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ducklings due 13th June

(21 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by duskhunter
  • Latest reply from duskhunter

  1. duskhunter
    Member

    I have two ducks sitting on nests in the garden. Both birds started together the 28 days is 13th June.

    We have had very heavy rain last night and it looks as though it may do so again tonight and neither duck has moved from their nest in 24 hours. Is this due to the bad weather or the fact that they do not have too much longer to sit?
    I suspect it is the weather but have to say I am a little concerned.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    It will be due to the rain. They will still need to feed and drink so can you make sure they have food within a necks reach for them so they don't have to leave their nests to the elements?

    Sarah L
    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. duskhunter
    Member

    Thanks for the reassurance Sarah, I thought it must be but yesterday was good all day until the evening when it started to rain again so I expected to see her.

    However, this morning even in the rain she was off the nest and calling loudly to all the others who chose the greenhouse to nest in overnight. Still haven't seen Mrs. Campbell but the food I left out has all gone so I hope it was her who had it and not the pheasants that roam the garden on occassion.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. duskhunter
    Member

    Just wondering, what is the latest anyone has ever known of ducklings hatching?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. duskhunter
    Member

    Ducklings are due today.
    The 'girls' have not been off their nests for over 36 hours, the weather has been very bad off an on but there have certainly been long dry/sunny patches too.
    Both girls stayed off their nests much longer than ususal the previous day washing and preening in readiness I like to think for their long sit ahead. They are both very clean as they have not had the drakes to make them dirty or been paddling around in the earth or mud for grubs etc.

    Will they sit now until the ducklings are all hatched if they take a few days or will they still break off for food and water and a wash?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. Nature has no set rules Angela, some ducks and chickens will sit and sit not even feeding and going to the toilet others will wonder off knowing that a small time of the nest at this stage wont harm the eggs
    If they were mine I would provide food and both drinking and bathing water as close to them as you can and leave them to decide for themselves, I asume they are somewhere safe away from predators and pesky drakes now

    mo x
    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. Pastordot
    Member

    Hello Angela,

    I agree with Mo about providing food and water close by. You might even consider a small washing up bowl in case she wants to take a little break. I had a small 'pond' just outside the nesting box of the Blue Swedish girl that nested in my yard and it seemed that she would take a break at least once a day in there.

    When it looked like it was getting close as you are describing, and after she had hatched out a few, I reached in with a container of food and she seemed to really appreciate it. I didn't leave it in there, just held it while she ate. Same with water. Then after most had hatched, she came out with them and stretched her legs and then would go back in to continue with hatching the rest.

    Such exciting times waiting and watching. Best of luck to you on the hatch.

    Blessings,
    Dottie

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. duskhunter
    Member

    Well, What time keepers the girls are.
    Came home this afternoon to find both girls had little noises around them and both have babies.

    Peaches was sat on 16 so don't know how many of those will hatch but she will not move yet so is still sitting. Mrs Campbell has 8 and was happy to have grain today. I could see one very pretty little face in front of her and more fluffy objects bulging out from her sides. When will she move them out for a 'show off' parade?

    Peaches was sat in the smallish saucepan of water right near her nest so I gave her a larger one, she must be desperate and is not eating yet.

    When do I give them chick crumbs?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. Mama
    Member

    Brilliant news on all you are very lucky they all made it .Chick crumb now and for about 6weeks .Hope to see pics soon and congrats .Mama

    Goose Girl
    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. Pastordot
    Member

    Such wonderful news!

    I have food and water bowls outside of the nest box and spread the duckling crumbles on the ground around the bowls so the babies could get to them easily.

    They sound adorable. Can't wait to see the pics!

    Congratulations and a job well done!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. hope all is going well look forward to some photos, can you provide something better and bigger than a sausepan for them as the mums will be ready for a good bath and will want to take the ducklings for a swim soon maybe even today, but remember ducklings will need easy access both into and out of the water, as I found out recently an old plastic dog bed would be great for them, or as I used a cat litter tray

    mo x
    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. duskhunter
    Member

    I have a cat litter tray for each mum and crumbs close too. Difficult not to crowd them if I put them too close.

    Peaches has eaten some of the crumbs or her babies have.
    I think she used the saucepan because the litter tray was about 18" away and the saucepan was really for her to have a drink whilst she was sitting so about 4" away.

    I think she is still sitting as she had about 16 eggs under her about 4 weren't hers. Yes, I know, too many but it was difficult to find out how many until it was several days probably a week and I didn't like the idea of taking partly formed eggs from her and didn't know which ones anyway so thought I would let nature take its course.

    I have my work cut out with the other now 9 seven week old ducklings. Two of the boys have gone to new homes and another boy and girl will go to a friend today.

    They are all free range as you know just shut away at night, so I have to ensure that when the girls, who can now quack loudly, alert the Kray twins to their existence I am on hand to supervise. The twins mostly give them a wide birth except if they attempt to use the large pond which is the 'boys' domain.

    I have several ponds and large water containers in the garden but the ducklings favour the big pond and are only slowly getting used to the large garden, it is a bit scary for them at the moment.

    I find I spend my time looking for eggs because two of the four that are laying refuse to lay in their house at night and I do not want any more sitting ducks in the garden. Checking every time the crows make a lot of noise that all the ducks are safe, also checking that there is not gang rape going on with three drakes onto one duck and keeping an eye on the two mums and their families.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. duskhunter
    Member

    Just had to type this really long missive again as the site deleted it, it took so long to think about accepting it - wish it would do that with the spam.

    When I saw Mrs Campbell this morning she was off her nest and proudly parading 6 chicks. she still has two eggs now cold on the nest and one had cracks in the top as though it was trying to hatch. Do I leave them or do a post mortem?

    One tiny jet black duckling is struggling to follow her, his legs are working but it is as though he is walking along on his stomach/chest, she will not let me touch him so I just watch at the moment.

    The other ducks are fine with them and our two infamous Kray twins are leaving them alone and not even attempting to rape the now seven and a half week old females (of the 11 ducklings Katy incy hatched for us). They are quacking loudly and drawing attention but I think the boys are so used to me directing them into the orchard if they step out of turn that they automatically see me and steer a wide birth around the group.

    We are now down to 7 of the original 11 when another two went to a fantastic new home yesterday where they will be much loved - if only all pets could be so lucky.

    Still find vent sexing difficult and have had to rely on quacking as the most reliable method of sexing followed by the U or V above the beak though the drake that went yesterday seemed to have more of a U than a V, but a high pitched/quiet voice compared to his vociferous companion.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. Hi Angela, the forum has been very bad today I couldn't get on at all for 3 hours this morning, as a tip on the time out problem when ever I type anything now I do a right click and copy before hitting share then at least if it times out I can just paste instead of having to type it all again
    As for the cold eggs thats up to you if you're 100% sure there are no live ducklings in them you can either throw them away or crack to see whats inside its possible they wernt fertile but you would have to be prepared to see a dead duckling, I see no point in doing a post mortem as not alot you can do really
    and if mum wont let you near the black one not alot you can do but watch but if it doesnt improve soon you will have to catch it wether mum likes it or not and try to see whats actually wrong with it,

    mo x
    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. duskhunter
    Member

    My thoughts on all that you have said Mo. She has not gone back to the nest but chosen a different spot to shelter the babies under her wings so I think she has decided the nest has had its day - have to say I would like a different spot after giving birth too. So I conclude that she isn't going to see to the eggs and as they have been cold for several hours then obviously there won't be anything alive there now. I was worried I would be destroying something alive.

    Having had 4 miscarriages myself I want to know what happened though as you say there is not a lot of point just want to know what went wrong.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. Pastordot
    Member

    Hello Angela,

    I also do as Mo has said in copying my message before hitting send just in case something like you had occur happens. It doesn't happen all the time, but does save a lot of hassle when it does.

    I also would try to catch the little black one to see what is going on with it in case it needs some intervention.

    Having had miscarriages myself I can understand your wanting to know about the ones that didn't make it. If it gives you peace of mind, then do what your heart says.

    I just got distracted and had to go out and watch and feed the two groups of babies that visit and they are soooooooooooooo cute and grow sooooooooooooooo fast. Enjoy every moment of your little cuties!

    Blessings,
    Dottie

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. duskhunter
    Member

    One of the eggs was infertile and one was in the middle of hatching no apparent problems, had broken through the membrane beak out one eye open beautifully formed even able to tell it was a little boy.
    My guess is that she was disturbed or needed to see to the others or that it got cold if she had others/chicks in the way or that she thought it was too slow and knew one was infertile. Still difficult to realise she left one that was nearly out.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. Angela it is more than likely that it died while trying to hatch not that she left it, we know only to well how hard it is to crack these shells maybe the poor thing just wasnt strong enough
    how is peaches doing ?

    mo x
    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. duskhunter
    Member

    Peaches is now off her nest. Don't know how many she has there are so many plants in the way. She still has eggs too, so once I know she is not going to return to them again I will catch her and babies, as I did with Mrs Campbell and put them in their new safe house.
    Both ducks sat for their 28 days in the garden nests they had made because as Dottie said she had heard it isn't too successful moving them once they had started to sit.
    I want them to integrate with the others as far as is possible from the start so once they realise where there new home is I will let them out to have the run of the garden - hope it works and that they won't try to find another 'natural' nesting site.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. duskhunter
    Member

    Update on Peaches and her family of surprisingly only one! She finally left her nest this morning day 31 and took her only duckling down to the pond quacking loudly all the way.

    Tooks lots of pics which I will download as soon as my pc problems are fixed hopefully later today.

    Mother and baby had a wonderful time on the pond with the other seven and a half week old ducklings who looked on with interest. Amusingly Peaches swam right up to them circled them and then swam away to show her baby off. Of course, some of the others are hers too though she wouldn't know that being hatched in the incubator.

    The duckling copied her washing its head and rubbing it back over its neck nearly falling over in the process, so cute.
    When she had had enough about 30 minutes or so later she came back to her very soggy and putrid nest so we caught the baby and mother and have put them in a clean, dry straw filled house with a run.

    I investigated the demise of all the other eggs which apart from a couple had chicks inside which all looked fine though some had been dead for a while as they stank.

    I think the weather was in large part to blame plus the quantity of eggs I don't know where they all came from as there were 18 in all, well two were near the nest I assumed she had pushed them away but it could have been they were two of the missing eggs from the other ducks that I never seem to find (only two eggs from four ducks this morning).

    Whilst the weather was fine I was candling the eggs when she was off and they looked good but the last week had been torrential rain and high winds and she looked really bedraggled when she came off the nest even though we covered the area with tarpaulin the bad weather was just too much. She gave it her all, a stoic duck indeed.

    I have learned from this experience several things. Firstly, I don't think a duck would be fooled by placing eggs under her she hadn't laid to encourage her to lessen her own laying. She is programmed to lay whatever her body is telling her.

    Secondly, Wherever they decide to nest will have to be somewhere I can properly protect from the weather and night time predators, during the day all the ducks are at risk currently. I love to see them loose in the garden so until it is impossible for them to stay that way there is always the potential danger of prey.

    Thirdly, having them in the open/free range is much easier, in that the mother makes all the decisions as to when they integrate, which seems to be immediately, when it is safe for them to go off on a jaunt and all the other things we worry about.

    Lastly, I will separate the drakes/Kray twins because they will soon be after the other 7 week old ducklings as some of the are huge now, and the Kray twins think the pond is theirs. The have already had a go at them.

    We have started naming our 7 remaining incy hatched duckling and one of the females particularly is like Dotties Princess and also has a Dotty chest so I hope you don't mind Dottie she is named after you because she is as you say a Blessing as they all are!

    Angela x

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. duskhunter
    Member

    I wonder if this link will work to see all my duck pictures currently on display although there is only one of Mrs Campbell and ducklings.
    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=7d1703b54a0b3182&Bsrc=Share&Bpub=SDX.SkyDrive&sc=Photos&resid=7D1703B54A0B3182!2356&id=7D1703B54A0B3182%212356

    http://sdrv.ms/LtbvIc

    http://sdrv.ms/NGdc8B

    Haven't done links before so you may have way more here than was necessary just proves how I waste my time during the day with animals and plants! LOL

    Posted 6 years ago #

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