7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
I thought that some of you "ornamental" folks might have some experience to share with me... I am very, very grateful for any advice!

Now for my questions/inquiries…
  1. I have 3 mallard hens/susies. Granted they are just hatchery quality and are, at least in a small part “manky” at that… (mixed w/ domestic of some sort). They are around 7 months old. They began laying eggs in mid-September. I know that Mallards usually lay around 18 eggs. However…. The eggs JUST KEEP COMING!!!!! They never stop!!! I have been taking them and we have been eating them (very good, by the way! – tastes just like a chicken egg from Kroger). However, I have a feeling that they should have stopped laying by now. It has been 2 months of egg after egg after egg. I can’t eat them fast enough! The whole process/experience has been like that darn ‘ole “Energizer bunny”….. It keeps “going, and going, and going, and going, and going…” etc. So, is this normal?
  2. Now… This past week, one of my susies (my lil’ “Heart”), has become overwhelmed with motherly instinct. She made a nest in the ivy on my back porch and for 4 days now she REFUSES to leave it! The nest is in the brick planter the runs along the edge of the porch. Now, I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that mallards nest (procreate) in the spring. I haven’t had any drakes hanging around and there certainly hasn’t been a drake to help build the nest in any way, which I hear is normal behavior in the wild. My 3 “girls” are free range, but tend to hang right at home, only flying in a few wide circles in the evening before the “go to bed” in the barn and in the morning when they are let out of the barn. So… Is Heart going to just sit on a nest of rotten eggs for 28 days? What is the deal with this?

I have been worried about predators, so I have been covering her up at night with my leopard print “Snuggie.” HA! And, I have been sleeping on the couch so that I can see her straight out of the French doors.

So….. WHAT is the “dealio, yo?”
Well, she is probably going to sit on that nest of rotten eggs a lot longer than 28 days since they are not going to hatch

Because your hen is not actually a wild migratory mallard but only has the capability of flying then she does not lay on the same cycle as the wild birds. She will also lay eggs in the abscence of a male just as a chicken does in a poultry house.
It sounds like the domestic duck genes that she contains are Khaki Campbell with the amount of eggs she is laying. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the Khaki Campbell " Adult Campbell ducks weigh approximately 4 pounds. Campbells can come in three color varieties: khaki, dark and white. The Khaki Campbell duck is mostly khaki colored with a darker head. They are a cross between Mallard, Rouen and Runner ducks.
The egg production of the Campbell breed can exceed even the most efficient of egg laying domestic chickens, with the breed laying an average of 300 eggs a year.

If you want her to quit setting then the best advice I can give is to pull the eggs, tear up the nest and put a box or clothes basket or cage or just about anything over the nest location and she will eventually give up.

That's all I have to say about that,

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