Hello all. I will start by telling you that this is a brand new experience for me and my girlfriend, we have never owned ducks nor tried to breed animals before. A year ago we bought 2 ducks from a local shop and began to look after them. They were bought as a present and merely kept for the joy of having ducks run loose round the garden. From Feb 2011 to April 2011 we had already got approx 60 eggs out from the hutch that served nicely as my girlfriends dinner every night as they were not being looked after and we doubted their fertility.
In may 2011 we noticed she had laid more and had also began building a nest so we enquired about it at the shop we bought the ducks from and decided to let nature take it's course. Turns out there was 12 eggs and the first two hatched today within about 10 hours of each other, and when checking the other ones i could feel at least another four knocking from the inside.
Unfortunatly our first two are not great success stories. The first that hatched was later found outside the hutch on its own and the mother ran away from it when i placed it back in, so we took the liberty of doing the final parts ourself and researching like crazy. The second that had hatched today i then found on the bottom of the nest dead, as if it had been squashed.
So we now have a very needy duckling living in the bedroom with us sitting in a large plastic tub with straw, food, water, a cuddly toy, and a spare heatlamp we use on our reptiles. Is there anything else we can do to help this poor sod out because its midnight and the thing wont stop crying. Everytime one of us walks out the room for something the duckling (we named Lucky - how origional) starts chirping and we cant get to sleep. We thought we had it settled and then it woke up about 20minutes ago and started again.
It's the cutest thing i have ever seen and we have already got him/her handfeeding AND taught her to swim, is this normal on day 1? It's amazing to see but christ is the thing keeping us awake. We have been putting our hand over its back and "nesting" it to settle it and it finally goes to sleep, only to wake up 10 minutes later crying again. What else can we do to please this little duckling and get some sleep?
PS: We was also considering moving the remaining eggs into the same tub as Lucky due to a lack of faith in the parents given the recent events today. We even seperated the parents in seperate hutches to see if that keeps down the stress levels. Will the eggs be ok in a tub for the final 2 days they need provided we simulate the incubation?
PPS: Sorry for the essay folks.