BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Duck Laying Eggs? HELP?! Do I need to remove the drake?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Duck Laying Eggs? HELP?! Do I need to remove the drake?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!!!

I have a few questions I'm hoping you could help me with! I have a male Pekin duck , and a female mallard. I've caught the male mating with the female about two months ago or so, and since then he has been quite mean towards me and others, chasing us , biting us, ect. I kind of brushed it off. Well, two nights ago, the temperature dropped below freezing, so I brought the ducks in the basement, when I woke up to take them back out, I found an egg in the middle of the floor!! They didnt seem too interested in it. So i brought the ducks outside to their pen, and brought the egg. In their duck house, they have a heat lamp, and some hay, so I took a small blanket and put the egg on the blanket inside the duck house, then took the mallard and put her inside, (watched her to see what she would do) and she sat next to the egg and started pulling hay and making a nest!! smile . Now last night I put the ducks (mallard and pekin) into their duck house to sleep, and when I woke up, there was another egg, buried in the hay!
Im wondering if it is okay to keep the male locked up at night with the female while she is laying or if this will effect the process, or should I just leave the duck house door open to they can come and go as they please? (the house in enclosed in a secure pen)
This is my first time dealing with a duck laying eggs, previously ive only had same sex, and the one flew off. So this whole laying eggs thing is new to me!! Basically I just want to know the basics of what i should and shouldnt do.

Another thing i noticed, is , my mallard does not mind when i am near the house where the eggs are, she just sits next to me. The male pekin however, attacks the crap out of me, and my mallard then goes after him it kinda seems like shes sayin "hey cut that poop out" lol. Is all of this normal? Will the pekin attack the eggs? or even ducklings if they hatch? do I need to separate the female and male during the laying process? and, its winter, is it okay for her to be laying eggs? will they even hatch ?

Please let me know your advice!! Thank you everyone!!!!


Edited by Meighan7989 - 1/6/12 at 3:39pm
Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
post #2 of 32

It is fine to leave the drake with the hen until you want the hen to hatch the eggs.

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

I defintley want her to hatch the eggs, i just dont think shes done laying yet, i think shes doing an egg a night lol

Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
post #4 of 32

She'll start setting after about 15-20 eggs. smile

post #5 of 32

?
What do you mean? You do know that Ducks lay eggs on a regular basis like chickens, right?

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 

yes, i know they lay eggs like chickens do, im just saying she is housed with a drake, and they do tend to mate, ive caught them twice, and now she's laid two eggs so far and has even made a nest for them, and is kind of guarding them, i just was not sure if it was okay to have the drake around. im just new with the whole duck laying eggs thing, ive raised "just hatched" ducklings, whom were sickly and abandoned, but i've never had to actually deal with a hen laying smile i just dont want to get in their way lol.

--And wow, 15-20 eggs, thats a whole lot!!! lol smile

Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarLover21 

?
What do you mean? You do know that Ducks lay eggs on a regular basis like chickens, right?


Actually, most ducks don't. Campbells, Appleyards, Harlequins, Swedes, Orpis, and a few others do, but most others, in this case wild Mallards, only lay 20-50 eggs a year.

post #8 of 32

I'd just watch for now to see how the drake acts towards her once she starts to sit, if he becomes aggressive towards her then remove him just keep it so they can see each other, you'll not want him in the same coop when the ducklings hatch, drakes are known to kill ducklings. other than that all is well for now. Good luck and let us know how it goes. And she can incubate and keep her ducklings warm as toast even during the coldest weather. smile

Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 16 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..
Reply
Living in the Beautiful Mountains of Western N.C.. with 16 chickens= EE's, Game, Cochin bantams,Light Brahma,  Black Australorps . 13Muscovy ducks, 1 Embden Gander,2 Toulouse geese 1 American Buff, 3 mini Dachshunds, 1 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..
Reply
post #9 of 32

Its probably not going to be a problem.. The drake is being protective of his hen and her nest. Once she starts sitting, he will stand gaurd and run off anything that attempts to enter the "restricted" space.
There are specific behaviors that you will notice if you watch them over the next few weeks...

when feeding the drake will watch as the hen eats and even ignore food so she can eat since she is doing all the work laying and nesting. He will follow or even chase you with his head down low and coming up behind you like a shovel if you get too close to the nest. One or both will follow your every movement when you are in the area. They do not trust anyone when the hen is sitting.

He may get scolded by his hen for hanging around too closely and spending too much time at the nest. Thats her way of telling him to get off his tail and go do his job. Gaurd duty for the next 4 weeks.

Nobody knows exactly why a drake would kill his own hatch, but they do sometimes. During the first 2 weeks the hen will roll out bad eggs, somehow knowing they are not fertile or they have died. Drakes may finish the job by pushing them away from the nest. Some believe this is a sacrifice behavior to give predators an offering of sorts so they won;t try to come into the nest. If for some reason the eggs all go bad from the hen being too distracted or unable to sit enough, they'll simply get up one day and leave. If a nest is good the hen will cover it when she gets up and swirl the straw and nesting material as if a whirlwind had done it. Perfectly swirled....amazing skills from a creature without the benefit of hands and fingers.

So, I'd leave him there until he demonstrates aggressiveness towards his hen. There will be some infighting as in any relationship, but it usually settles quickly. Keep in mind that IF you take the hatch and attempt to raise them yourself, they will probably not be welcome back to the nest later on. Once removed they hen and drake see them as strangers and will attack the ducklings, so if you take them they're yours to raise...all the way. Plan on 6-8 weeks min. Sometimes more if they have to be placed in a flock of adults that might get mean to small birds/ducklings.

Most of the bad stuff listed here is rare, but it does happen. Most often its a fun and interesting process to observe and the end result can be very exciting.
Have fun !

post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much everyone!! I greatly appriciate your advice and guidance! We are up to 4 eggs so far! She has made such an amazing nest!! it just looks so perfect! smile it seems like she works on it every night, because every morning when I check on it, it has improved! haha! Today when I looked, it seems she has removed the hay from the floor (pushed it to the sides) and actually dug a bit of a hole, and has the hay and leaves woven around! smile I noticed she did move two of her eggs to the middle of the nest, unhidden, and the two others are still in the walls of the nest, hidden and buried a little in the dirt.
I've also noticed she is nicer to me now than she has ever been. (besides since when she was a duckling and followed me lol) She would never come up to me she always kept her distance, now she will waddle right up to me to say hello, and if i sit she will jump right on my lap! smile Shes also quacking a whole lot now, im gussing its something they do at this time? Id imagine the whole laying process has to be uncomfortable, for such a small duck to lay lots of eggs lol. smile

Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
Proud mama of 2 ducks, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a baby on the way
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ducks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Duck Laying Eggs? HELP?! Do I need to remove the drake?