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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:37 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 1331
Location: Roseworthy, SA
I figure I might ask here, because waterfowl people might now.

Last year I had a duck (Muscovy, of course) on about 14 eggs, and about 6 or 7 were dead in the shell, about 2 days before hatching. Natural incubation, first time mother, VERY dry year (humidity was at about 10% max!), quite warm, but she always had access to bathing water. One duckling hatched all on its own, with no help. She moved her nest about 2 days before their due date, so I blamed it on that.

UNTIL...

This year, different duck, different line, second time mother. About 11 eggs (she put her toe through the rest or ditched them), three "hatched", BUT they had to be helped - they pipped, but that was as far as they got. They had to be helped the rest of the way. And about 8 dead in the shells, probably about 2 days before hatching - this time, I didn't crack them open, but I could tell they were dead in the shells - shells going blue, and could see the air ring down the shell, indicating fertile eggs.
COLD weather, VERY good sitter duck (did not move her nest at ALL), fairly high humidity - nothing like Qld or Beijing, but very high for this area (ave of 70%?)

Why am I getting such low hatch rates? Clearly the eggs are fertile, but they just don't hatch. I've looked it up, but all they say is incorrect humidity, or incorrect temperature.

Yet I would've thought that mother duck would control temperature (that is her job, yes?), and try to control humidity (e.g. if it's too dry, have a wash). So why, with two completely different ducks and two completely different environments and times of year, am I still getting such poor results?

Is it genetic? (The ducklings (not the ducks) do have one common ancestor) Is it a nutritional deficiency? Is it the duck? But to have TWO dud MUSCOVY mothers....what are the chances?? Especially when the second one appears to be such a good mother. And with the second batch, to have VERY minimal NON fertile ones, or ones that didn't make it to a couple of days before hatching?

People talk about Muscovies hatching 20 out of 20...I am lucky if I hatch 3 out of 17, and even then they need help :( Why is this happening?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Prime Pekin
Prime Pekin

Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:10 pm
Posts: 3263
Location: Campbelltown NSW
Two main causes of dead in shell
Humidity , are your nests directly onto the ground?they should beI believe.
Pesticides . Is the area they are in old market gardens ? (it stays in the soil for decades) do you spray you garden or the area with anything ? Do you feed the outside leaves from fruit and veg shop ?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 1331
Location: Roseworthy, SA
Yes, nope, nope, and yes.

Yes, on the ground. Actually, they both nested in the exact same place. I give them hay and whatever else to nest in.

Nope, not in old market gardens. Umm, they ARE surrounded by a wheat crop, but they don't get into it, water isn't contaminated (is mains), and it hasn't been sprayed for months.

And yes, I DO feed them outside leaves from fruit and veg places - predominantly lettuce and cauliflower. Could this be causing it?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Prime Pekin
Prime Pekin
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:45 pm
Posts: 3357
Location: the riverina, southern nsw
hi
my first girl of the season hatched her eggs yesterday, she started out with 12 eggs , and only hactched out 7 :cry: , hopefully ill get better hatch rates with my other girls :? , but also there has been a couple of real cold nights here maybe that might be a facter ? thay were about 5 days over due ?


jase

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muscovys rule


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:05 pm 
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Prime Pekin
Prime Pekin

Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:10 pm
Posts: 3263
Location: Campbelltown NSW
I'm not saying that "throw away " leaves from caulies etc ARE the problem , but if you feed a lot may well be. (outside leave cop all the chemicals )
One of the main reasons (plus many more ) for withdrawing DDT from use, was the effect it was having on birds of prey . These are the end of the food chain and it built up in their systems .The main result of this was nil hatchlings (all dead in shell ) .
It can be a genetic thing too with your birds . I would just take all these things into consideration . I mentioned that some chemicals stay for decades , you never know what was previously where you are ( sheep dip just as an example ) Good luck .


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:32 am 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 1331
Location: Roseworthy, SA
Bahaha, well, they are in the vicinity of old sheep yards and sheep dip :? I'm doing real well...

I would think it was genetic, but they are fairly different gene wise - onlt the father or grandfather is the same, and yet he's bred before (with his SISTER) and I had NO dead in the shells.


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