1 yr old females disappear at night

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by seag, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. seag

    seag New Egg

    Mar 21, 2012
    We had 2 female and 1 male mallards- 1 year old. 2 weeks ago one of the females would disappear in the evening and show up at almost pitch dark to go in the coop. Then she stopped showing up and would come in the morning. After a few days she just completely disappeared- no feathers or other signs of attack.

    Now our other female is doing this. Last night was the first night she did not show up to go in the coop. At dusk this morning we heard her quacking outside the coop door. Tonight she's nowhere to be seen (or heard).

    Do you think she is nesting somewhere? Not sure where she would do it. We do not have a pond- just a very small creek. We have a river about half a mile away.

    If so, do you think she will show up again once the babies are born, or is that the last we will see of her? Does she not need food while nesting? Will the lone make stick around, or fly off to find more friends?

    Thanks for your help

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    Something that figures into this is predators, and you probably already know that, but please consider adjusting something so that they can be safe, especially at night.

    One way to do this is, if you can, to find a nest (which I feel is the likely situation) and set up fencing or similar predator-resistant barriers so that you can secure it at night. This approach is not guaranteed, as she may decide once you have done something near the nest, she ought to abandon it.

    Yes, she needs food, and in some ducks, their nesting instinct is strong and they will rarely leave the nest to go eat and drink. This can run down their health, and make them even more susceptible to predators and to disease.

    It is quite a balancing act, to care for ducks that you want to allow to be free to come and go, and yet try to care for them. I have chosen to keep my runners quite close, giving them the largest day pen I could manage, and taking them for supervised walks in the fenced-in gardens during the day. They are a non-flying breed, and easier to manage because of that.

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