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How many batches of eggs?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So how many times a year do ducks lay eggs to hatch? Our duck started laying eggs in February and laid until March 24 when she went full time sitting on them. We let her have 18.

Went out today to feed the 6 ducklings that survived, all but 3 hatched, and due to it raining I put their food in the "Rubber Ducky Inn" and found 5 eggs? Haven't had a lot of "free time" to research the facts on ducks but saw that they will lay early spring and maybe again in fall. Good enough info for me at the time. So you can imagine my surprise at finding any eggs let alone 5 eggs!

Now don't take this as complaining, I'm definitely not, just need to know what I should expect from this rescue duck and her mate, who like killing babies. Yes, I have them separately housed. I also never thought we would keep ducks let alone have babies! I'm happy with the egg production of this one female.

This is Mrs. Rubber Ducky and babies! What bread is she? Sorry for the link to my YouTube cannot get the picture to upload.http://youtu.be/9DqHiULQd4A

Thanks
Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
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Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
Reply
post #2 of 7
When our ducks first start laying they tend to be all over the place. They will walk past and all of a sudden there is an egg that was not just there. They will even lay their eggs in water. We tend to eat these first eggs since hatchability is not as high at the beginning of the season as the hens are squabbling over who owns which drake and the eggs can get cold before we collect them. As the hens start thinking about going broody, they will make efforts to build a nest and when we find it and collect eggs they will build a new nest somewhere else. Eventually they find a good enough hiding place for their eggs that they collect a clutch and sit on the nest. If they do not get a clutch gathered, they will keep laying but some can be pretty determined to hatch a nest so we will let them as long as we have plenty of eggs in the incubators already.

After a hen hatches ducklings she will brood them so as long as she is not sitting or c brooding ducklings she will just keep laying. Often when hens hatch ducklings we take them inside to keep them safe from the crows and we sell most of our ducklings before they are 2 weeks old (we usually have wait lists because people often want them as young as possible). When we let a hen keep ducklings, there is still a good chance she will have a second nest and even a third but we try to collect eggs to hatch as much as possible, except this year we are letting more hens do the work because I am off my feet until 3 weeks after my surgery.

If you have a broody duck and you do not want to incubate her eggs, then just make sure her nest is safe and you have a safe place for her to raise her ducklings. The crows are the worst here because they hear the peeping hatchlings and swoop down on them. If I don't take the ducklings inside I have to put families in a 12'x3' pen with bird netting over the top until the ducklings are a few weeks old and able to escape from the crows. We have to put a net over our rabbit pens for bunnies too because the crows have grabbed them when they first open their eyes and venture out of the nest.

The more you collect the eggs, the more eggs you will get each season but it is nice to have a mother duck hatch and raise ducklings too. Each year we have more tree cover to deter the crows so hopefully we can put more hens to work this year and even sell family groups together so we don't have to take away the ducklings. We have more hens this year than we planned to keep so we have too many eggs to fit in our incubators.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I like the sound of more eggs!! We will keep collecting them until she starts staying on the nest. Last time she moved the eggs to different spots until I took a wood egg and left it with her egg and then she kept laying in the same spot, which ended up being in the Inn!

We have hawks and they so far haven't taken any of our birds. Had 1 flying low over the yard a couple of days ago. It didn't take to kindly of me and left!

My wife bakes A LOT and loved how clear the whites are. The chickens eggs are clear but the yoke is dark and changes the color of so of the stuff she makes!

Going to try and keep her laying as long as possible. Hopefully we will have all hens from those that lived! But my luck they are all drakes! I will have to learn how to cook duck if they are.

Hopefully you will be able to keep the crows away. It is sad losing them to animals.

Thanks for the info. I didn't think she would start laying again so soon but like it!
Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
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Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
Reply
post #4 of 7
The benefit of having crows is that they are territorial and they chase off hawks and eagles, which I have seen them do on multiple occasions, so our adult birds are perfectly safe. Maybe they invite the crows to dinner but by keeping feed in areas under tree cover the crows are not in the yard much. If I pick up eggs and set them in the open the crows sill get them but the ducks have lots of shelters and bushes for safe nesting.

It is the baby birds that are at risk because their noise attracts the crows and they have no concept of predators yet. Once they leave the nest the crows are able to pick them off one by one. I am working on having as much tree cover as possible but I still want open sunny areas in our yard too. I have an empty 12'x3' rabbit pen I can use for baby birds but I hate having to pen them up and I can only have one or two hens in the pen at a time. I had two hens raise their ducklings together before so that helped.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can relate to locking them up, it sucks. But, for a few weeks to help them survive in can do it. My 14 chickens are free ranging on an acre and we are getting ready to decrease it and put them in a 150 by 25 foot run. Between the landmines, hiding MY eggs and the grandchildren refusing to go outside because of the mean big wed (red) chicken (rooster), we are not being left a choice. But, they are still spoiled animals so it's all good!

Good luck with the shade, between the heat,drought and poor soil we have very little but what we do have is great.
Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
Reply
Screen Name should have been cornfedhogeditor! Don't know what happened but it did so I'm stuck with it!!  2 RR hens, 1 RR Roo May 2014, 2 Crossed EE hens 1 Roo Oct 2014, 1 Game Hen 2 Ducks May 2015, and 6 EE Oct 2015
Reply
post #6 of 7
I have 2 female ducks both that have been attacked by hawks but are ok and seem to be thriving.
One layed the next day even though I didn't think she could possibly survive.
That was two weeks ago.
The other duck last week was attacked and we managed to capture her and now has layed 4 eggs this weekend.
My question is do these females need to be always mating to now produce fertilized eggs?
Prior to the attacks they were mating with the male ducks.
I feel like they need to be kept safe. Separated from the males.
I think eagles and Hawks seem to be killing the females.
These are the last two females and the other males are attacking the females for mating they gang up and the female is weak and stunned then the hawk gets them (my theory).
Now that the females are safe I want to keep them safe till that hatch the eggs but would they need the male while they are laying to have fertilized eggs.
post #7 of 7
Mating with the drake can fertilize the hen's eggs for a few weeks without the drake.
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