Age ducks start sitting??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tbevans, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. tbevans

    tbevans Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all! I have 1 female pekin and a male & female mallard. They are all 6 months old. Both females are laying and they've reached 22 eggs (pekin has laid 10 including 1 double yolk and the mallard has laid 12) so my question is Is the mallard old enough to sit on the eggs?? Should I get an incubator? How long after laying the last egg will she start sitting?? Also they are both laying in the same nest so I take it my pekin is "dumping" her eggs off for the mallard to sit on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I think there's a lot of variability, and it would maybe be possible your mallard girl would go broody. That's more likely than the Pekin, but Pekins occasionally get broody, too.
     
  3. tbevans

    tbevans Out Of The Brooder

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    I've done some research, but it seems too much research can be a bit confusing sometimes..lol. I do know it's unlikely for my pekin to go broody, so I was hoping my mallard would..any idea how long after they stop laying the eggs would still be good to put in an incubator if neither go broody?? I'll give her a few days and if she stops laying, but won't sit perhaps I should invest in an incubator? Sorry for all the questions, I've never done this before! I'm pretty positive the eggs are fertile so I'm just hoping to get a few ducklings! It's so nerve-wracking! I'm getting impatient..so ready to see what's going to happen! :) By the way thanks so much for the response!! I'm open to any and all suggestions/ advice!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I think @Orca5094 or @WVduckchick may have some answers, or @learycow
     
  5. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's best to incubate eggs within 10 days of being laid. Any older than that and your hatch rate drops, so if you definitely want ducklings out of this batch I would suggest an incubator. Some ducks will go broody and some never will. In my experience, most don't go broody the first year they start to lay, BUT one of my young Cayugas went broody this spring and it was her first year laying. So it does happen!

    If you start to see feathers in the nest, someone is going broody and should start sitting soon. They pluck feathers from their chests to line the nest just before they start to sit. And if they are going to sit, they will start immediately after the last egg is laid, maybe even a day or so before that you will see them stay on the nest more and more.

    Hope that helped a little! :)
     
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  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    IME Pekin rarely do, it's just not something they seem too. Mine have never shown the interest and they are surrounded by broody obsessed 'Scovies.

    As for the mallard, i have calls and buffs too.. my calls being the closest there, i found they reached what they thought was the right amount than sat. There wasn't a magic number...

    I would think the mallard would be the best for the distance long term. Mixed on leaving Pekin eggs but it would depend on if you desire those and how big they are compared to the mallards.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  7. tbevans

    tbevans Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank yall for the responses! Sorry its taken me so long to get back! I've seen both feathers from the pekin and mallard in the nest with the eggs. I counted the eggs yesterday and there were 25 total. There were 26 but one was a soft shell (my first ever) and it got busted. I believe if i remember correctly there were 15 mallard and 10 pekin. I am worried to let them go too long so I'm thinking I will be getting an incubator tomorrow or Monday! Any advice on incubating or where I should start my research?? I've never done that before!! Should I just take a few to put in the incubator and leave the rest to see if one of them will go broody??
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Have you seen the link to Stickies at the top of the Duck Forum index? In there is a waterfowl hatching guide.
     
  9. tbevans

    tbevans Out Of The Brooder

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    No I havent! I'll look and see if I can find it! Thank you!
     
  10. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, check out the hatching guide. Lots of info in there. :)

    If you definitely want some ducklings (and are willing to hand-raise them yourself), then yes you could take some to put into the incubator. You could mark all the eggs in the nest right now with an X or something, then when you get the incubator you can at least have the few freshest eggs they lay between now and then for sure for your incubator (you know, the unmarked ones) and then just pick however many of the marked ones you want as well to get the number you want.

    If neither of them go broody, you'll need to be willing to raise the ones that hatch yourself though because they will NOT adopt ducklings if they haven't incubated a batch of eggs themselves. You'd have to take care of them until they are as big as the adults and then you could work on introducing them to your other ducks.

    Also you'll have to be aware of possible different hatch times if someone goes broody say a week or so after you've already started incubating your eggs. Your choices at that point would be to either replace all the eggs in the nest with those you've already started to incubate, or let them incubate their eggs and you incubate yours. You'd still need to hand-raise the ones you have in the incubator because the ones in the nest would hatch later.

    Hope that all made sense. I just want you to be prepared with whichever decision you make and avoid any issues later on.
     
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