Broody Welsh Harlequins ?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by larkflying, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    I have two geese sitting on eggs, a third goose building a nest and laying MORE eggs, 1 enormous grumpy broody Black Giant hen sitting on about 30 eggs in the chicken house, and a nutty silkie that just hatched out two chicks . . . and yet my Welsh Harlequins ducks show no sign of broodiness . . . Sigh. Should I keep an eye out for some Muscovy hens, or just put eggs under my broody chickens the next time they decide to be broody? I felt bad inflicting messy little ducklings on a hen, especially the tiny silkie, but I suppose I could take them away and put them in a brooder instead of letting her raise them.

    One of the reasons that I got Welsh Harlequins was so they could raise their own replacements, (and since I found out they are such great egg layers, I'd love a lot more) but I'd forgot that with chickens the higher the egg count, often means the broody instinct has been bred out of them?

    Maybe the ducks are just late bloomers. One would think that all of the nests of eggs and grumpy female poultry would have given them a heads up though . . .
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Many times people with broody chickens put the duck eggs under them. I don't know if the longer incubation time (28 days or so, if I recall correctly) would be a problem, but as I wrote, it doesn't seem to be unusual for a chicken to hatch ducklings.

    And I would bring them into a brooder after the hatch. But maybe some folks let the chickens raise the ducklings. Hmmmm.
     
  3. sanctus7

    sanctus7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello fellow welshy lovers:)
    I have a female sitting on duck eggs and chicken eggs. I usually let the eggs add up and take them into the house but this momma is now sitting on the eggs. Could someone tell me if this is normal? I was under the impression that this breed had the "broodiness" bred out of them?
    I have had these four for less than a year and I find the breed adorable :D
     
  4. I think it is just less likely with the egg laying breeds -- sure wish mine would do that! She wants to hatch the eggs out herself -- I'd probably take the chicken eggs away from her though . . .
     
  5. sanctus7

    sanctus7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good idea.
    I took out the chicken eggs and replaced with three buff dewlap toulose eggs [​IMG]
     
  6. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This breed is a broody breed. The egg production should have nothing to do with it. With chickens it does. Not with ducks though... It really depends on the duck though... I think i have 2 of my 3 WH hens building nests somewhere... Sometimes I forget to put them back, but when i do, they always lay at the gate... I'm guessing that my other 2 hens are making nests somewhere.
     
  7. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine went broody in May and hatched out five chicks. Did yours ever decide to go broody? I thought it was a bit late in the season, especially given the heat, but the runner duck went broody a week later so maybe it is normal for them. I was so excited, though, because I'm hoping she can hatch out her own ducklings when my drakes are old enough to do what they do!
     
  8. Four of my WH ducks did decide to sit in May! I guess they were just late bloomers too -- or our weather confused them.

    One duck gave up on her nest -- think the eggs got too wet and went bad.

    The second surprised me with two ducklings yesterday! I was so thrilled. After the other duck lost her nest I wasn't having high hopes of the last three. The duck with the ducklings is still sitting on the nest, but none of the other eggs show signs of hatching, so tomorrow I'll have to decide whether to split up the eggs to the other broodies, or just toss them. Maybe I'll experiment with candling them . . .

    I think the third duck has about a week left, and the last about 2 weeks, but I have a suspicion that she'll lose her nest, as it is another one under a tree.

    So, counting the one duckling that my broody silkie hatched out, I so far have 3 ducklings -- 3 females, if the bill color is correct. Even if I had no other ducklings hatch I'd be happy with that! My main goal was to have enough females to keep the two immature drakes from Holderreads that I found locally, instead of having to cut down to one drake. Not counting the newest two ducklings, I'll have a ratio of 2 drakes to 8 hens, which is doable. Plus I'm also happy knowing that the broody instinct is alive and well in my ducks, although I have missed all those eggs to eat. Next year I'll try to come up with better nesting / brooding areas, and keep track of the eggs better, so that they have more of a chance to succeed.

    I do have a couple more duck eggs under a silkie. I rehomed my adult drake a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping to keep my crazy broody bantams from going broody till my immature drakes grow up enough to become interested in the opposite sex . . .
     
  9. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's cool! Good luck with your plans! Here's my mama with her chicks.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Oh, she's so cute! Wish we had the sunshine!
     

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