Broody hen hatching duck eggs

shannonl0rraineJuly 30, 2008

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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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!! :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 6:58PM
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ahbee01(z5 OH)

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!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:25AM
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It's been a while since the last post on this subject but I am in need of some imformation regarding a chicken hatching duck eggs. I bought twelve fertile mixed breed duck eggs off of ebay hoping to get my broody jersey giant hen to maybe hatch some out. All's fine so far; she's doing her job (it's only been a few days). She's four years old and has never even seen a rooster only her bunk mate she was raised with (a red sex-link). what I need to know first is why is she exibiting this behavior now and to such an extreme that she's been in the nesting box almost constantly for the last month and a half. Is she going to quit on me before any of the six eggs can hatch? The second thing I need to know is how successful am I going to be hatching out any of the remaining six in my homemade incubator when I am having trouble maintaining a constant temperature and humidity at least the first three days (I think I got a handle on it now) but has the damage already been done (too soon to candle). What are my chances as opposed to Isabel's (the hen) in getting any duck babies to hatch? Oh, one more thing about Isabel, she is a free range hen who would only come in the coop to eat and put herself to bed at nightfall and all I had to do is be there to close the door. Now she acts broody and strange when she once was a chatty, personable, happy girl. Was this the wrong tact to take, giving her fertile eggs? The reason I choose duck eggs is I didn't want to take the chance of getting a rooster (don't like 'em).

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 4:26PM
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I had a duck nest a fox got in killed all but 2 I took them down put the under the chicken.Its been 10 years she comes back every year to nest here.There was a male and a female.They use to come visit walk down go in chicken house to see mom.
We put a big tub of water out in run for ducks,chickens would go in for the nite the ducks would be out swimming,the hen would stand at the door trying to figure out why her kids like to swim.They were free range she'd walk by stream theyd jump in the chicks would just stand there.Itwas funny but Im glad all worked out.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:11PM
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