I have a Cayuga Duck who is very skittish. I mostly let her be to herself and her two beaus. Yes, I know you should not have 2 drakes with 1 female, but that was the luck of the draw. She seems to have mated with the Pekin and the littler male duck just follows around protecting her from everyone and everything. Anyways, the other day, I found an egg in their sleeping box; a little olive/grey egg. When I investigated further, I found that she has 13 of these eggs hidden in the dark corner of the box. So, here is my question. Do I collect these eggs or should I let her keep them? She goes out every day, all day...so should I assume she is not interested in hatching them at this time? I don't want to open an egg to find it was fertile...ugh. Some guidance would be appreciated.
Cayuga Ducks First Eggs
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The ratio of two drakes to one female is indeed just how it turned out.
At the same time, we humans have a job to do - to keep each member of the flock safe and healthy. There are many ways to do it. But it is our responsibility.
I suggest you set up a pattern of checking through the night shelter for eggs regularly. I spot pick the night pen daily, and do a thorough fluff of at least a third of the bedding daily, so that over three days I should be finding any hidden eggs.
You can candle the eggs - see if any are developing, then if you want to hatch, move forward with that. Or you may know someone who'd like fertile eggs.
I don't have any drakes. I gather the eggs every day.
When I did my spring cleaning a few weeks ago I found that I missed a few eggs over the really cold days we had this winter . I discarded those because it had been a looong time since they were laid.
I used to eat fresh chicken eggs with my grandmother. I'm sure I ate some that were fertilized but not beyond the initial fertilization stage. I don't think that they will hurt you. But i totally understand not wanting to eat fertilized eggs of uncertain age.