Broody duck


Aug 21, 2019
i have a Cayuga who is about a year she mated w our Pekin. She has hatched 7 eggs 3 of which were black and white and 4 completely white so far she had 7 eggs left when we went to check on her today she had 3 more eggs in the nest. I do have another Pekin female who has laid eggs before and had them stolen by a predator. Could she be laying these eggs near the nest and the the Cayuga is taking them and sitting on them for her??? We are very confused. Especially because we have 4 all white ducklings and she is all black.
These ducklings are also hatching sporadically 3 hatched 2 weeks ago 3 hatched 5 days ago and one more 1 day ago.
This is all new to me. Is this all possible?
Is she hoarding the other ducks eggs?
Other ducks are adding eggs to the nest. You should either separate out a setting hen or mark eggs, and remove extras so all eggs hatch at the same time.
We had her totally separate from the others and then all of a sudden the other duck snuck in there but didn’t think she laid any eggs I guess it’s possible she buried them under the hay.
She’s very protective of the nest.
Why would another duck add to the nest?
We will take your advice and mark the eggs. She can’t possibly sit on eggs for months on end she’s been on this nest since the end of June beginning of July
Poultry like to lay where others are laying. It says that another bird found it safe, so it must be. Plus if you can get someone else to raise your offspring you will increase your chances of some surviving, and thus your genes survive.

Does she leave to tend the ducklings? Or are you removing them as they hatch?
We are removing them as they hatch only because the very first duckling drowned and we didn’t know why so we didn’t want to take any chances it may have been her.
At what point should we say enough is enough?
Any time she is allowed to leave the barn the male duck is right on her. We only have one male duck and grabs her any chance she can. I always figured it was a seasonal thing but these ducks have been laying eggs since April and sitting on them. Once as I mentioned all were taken by a predator. But this poor girl has been on eggs for just about 2 months
You can pull all the eggs at any point. Any developing will die unfortunately.

I would candle the remaining eggs and at least discard those that are newer. Any that are clear, or are only showing blood vessels. She will eventually abandon the nest when her body reserves are depleted.

I personally keep muscovy now. The mallard based drakes that I had years ago were always harassing and breeding the hens to the point of damage to the hens. Muscovy drakes aren't as vigorous. You could remove the drake to a separate pen to give the hens a break from his attention.
Thank you so much. You have shed a lot of light on several mysteries. I have been trying to look this stuff up for weeks and only got bits and pieces.
Looks like our resident stud will have to take a break from the ladies for a bit.

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