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Cautiously optimistic - or worried!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DayKay, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. DayKay

    DayKay In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2009
    I'm not sure which to be - cautiously optimistic or worried!

    Is my missing hen setting on a bunch of eggs, or has she become dinner for a predator???

    When the ducks (6 mallards - 2 drakes, 4 hens) first moved to the pond, 1 injured hen disappeared about a week later; not unexpected, but still sad. The other 5 thrived! Loved the water, learned to fly (staying low and at the pond). They started laying 10 days ago; 1 egg the first day I found one, 2 the next, 3 the third day, all just on the bank of the pond in the open. The fourth day revealed an egg in an attempt at a nest, and two broken, eaten shells on the shore. The next day revealed another egg in the nest, but that was all I found. (I picked up the first several days worth and brought them in to eat....yummy!!) Since then, I have found only 2 more shells, and no more intact eggs, the 2 in the nest seemed to have been abandoned and were breached by fire ants. So if all three were laying daily, there are about 21 unaccounted for eggs.

    So, this morning, I went to feed the ducks and check for eggs before the turtles could, and there were only 4 ducks - a missing hen.

    So what are the odds that they have been laying all the eggs for the past week in a very well hidden (believe me, I've LOOKED!!) nest, and she's off setting???

    Any previous experiences like this? If she's hiding, any ideas on how far she might have gone from the pond to nest and lay? Would one hen set on all the eggs? Will they take turns? How well do they hide themselves and their nests?


    (proud first-time grandma to be, second time mom-in-law to be, and owner of 9 chickens, 5 ducks, 2 yellow labs)

  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    It is highly possible she is off setting somewhere. How far? Who knows AND they are very hard to find. If you haven't seen any sign of a predator attack (feathers), hopefully that is not the case. If she does show up, keep an eye on her and follow her when she heads back, then you can find the nest and move it or at least be able to keep a watch out for her. Good luck, I hope she turns up.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011

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