Duck began hiding eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Homesteader2, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Homesteader2

    Homesteader2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2015
    Hardy, Arkansas
    One of my Muscovy ducks is laying. At first, she laid an egg near the post that has the lights for the pond. Just there naked in the grass. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. I picked it up and carried it into the house. The next day, there was another egg there. Ooohhh yay! I picked it up and carried it into the house. Now, these eggs weren't in any kind of nest at all. Almost, like she just dropped it off on her way to the pond from the duck house. Plop, and she left it lay. The next day there was no egg near the post. I scanned the pond perimeter and there in the grass, another naked egg. I picked it up and carried it into the house. Since that day, four days ago, I have not found another egg. I believe she is now hiding them. If this is the case, will she brood them when she has layed enough? Or is she just hiding them because they kept disappearing? She is not laying in the duck house where they go at night. She flies off somewhere in the morning and rejoins everyone about a half hour later.

    What do you think? Will she make little ducklings? They are most definitely fertile. The drakes have been busy for weeks.

    I have 2 drakes and 4 ducks. I had 6 drakes but in January 4 went to freezer camp.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would be concerned for her safety. It is pretty common for ducks who can roam a bit to build a hidden nest and then disappear to brood.

    But they are literally sitting ducks. You could lose all of them if you cannot find the nest and either predator-proof it or move it.

    Moving sometimes works, sometimes discourages them from sitting.
     
  3. Vosh Sahaal

    Vosh Sahaal Out Of The Brooder

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    Another option is to restrict he movement during the time you believe she is laying. Most lay at about the same time each day. Wherever you keep he pinned up make a rough nest and put 3-4 fake eggs in it. This will encourage her to use this as a nest when she justcan't wait any longer to lay.
     
  4. Homesteader2

    Homesteader2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2015
    Hardy, Arkansas
    I have the three eggs I found earlier this week. Can I take them out and put them in the nest I build for her? I don't have any fake eggs. She isn't going to like being penned up. Maybe I just keep them all in the pen for a few hours longer in the morning and see if she'll lay once I put her eggs in a rough nest I build.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Vosh Sahaal

    Vosh Sahaal Out Of The Brooder

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    That's should work as well. And you only need to keep her penned up long enough to lay in the nest you give her. It'll also help once she goes broody and doesn't want to leave the nest.
     
  6. Homesteader2

    Homesteader2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2015
    Hardy, Arkansas
    Yesterday, she went missing. She did not return at all. The other ducks just carried on as if she weren't gone. I found a nest and three more eggs, and one cracked egg. I put all the eggs except the cracked one in the nest and left them penned up. The other ducks wouldn't sit on the nest. Last night we had a bad storm. I hope my missing duck is ok, I am so worried about her.
     
  7. Vosh Sahaal

    Vosh Sahaal Out Of The Brooder

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    Hopefully she turns up. Do you clip your ducks?
     
  8. Homesteader2

    Homesteader2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2015
    Hardy, Arkansas
    Last night we had a lot of predator action. I was outside twice to check everything. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a lonely little Muscovy dabbling on the edge of the pond! I called out to her and she cautiously came forward to the pen. Once inside a ruckus ensued with the two males with a clear winner already decided. Once they were all securely in their house, I locked them in for the night.

    She waddled stiffly and looked to be a little off balance. She has a very thick breast and looked somehow 'bigger' since leaving. Now that she has returned, I am so happy.

    I do not clip their wings because I want them to be able to fly away from predators. We have A LOT of neighbors who allow their dogs to run since we are in the country. DOH! I hate it and we have already fenced three sides of the property around the pastures where everyone plays. Its about eight acres. There are another eight acres of woods on the edge of the pastures. The fence separating the pasture from the woods isn't installed yet. Cha-ching! Costs a lot and after shelling out for the three sides and a paddock next to the barn for the lambs, its getting tight. It might be a few months before we can do the last side.

    I have applied for a grant and hopefully will be selected to receive help with watering and cross fencing which will reduce my cost by half. Then we may proceed. I'll know more in a couple of weeks. If we're not selected, the fence will have to wait a couple of months at the most.

    My ducks travel around free range during the day and go into their house at night which is predator proof. I read that if I keep them happy and satisfied, they'll stay home. I feed them well, keep water in the pen and a nice big pond with fish and frogs, they have trees and plenty of bugs to eat and aren't harassed by any of our animals. And they have safety at night in their house which is very roomy, with two perches and two large nesting boxes. I hope they're happy and will stay home.

    The only thing I can think of that may have stressed her out is the two males are constantly vying for breeding rights. They are actively breeding for the first time. I've had them for six months and raised them from little fuzzy ducklings. I need to keep both males because I read that the competition is good for them. I would like more females but I bought ten ducks and six ended up drakes. I was hoping that these females would sit their eggs this spring and we'd have some more female additions to the clan.

    I took all the eggs out because now, I think, I may have mixed them from different ducks. Hopefully, they'll start over and forgive my newbie mistake.

    Thank you for all your help and encouragement. Its nice to have a place to turn to when things are worrying me or when I have good news to share that only other fowl minded people would understand my joy.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Glad you found her!

    The recommended ratio of males to females is one to three or more. Drakes have been known to gang up on one female and kill her. You need to protect your females. Their lives depend on your protection. Overbred females won't lay as much and can have serious internal injuries. I do not see how fighting can be helpful.
     
  10. Vosh Sahaal

    Vosh Sahaal Out Of The Brooder

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    A handy trick I found for getting neighbor dogs locked up is to print out a dozen or so case records were there was a civil or legal dispute of a loose dog being shot and killed for threatening and or harming livestock or poultry where the herd/flock owner won. A copy of JAG office services. Several copies of my range targets. Finally a picture of my flock. Most people will invest in a fence (physical or electric) when they realise you could double lung their dog and they be on the receiving end of criminal charges and owing you 25000 USD.
     
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