Duck Behavior Questions, Egg eating, pecking, and more!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CritterHill, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. CritterHill

    CritterHill Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    SE PA
    My daughter's preschool class raised 6 ducklings last year and are now keeping them in a pond on school grounds.

    I'm not sure what breed they are. All I know is that they are big and white.

    I was chatting with a couple of the teachers today and they had concerns about some behaviors the ducks were exhibiting and I promised to ask you folks and see if you could tell me if any of this behavior was normal/abnormal and if there was anything they should be doing to stop any of it.

    1) Laying eggs in the pond. The ducks recently started laying and most of their eggs seem to end up in the water.

    2) The male seems to enjoy pecking open and eating the eggs that end up on the bank.

    3) The male pecks at the females on the back of the head and has pecked a bleeding sore into the back of one lady's head.

    4) There is one egg that for some reason hasn't been eaten or rolled into the pond. It has been on the bank for a few days. Wondering if it is still viable? I am assuming ducks can go broody like chickens? (None of these ducks are showing any signs of that)

    These ducks have a fenced in area with a large pond and what looks like a doghouse on the bank for shelter. I see the maintenance guy feeding them pellets of some sort - I assume some sort of duck food, but I never checked.

    Thanks for any input you folks have.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State

    Quote:Normal. My ducks tend to drop the egg wherever they happen to be standing when the urge strikes them. I have only one hen who physically makes a nest and lays in the same spot.

    Quote:Not good if you want more ducks. He may be undernourished. The only way to discourage it, though, is to pick up the eggs daily. You can place ceramic eggs in their place if you want a specific nesting location.

    Quote:Normal. They will stop breeding very shortly and she'll have time to recover. Try to keep the males down to 1 male per 2 females if you can. That keeps them from being over-bred multiple times daily.

    If the sore is bad, you have to separate her until it cures. I'd suggest any over the counter antiseptic. Waterfowl are increidly resistant to infection.

    Quote:Ducks may not go broody and in the first year of age it's pretty uncommon for them to do it seriously. The egg is probably viable if the temperature hasn't gotten above 70 or below 40.
  3. CritterHill

    CritterHill Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    SE PA
    Thank you for the information! I appreciate it.

    Oh and I meant to add, there are 5 females and one male, so it looks like they are good on the ratio. Thanks again.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008

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