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Broody hen hatching duck eggs

posted by: shannonl0rraine on 07.30.2008 at 11:52 am in Farm Life Forum

We had a broody hen who would not give up sitting on the nest. We don't have a rooster and didn't need any more chickens so we obtained several fertile runner duck eggs. Yesterday was was the 28th day and ONE duckling hatched by this morning. The other eggs have no cracks or pip marks and we are wondering if we can expect them to eventually hatch? Upon candling a week ago it appeared that they were developing (a couple went bad which we disposed of along the way).

And, the next question is, will the hen eventually give up the eggs and raise the one duckling if that's all that hatches? I hate to separate the duckling, but worry about food and watering as we wait for the others to hatch. Our sense is that if the hen doesn't give up the nest now, she never will (she's been broody for over three months).

Also, we have a lovely box and pen protected from the other hens, but we haven't moved her yet, for fear of disrupting the process.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

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clipped on: 08.09.2011 at 01:43 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2011 at 02:10 pm

RE: Broody hen hatching duck eggs (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ahbee01 on 08.12.2008 at 12:25 am in Farm Life Forum

my cochin hatched 5 duckling just fine, and I didn't lose one. I had then seperate from the other chickens, cuz they wanted to eat the ducklings! Momma hen raised them ducks as if they were her chicks, but that was all that were under her, not ducks and chicks!It was cool to watch, funny to see a duck try to take a dirt bath!!!
I let her keep them for 8 days, till my ducks clutch hatched, and I popped the ducks back in with a momma duck, and that momma never seemed to notice 5 duck being bigger than her own, she treated them as if she hatched them!!!


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clipped on: 08.09.2011 at 01:48 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2011 at 02:08 pm

RE: Broody hen hatching duck eggs (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: hall_farms on 08.09.2008 at 06:58 pm in Farm Life Forum

We raise standard cochin hens (which tend to be very broody) and have ducks in our pond whose eggs never seem to make it to a nest, so we did put eggs in the hens' nests when they were laying their own clutches. We learned the hard way to take the ducklings away from the hen as soon as they had dried because the ducklings aren't like the chicks in that they can handle being stuffed up in the hen's feathers. We lost 3 ducklings before we started taking them away. However, the other thing is that with the chickens hatching the ducks, it took about a week for all of them to hatch - 1 today, 2 tomorrow, etc. So, I'm not sure I'd move the hen to another place until I'd given it a few more days. I see that your post was put up several days ago, so I wonder how things turned out for you. Also, one more thing, depending on the breed of chicken, the chickens' body temps aren't may not be as high as a ducks, so that may affect the last days of incubation, resulting in a lower hatch rate. GOOD LUCK!! :)


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clipped on: 08.09.2011 at 01:47 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2011 at 01:47 pm