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Thread: Duck Help...or helping ducks

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    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    Duck Help...or helping ducks

    My darling little children brought home a duck egg from school. We believe it's a mallard as there are a million of them hanging out in the neighborhood. A teacher at school told them there was most likely a baby duck still in there and but it was in the mud by no nest and clearly not attended by a mom duck. So, they have dreams of hatching this thing. Right now I have it in a box with guinea pig chips, with a little bedroom light shining on it. Any hints? suggestions? Any ideas of how long I need to wait before I know this isn't working? My guess is this isn't going to work that the egg has been out of the nest too long or that the duck figured it was a dud and deserted it. My vet is no help. The wild bird rescue was just an answering machine.

    So please any ideas? please?
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

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    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Nancy, don't hold out much hope that that thing will hatch. My mother is a science teacher and every year she incubates chicken eggs as a class project. She's in the middle of it for this year right now, and the amount of monitoring they need is amazing; they have to be kept warm -- I don't know what the temperature is, but she has them in an incubator to keep the temperature constant, because getting it too warm or too cold will kill them -- and she has to turn them twice a day. I'm assuming that duck eggs require similar care. Do you know how long this egg was out in the cold mud by itself?
    And the chickens incubate for about a month, so I'd guess a duck is about that or a little longer. Is there a science teacher at the school that you could ask? My mom is teaching it to sixth-graders, if that's any guide for when this sort of thing might be in a science textbook.
    Good luck, and let us know if it hatches.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

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    Rude and Abrasive Texicana's Avatar
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    I used to raise quail as a kid (both for $ and animal-tending lesson) and yes, you have to have an incubator as Lucy mentioned and the eggs had to be marked so you could turn them over daily. Even with diligent care there were always some duds.
    " I look like Nigella Lawson with a $#*!ing hangover."

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    FORT Fogey MollyRose's Avatar
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    I'm no help with un-hatched ducks, but if you get a live one I can offer some advice. We have a pet duck who is the funniest animal I've ever known. I think she believes she's actually a dog, and so acts like one. She also lays record-amounts of eggs. On Easter Sunday she laid 15 eggs in a 24-hour period! (I still think she must have gone to the store and planted them in her nest so that she'd look productive).

    Good luck with the egg.

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    Hockey is life! EvaLaruefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MollyRose
    I'm no help with un-hatched ducks, but if you get a live one I can offer some advice. We have a pet duck who is the funniest animal I've ever known. I think she believes she's actually a dog, and so acts like one. She also lays record-amounts of eggs. On Easter Sunday she laid 15 eggs in a 24-hour period! (I still think she must have gone to the store and planted them in her nest so that she'd look productive).

    Good luck with the egg.

    My husband loves ducks and would love to get one but aren't they messy?

  6. #6
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    I'm not sure this is going to work, my husband found more online then I was able to. We may give it a day or two more, but I think the mom duck kicked it out of the nest.

    Well at least this is better then the wax worms my kids were trying to hatch into beatles. This if it works, we get a cute baby duck. That if it worked, I would have gotten some really ugly beatles.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

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    FORT Fogey MollyRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evalaruefan
    My husband loves ducks and would love to get one but aren't they messy?
    Yes, they are messy. As it turns out, ducks have no sphincter (if you get my drift) and so you can't let them in the house or hold them in your lap without great risk. We have Marti (our duck) in a big fenced area of our yard. We love to have her loose in the back yard, but she is so imprinted on me that she just sits in front of the sliding glass door quacking for me and the back porch gets a little "hazardous". She is pretty adorable though and has so much more personality than I would have expected.

    As long as you have an appropriate area outside ducks are pretty low maintenance. And if they're like ours, you'll never have to buy eggs again!

  8. #8
    Don't Panic senrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MollyRose
    Yes, they are messy. As it turns out, ducks have no sphincter (if you get my drift) and so you can't let them in the house or hold them in your lap without great risk. We have Marti (our duck) in a big fenced area of our yard. We love to have her loose in the back yard, but she is so imprinted on me that she just sits in front of the sliding glass door quacking for me and the back porch gets a little "hazardous". She is pretty adorable though and has so much more personality than I would have expected.

    As long as you have an appropriate area outside ducks are pretty low maintenance. And if they're like ours, you'll never have to buy eggs again!
    The one thing about having ducks, is they need water. Thats why they are waterfowl

    We don't 'keep' ducks, per se, as much as the ducks always seem to be here. We feed them Cracked corn over by the pond and it seems to keep them happy. and yes, they do seem to poop a lot.

    We'll have anywhere between 8-26 in the winter, and they all disappear in the summer, only to re-emerge in the winter. last year they had ducklings...
    Its all so sweet.
    "The purpose of the new capitalism is to shoot the wounded." ~ Andy Grove, Chairman, Intel Corporation

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    Rude and Abrasive Texicana's Avatar
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    A small kiddie pool will do just fine for ducks in lieu of a body of water, actually.
    " I look like Nigella Lawson with a $#*!ing hangover."

  10. #10
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    Well the duck egg experiment didn't work. The egg sort of collapsed in on itself. It was a odd sight I didn't know eggs could do that. So I showed my 9 year old who had been the one to find it, carried it carefully home and had fussed and worried over the darn thing and told me to call the zoo for technical assistance in caring for it. I explained to her that if there had been a baby duck in it, it was now dead....her response was "duh mom, I know that. Look at the egg." :rolleyes So much for acting like the sympathetic mom. I was going to put it in the garbage in a bag, but they want to ask the science teacher if he wants it. My husband is betting she'll decide later it needs to be buried.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

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