Brooding duck won't sit

Galaxyfalcon

Songster
May 25, 2020
184
305
141
Eastern WA
Hello everyone! I'm new to posting here but I've lurked on and off for a few months now!

I'm having an issue with a 10 month old duck, Herman (50/50 chance and guess wrong for the name...woops...). Herman has been laying eggs for some time now, but about 3 weeks ago started getting super moody. E.g. she would quick and scrunch up her neck while we were out in the yard cleaning up water tubs or filling up food for the ducks etc. At any rate, it kept getting worse and a few people identified it as her become broody. We had been taking her eggs up until that point, so we've started leaving her eggs in her nest. The issue is that she won't sit on the nest. This seemed normal while she had fewer eggs, but the number of eggs has kept increasing. First she got to 10, then 12, then 13, and finally to 18 as of today. A few days ago I was overjoyed to find her sitting on her nest in the morning, but I let her have access to the yard and she only sat on the nest once more that day that I saw. It's been a few days and she's sitting on the nest less and less, however, her attitude has not improved at all. Herman was hand raised so she wants to follow us around, but getting close to us activates her scrunched up/ruffled quacking/squawking/open bill panic mode. My girlfriend finally had enough and took all the eggs away (the one who has experience raising ducks), but I'm worried it might have been too soon. Either way, she wasn't sitting on the nest. We tried fencing her in to a little nest area with her nesting box, but during the day when the other ducks get let out she would continue to quack and pace up and down, generally being really agitated and again failing to sit on the nest.

Does anyone have any advice? Let me know if I can provide more details. I'll share some photos of the ducks. The buff duck is Herman, and the little mallard is "momma duck" (or MD for short, sometimes we just call her 'Old Lady'). Momma duck has been a known nest-sharer and helped Herman sit on the nest for a day or two but Herman didn't seem to get the idea. She's just super agitated ALL the time, and doing almost any activity in the yard sets her off.

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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Being she’s a Buff she may not ever fully be committed. I have 2 Buffs just turned 4 yrs and have never gone broody. But Mallards are good broodies. As for the way your Buff is acting sure sounds broody but if she doesn’t commit then just let the hormones run their course she’ll get over it. Take the eggs up daily unless your wanting ducklings maybe your Mallard will step up. :welcome
 

Galaxyfalcon

Songster
May 25, 2020
184
305
141
Eastern WA
Would it be better to just start collecting the eggs each day in that case? I left her last couple of eggs there after my girlfriend collected the 18 eggs (so there's 2 there now) but maybe we should just take them up and wait for it to pass. How long is typical for her to be in broody mood? It's already been a couple of weeks. She's young so I'm not sure if she's just being bad at it since it's her first time.

Every time we pick anything up in the yard or get to close she scrunches up and has this offended posture:

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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
124,460
152,752
2,052
Mountains of Western N.C.
Oh they are something else when broody. Try leaving those 2 and see how she reacts. They say Pekins are broody but there have been a few that stayed the course you just never know. If you decide to take all eggs away then just let it run it’s course it’s usually a week or so before they get over it.
 

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