Great thanks good to know. So keep them locked up until 8....so does that mean they normally lay before 8 am? Also if they are mating already, will she have a fertile egg and if she does do they typically sit on them or just leave them after she lays them? Also do you have to have different incubators for duck eggs than chicken eggs?
I have 5 laying ducks, and one that should start any day. Most of the time they lay before 8. Sometimes I will have an egg laid by the pond, or in the middle of the yard, and sometimes one will sneak off to hide a nest. If I go a couple of days with late eggs being laid, I will keep them locked up a half hour later the next day. From what I understand, if you want to hatch their eggs, toss the first couple of eggs ( or eat them - yum!) then start leaving them for her to decide if she wants to brood. Do you live in a climate where you could safely hatch ducklings right now? We are at the beginning of a cold winter, so I won't think about allowing a duck to brood until the spring. I gather the eggs every day to prevent someone going broody.
If I find an egg in a spot I know I checked the day before, I will put it with the rest. We eat all of ours. If I find one, and I don't know when it was laid, I will toss it.