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Do laying ducks need nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JStark, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. JStark

    JStark In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2009
    I've heard conflicting statements about this, so I wanted to hear it from y'all.

    If I build them, will they use them? Additional nest boxes complicates my duck ark design somewhat, but if they will use them, and it will be easier/happier for them, then I'll build them in.


  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If you can get them to use them you'll be a lot happier and the eggs will be a lot cleaner.
  3. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Crowing

    Apr 9, 2007
    They may or may not use them.
    I never had a duck use one I made, but they would make their own with straw and dirt.
  4. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    We just built a new coop and they are actually using the nest boxes. They never used any nest boxes before, they made their nests with straw and dirt. Wow the eggs are so clean! Nothing was done special for them to want to do this either.I guess they felt comfortable.
  5. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    I only have one duck laying right now and she's pretty regular about laying her eggs in her "nest box". It's a covered cat litter tray with shavings inside. For a couple of weeks before she started laying she'd go into the box, as if trying it on for size [​IMG]. Occasionally one of the chickens will also use Quacker's cat litter box for a nest as well.

    Very soon I'll be separating the ducks and moving them to their own new pen. It'll be interesting to see if Quacker's continues to lay in her nest box once they make the move.
  6. JStark

    JStark In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2009
    Thanks, folks! I'll post another question for people about nest boxes in a second, but you all have convinced me to put them in.
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Keep in mind that they like covered, private, quiet places. If you can provide that in the coop they are more likely to use them. Another trick that helps is not letting them out of the coop first thing in the morning since that is when they are most likely to lay. The nest box might not be their first choice but if you gotta go, you gotta go. ~gd

  8. CityChicker

    CityChicker Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    I would say make the boxes and at least try to get them to use them. There will always be some that will lay in the coop, under the coop, in the water, in the food, in mid air if they can fly, etc..... Welcome to duck breeding! LOL

    Seriously, my new birds I am going to try my best to train them to use nests like maybe try using fake eggs or something. I haven't tried that before, but it is worth a shot I think. [​IMG]
  9. Bantymama

    Bantymama Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    I put nest boxes in for my calls and one used one and the other did not. I put them in a corner on the floor and put a piece of plywood up so the nest was hidden. The eggs developed but did not hatch.

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