duck discarding eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by oriole, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. oriole

    oriole New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jun 7, 2010
    Hi all,
    I am new to this group. I have 3 Indian Runners. For the second year in a row one of my girls is trying to hatch eggs, only this year the other duck seems to be helping. They have both been sitting on the same nest in their duck house.
    So far so good, that is until last week when the eggs were about 10 days into their incubation. I kept finding an egg every other day in the yard with a neat hole in the side. I thought my dogs were eating them and the second duck was laying in the yard until I saw the second duck walk out of the duck house with an egg in her bill. She took it about 20 feet from the house and dropped it in the grass. The neat hole in the side was made by her I guess. When I checked out the egg, there was a developing bird inside. She didn't eat it.
    I got a chance to check the nest, and where there had be about 10 eggs there are now only 4. The first duck is only comes off the nest once a day just before nightfall, the other duck that I saw bringing the egg off the nest comes out for about 20 to 30 minutes a day around their usual dinner time. They seem serious about the nest and will hiss and try and bit if you even look in the window.
    So has anyone else had experience with ducks killing their eggs like this? We don't seem to have any predators and if there were some they wouldn't get past the cat size entrance to the nesting area with the two ducks in there.
    Thanks,
    O
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I've had Indian Runners do exactly the same thing. Sadly, I didn't have an incubator at the time and they ended up destroying all the eggs.

    I'm actually giving one of my Runner hens an opportunity to brood right now. But I watch every day and as soon as I see a behavior like that, I'll pull the remaining eggs and stick them in the incubator.

    Just so you know--folks told me that the hen needed to be destroyed, that she would become an egg eater, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Once those eggs were gone, the destruction stopped.

    My current broody hen has kicked a couple eggs out of the nest, but both were rotten, so I think she knows what she's doing.

    Good luck--I hope your experience is different from mine, but it doesn't sound too good. Do you have an incubator or know someone who does? Sometimes the county extension office has them available as loaners or to rent for a low fee--might be worth getting ahold of one and taking the rest of the eggs in.
     
  3. oriole

    oriole New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jun 7, 2010
    Thanks so much for your comment!
    I have an incubator but didn't really want more ducks, it is just that the runners aren't suppose to go broody. I felt sorry for this duck last year who tried so hard to sit her eggs and just didn't have good luck (dogs, storms, etc.) so she finally gave up after 3 weeks.
    I haven't had another egg in the yard and it has been a few more days, so I guess the ducks seem to know if the chick is going to make it. They are due around the 19th so maybe I will have one or two babies out of the 4 eggs that are left. If they hatch I am hoping for a couple more females. [​IMG]
    O
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, they aren't supposed to go broody, but they do from time to time anyway--apparently they didn't get that memo!!

    This broody has been sitting for over a week now, and she is VERY broody. She actually lashes out and bites if we get too near, and she's all fluffed up. She hates when I pick her up to remove the new eggs, but she goes right back and sits on them when I'm done. She gets up for a few minutes each evening to eat, drink, and eliminate, then--back to work. Showing no signs of letting up.

    Good luck to yours. It's unusual, but it does happen that a Runner will turn out to be a good mom. This hen is in her second year, so I wonder if age has to do with it.
     
  5. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    Take the culprit duck out of the nest and leave the other to the job
    Sometimes a duck just does strange things when broody
    Removing the one kicking eggs out may save the rest though
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by