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Duck Questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, a few days ago I went to a pond across from my house where a couple of mallard ducks lived. When I got there, I found three eggs just laying there, exposed under a tree. They didn't appear to be in some kind of nest; they were just sitting between two roots of the tree. I left them there and the next day I came back, there were four. The mother duck wasn't there, and the eggs were cold (I guessed they were dead). The next day, there were no new eggs. And today, when I went there, there still were no new ones. I'm not sure if the mother duck is abandoning the eggs she is laying and if she is, I want to try to save a few the next time she lays eggs before they freeze to death.
My questions are:
1. What time in the day do ducks lay eggs
2. How long before an egg freezes when it's cold
3. Does a duck lay an egg everyday?
4. Is it possible that the eggs are unfertalized?
5. Can a duck smell a humans scent and move her nest somewhere else?
6. Should I just leave the old eggs where they are (my family says if they're dead I could probably cook them)
7. Can you find out if a egg is alive on the first day?
8. would a lamp be dangerous to leave at home for incubation
9. When I did some research before, the websites said incubating eggs need humidity, but how does the eggs in the wild get humidity
10. Is there way to tell what species of duck layer the eggs (I'm pretty sure they're mallard, but there are a couple of other ducks at the pond)
11. If a duckling hatches and its mother isn't around, what will happen
12. If a duckling is very weak and can't get through its shell, is there any way to help it break the shell?
13. Mother ducks lead their ducklings to the water in the morning after they hatch, so why can't you let a duckling into water?
14. Do ducklings even care about their siblings?
15. are the electronic expensive incubators better than homemade ones?
16. Can you use any lamp for incubating duck eggs?
17. If I feel like I won't be able to keep the eggs alive, do you think an adoption shelter or something will take them in?

Sorry for all the questions! I have a pet parakeet but never a duck, so I thought this would be an awesome experience IF I manage to save some of the eggs and IF they hatch.
Ducklings are just so cute! I can imagine them running around following people. I'm going to go to the pond tommorow again and see if I can find any more eggs.
post #2 of 6
Those eggs are very likely unfertile doors everywhere for an old dead but I wouldn't cook them and probably have gone bad. The time of day at Duck lays depends on the duck some will lay in the morning some in the afternoon and some anytime in between. Ducks in all of the birds do not go by since they are site-based mostly so bothering the dogs will not deter her mother at all even if she has been sitting on them and you bother them while she's sitting she will not abandon them that's really just a mammal thing. I would just leave the eggs were they are they probably are dead already if the mother is not sitting on them and if there's no Nest around it's like leaders there an unfertilized and she's just laying eggs as part of her menstrual cycle. Duck eggs will get humidity by their mothers sitting on them the body heat provides it and sometimes I'll even pull feathers out of their chest to keep the right humidity. If a duckling hatches in its mother's not around it probably just dies because something eats it or it freezes. Ducklings will swim in the morning after they are with a mother duck because she will provide them with oil which helps them float if they're in captivity they do not have the soil and they were thinking around so do not put them in water for a while. Duckling some will care about their siblings but not to the extent that this will as geese will not mate with their siblings Ducks really don't care. It depends if you're good at making incubators or not if you're bad at it than the electronic ones are better but if you're pretty good at it it probably doesn't matter. Wildlife Rehabilitation Center would probably take the eggs but like I said they're probably dead or unfertilized so I wouldn't bother with it. You should probably use a heat lamp or a strong watt bulb maybe around 100 150 watts and yes leaving just a heat lamp can be dangerous but I haven't had any issues with it so far just make sure it's not near anything that could catch fire.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Updated: just thought of another question- if a wild mallard duckling is made a pet and grows up, is flying something they learn themselves or must a real duck teach them that?
Edited by MysticMoon - 3/19/16 at 7:30pm
post #4 of 6
It is illegal to take those eggs from the wild. Better not to touch them.

To clarify, duckling development doesn't start until they reach a certain temperature. A duck will lay a clutch of eggs and then sit on them. Only then will they start to develope. There's a chance she will still sit on them. Or she may have chosen a different spot to nest since the first one is so open. But you should still leave the eggs alone.
post #5 of 6

Ducks learn to fly on their own. My first duck was a mallard I raised and he didn't see a duck for almost the first year of his life and he flew without ever having seen a duck.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help! big_smile.png
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