Baby Duck Emergency

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On Sunday afternoon my daughter comes running in the a duck egg that was partly open. The duck seemed stuck. You see when a bird is hatching the humidity level has to stay a certain level or the membrane inside the egg dries up sticking to baby and they become stuck. So I helped duckling the rest of the way out of the egg.

The duckling had a dime size amount of yolk sack still sticking out of its navel. I had not had one do this before so I was unsure it would live. I had a bright idea and wrapped a damp paper towel around the baby, then lay baby on my chest. We then warmed a microwave heating pad for a few seconds and then laid it on top.

Baby and I sat on the couch watching tv for almost two hours, heating up heating pad again when needed. I then checked baby. The yolk sack was almost all inside its navel now! I took a picture of the baby, you can see its belly button is still an “outie” at this point.

Its now late and I wasn’t sure what to do with the baby. I couldn’t bring it out to the mom because the navel was still open. My daughter and I decided to put it in a plastic storage tub in my bathroom with a heat lamp hanging over it. We put a towel in the bottom. We added the baby and a digital thermometer inside.

We all went to bed and an hour later I peeked on baby and found temp at 102 degrees! Eek! Temp needed to be at 97. I got some warm water and slowly dripped some drops on the baby. That seemed to help raise the humidity a tad inside the plastic tub. I then raised the heat lamp and moved tub where heat was indirect. My daughter then came in to check two more times overnight to make sure temperature was right.

The next morning we found navel was now sealed closed but baby was really weak. Would not open its eyes and could only lay on side and widdle its feet. Its “peep” was also really weak. I wrote an email to a local poultry group asking advice. A lady wrote back with the idea of giving water with a little karo syrup added. I got a syringe and gave it a few drops of the mixture. I wasn’t sure how much to give it and didn’t want it to asperate so just a few drops was given.

The baby was still so weak and floppy so the decision was made to put baby back with its mom and hope for the best. I gotta admit though I wasn’t really positive baby would survive. I took a picture of the baby laying in my hand and then brought out to its mom’s nest. I also noticed the other eggs hadn’t hatched yet.

I waited about three hours and went out to check on it. To my suprise not only did I find baby alive I find it sitting next to its mom on the nest with its head held high, eyes wide open and yelling at me for getting too close to nest! I laughed all the way back to the house and thanking God for saving the little duckling.

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