drake would possibly need rehoming have you candled the eggs to make sure they are good as if not a month is a long time for your chicken to be sitting for nothing :)

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It's always a hard one to know as you could hatch the third and she won't take it back them your left with a lone duckling to rear which would be very friendly but if was a drake would possibly need rehoming have you candled the eggs to make sure they are good as if not a month is a long time for your chicken to be sitting for nothing :)

Hi yes I have candles all 3 and they were all with the air sack etc. not sure if the one that got left out has died though as it was out of the nest for at least a few hours, having said that it was still warm when I put it back....

 

we already have a pair of ducklings so with any luck they might take on the little ones-they are the parents after all?

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Just make sure the ducklings are 16 weeks at least before they go near the parents as the drake won't care what age and sex they are this time of year drakes are beasts lol my drake tried to tread an 8 week old duckling lets just say good job at the time I had a fishing net in my hand and he didn't succeed haha .

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Just make sure the ducklings are 16 weeks at least before they go near the parents as the drake won't care what age and sex they are this time of year drakes are beasts lol my drake tried to tread an 8 week old duckling lets just say good job at the time I had a fishing net in my hand and he didn't succeed haha .

 

oh my word the little beasties, will have to make sure we keep them apart, will our drake be bothered if the ducklings are male? Also when separated should we keep their surrogate chicken mum with them too do you think?

 

our hen has not left her nest all day apart from to venture about 8 inches to some food and water I left for her, I have now segregated the rest of the hens and ducks from her ( much to their annoyance as they can't get completely inside now) but I have made sure they have nesting boxes, shelter and perches etc where they are outside in their pen. does it sound like she may be about to hatch do you think? and if so as her nest is so difficult to get to should I just wait and see if she waits around for the others to hatch before removing them to the incubator?

 

sorry for so many questions, I'm sure i'll keep thinking of more too, just as I think I'm beginning to understand them I realise how much there is still to learn!

 

many thanks

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Hi your chicken should stay with them until about 6 weeks but this does depend on the bird when i separate them you always find the ducklings will still follow mum around the garden if they can find her its quite funny but i make sure they have separate houses as ducks are messy things.Just leave mum to it she will know when they've finished hatching and then take babies to food and water :)

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Hi your chicken should stay with them until about 6 weeks but this does depend on the bird when i separate them you always find the ducklings will still follow mum around the garden if they can find her its quite funny but i make sure they have separate houses as ducks are messy things.Just leave mum to it she will know when they've finished hatching and then take babies to food and water :)

 

Aw wow that sounds so cute. at the moment our hens roosting area is where the hen is sitting and off the run which both ducks and chicken share, we have 8 chicken and a pair of call ducks, do we need to keep the hen and duckling separate for the 6 weeks or will she protect them from the other poultry?

 

she also (mama hen) hasn't eaten or drunk today as far as I can tell and is looking a bit more fidgety....is that a good sign? should I put food right where she doesn't need to move? at the moment it's only about 8 inches away from her and she has a mesh door separating her from the rest of the hens and ducks.

 

if the ducklings get stuck will she help them hatch? this is her first time broody and she is only just under a year old...

 

sorry knew I'd have more questions

 

thanks for your patience

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If you can yes i always keep my broodies and babies separate make sure the water bowl is not to deep otherwise baby will try and swim and will get cold they can have a paint roller tray with a couple of inches of water in at about a week old to splash around in and momma will be fine she's knows what she's doing :)

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Hi,

I'm having a bit of a panic now because I know one pipped internally on Wednesday but still no sign and broody won't let me anywhere near ( she is in the tightest corner possible) do you think we've lost our first little one?:(

 

the second may be due any day now they were put in 3 days apart, would the broody just sit on the chick if it hatched already to keep it warm and I can't see it??

 

thanks

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Hi

well I just got back from being out a few hours and went out to check on our broody- she had kicked the egg due today or tomorrow out of the nest and it was cold, I candled it and it looks as if it may have been trying to pip internally....

 

I than decided I should see what was happening with the one that pipped internally a few days ago and managed to get it from under her only to find the poor thing had obviously died in it's attempt to hatch, it had started to pip and had a hole but nothing more and the feathers internally were obviously very dry :(

 

so I put both eggs within the broodys reach left her for half an hour and on returning she has taken back the one she kicked out earlier and left the poor little part pipped one....

 

my questions are...

 

1 is there any chance that she just kicked out the wrong egg?

2 if so is there any chance of the cold rejected egg surviving after all?

3 should I try and get to her eggs again later today to see if that one has warmed up and moving or do I just leave her 24hours and have another look or not look at all?

4 if it has survived should I try and help it out after a certain amount of time so it doesn't die like the first?( they are call ducks and I know they can be tough for the little ducklings to get out.)

5. if my broody stays sitting should I keep a closer check on the egg due Friday or remove to the incubator or just check on the days I think it should pip both internally and externally in case it needs help?

 

 

sorry for yet another essay in queries, was so sad to find our little one didn't make it out ok, I wish I had managed to move our broody earlier so I could have helped :(

 

hoping this kind of makes sense.

many thanks

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Hi I know it's upsetting but it's best to leave her she knows best it's horrible when they try and hatch but don't make it. unless you know what your doing I wouldn't help they can bleed out and if you did manage to get duckling out possibly may not have absorbed the yolk a lot of people think oh just pick it out the shell doesn't work like that unfortunately fingers crossed she gets at least one :)

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Hi I know it's upsetting but it's best to leave her she knows best it's horrible when they try and hatch but don't make it. unless you know what your doing I wouldn't help they can bleed out and if you did manage to get duckling out possibly may not have absorbed the yolk a lot of people think oh just pick it out the shell doesn't work like that unfortunately fingers crossed she gets at least one :)

 

thanks,

so even though one didn't make it out doesn't mean another can't and mummy hen will act on instinct and I don't try to remove the egg to an incubator for hatching is that right?

 

wow this whole hatching thing is a real lesson in patience isn't it! I don't think I've slept this badly for ages! poor little mama hen is gonna be even sadder than me if she's sat this long with no baby...

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I might be talking out of turn here and I'm very happy for Leanne to correct me. If you can get hold of a few day olds you should be able to pop them under her.

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hi,

thanks (I thought I posted a reply but it seems to have vanished-perhaps I pressed the wrong button!)

she is behaving very oddly today, been off the nest lost then returned and kicked out the live egg and sat on an empty nest, she is now back inher area and i'll check if she's sitting or not in a moment.

 

how long can I leave the egg before taking it into the incubator before it dies? but without taking it too early if she's wanting to hatch it?is there a specific time scale??

 

as we are now down to our last egg I am a extra concerned for it's and our broodys welfare.

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Put it to your ear and listen if it's pipping you will hear crackling or candle it to see if still alive you can see if it's internally pipped too but do it at night it's easier. She will know if it's not going to hatch or has died normally by doing what she's done and booting it out .

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Put it to your ear and listen if it's pipping you will hear crackling or candle it to see if still alive you can see if it's internally pipped too but do it at night it's easier. She will know if it's not going to hatch or has died normally by doing what she's done and booting it out .

 

Whilst she was off the nest yesterday I candled the last egg and saw the duckling moving inside would I be able to see movement before internal pipping or is that only possible once it's pipped internally? if it has pipped I think it may have done so a day or two early, is there any chance that the hot weather would affect hatching time?

 

I will see if she leaves the nest today and have another look/listen.....

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Hi yes it's still alive so is not ready to hatch yet just leave the hen to it :)

 

thanks it's still alive today and our broody didn't leave it for very long at all so I'm taking that as a good sign.......

 

did you mean that yes you can see movement before internal pipping?

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hi,

 

Sorry to be really brief but my duckling obviously hatched either this morning or during the night, it was under our broody hen and I didn't know it had hatched until about 15 mins ago I heard a comotiona dn found it on the floor not moving but away from the nest. I tried to keep it warm have wrapped it in wet warm kitchen paper and put in warming up incubator but have no idea if it will live!

 

is there anything I can do????

 

I don't think it was breathing and certainly didn't make a sound but it's eye did seem to open a little....I was shaking so much I just don't know and the incubator is borrowed and not easy to see through

 

 

help please

 

thanks

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I would tuck it in your clothes. That's how I revived a couple of our chicks. I walked around with them tucked in my clothes until they got warm and wriggly, then put them under the heat lamp. The broody did take them back after the last egg had hatched, but hopefully a heat lamp will do the job for you. If it does survive you'll have think about getting it a companion, it won't be very happy on its own.

 

Fingers crossed for you. Good luck

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