Duck is sitting!!

quirkybeeper

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 24, 2011
104
5
81
Guilford County, NC
Ok, apparently someone forgot to tell my darling Pekin that domesticated ducks generally don't go broody (at least from what I read). I went out there earlier to check, and saw that she was sitting on her nest (ok, ok, yes, I'm horrible about collecting eggs every day).

I don't have a problem with it, I wouldn't mind if she hatches out some ducklings, I just don't know how to care for her. I know I saw something somewhere a while back on how to care for a broody duck...putting food close so she doesn't have to get off the nest as much, etc. I'm just wondering if there's something different I need to do to care for her. Also, today is the first time I've really seen her on the nest, is now when I start counting to estimate when they would hatch?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
 

country_girl011

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,789
15
163
ohio
Ok, apparently someone forgot to tell my darling Pekin that domesticated ducks generally don't go broody (at least from what I read). I went out there earlier to check, and saw that she was sitting on her nest (ok, ok, yes, I'm horrible about collecting eggs every day).
I don't have a problem with it, I wouldn't mind if she hatches out some ducklings, I just don't know how to care for her. I know I saw something somewhere a while back on how to care for a broody duck...putting food close so she doesn't have to get off the nest as much, etc. I'm just wondering if there's something different I need to do to care for her. Also, today is the first time I've really seen her on the nest, is now when I start counting to estimate when they would hatch?
Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
actually some breeds are great broodys
like muscovys
 

EmAbTo48

Songster
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
623
6
121
Northern Wisconsin
So I personally leave my broodys totally alone.. if she needs a drink of water/food she will get off the nest and do so she knows what shes doing. I have my first rouen on eggs that she snuck and hid under a bunch of hay GRRR!! I don't usually allow mine to brood since they will be mixed babies not a pure breed. Anywho, I have no idea how long she had been on them so today, I decided to check and see whats going on. I am a terrible person but its the only way I can see whats going on honestly the water test has failed me to many times and the lighting I NEVER can see very well into a duck egg compared to a chickens so i crack a few open to find out...

Well i cracked the first open (I only ever take 2) first one bad, never was fertilized it looked like. Second egg :( was a small baby duck forming... I always feel terrible but I now know she is not just sitting on a bomb shell waitng to happen LOL! The duckling had a beak eyes and all but no feather body so she still I'd say has 2-3 weeks of sitting unless of course she is broodying different laid eggs so some are behind..... Shes doing great though I don't see her leave the nest anymore at all.. I am however worried she is accumlating more eggs from the freaking other ducks as I am not finding any each day like I should its just a pain in the butt.... SO I won't be allowing this to happen again as I see some hatching and she leaving the rest that will die then as we do not have an incubator sad sad!
 

DuckLover3

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
149
2
91
Marlborough, CT
My duck was sitting the other day, and I'm hoping that she'll get broody, so I have basically the same questions as Quirkybeeper. Oh, and is there anyway that I can encourage my duck to sit? Because she was sitting on Thursday, but hasn't sat since. I've been leaving the eggs in her nest hoping she would sit, and someone said that there duck started really sitting after she had 8 eggs, but my duck isn't sitting at all that I know of, and she has two eggs in the nest...I'm worried that the eggs might rot if she's not sitting on them....Is this normal? Also, if I put my other female duck's eggs under her, would she start sitting sooner? Or is it better if I don't put the other's in? Oh, and I read that it's best if the duck makes her nest in the dirt so that the eggs have plenty of moisture, but she has her nest in the house, should I take the eggs out of this one and put a nesting box out in the yard? If I did, I think I read somewhere that the nesting box should have wire mesh on the bottom, wood on the sides and the top, and a gate with plenty of ventilation on the front....Anything you would add? Oh yeah, sorry about so many questions, but I also heard that a bucket with dirt in it to flatten it out was a good nesting box if you have a gate on the front, do you think that would work?

Thank you so much for all of your advise!!!
 

larkflying

Songster
8 Years
Any nest that you can get the duck to be broody in works -- if she already has a spot, you might be stuck with that spot. You can try putting a bunch of eggs in whatever you want the duck to brood in, and she might decide that that works out -- I put some in a cat carrier though, and the duck promptly rolled all the eggs out of the carrier and made a new nest right in front of it, so I gave up trying to move mine. One has a nice nest in the tall grass under an apple tree, and the other has a mixed straw/grass/woodchip nest on dirt under a moveable chicken house.

Leaving the eggs once they start laying them in the same spot is a good way to encourage them to sit. My ducks wait till they have a lot of eggs - at least 10 - 15! The eggs can keep for a while outside if the weather is not to cold or warm. Once they stay on the nest during the day they are broody . . . and that is when I would start counting from -- but give them a few days either way in case you didn't see something.

I leave the duck alone -- they do pretty good remembering to get off the nest once a day or so -- and they are funny to watch, rushing around quacking and all ruffled up. It is obvious they are on a time limit! It is good for them to get off and get exercise, plus they need to get wet so the eggs get dampened when they brood them. Very important for waterfowl eggs.

Good luck -- I have two ducks that are broody, and another one that is hiding her eggs, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for at least some ducklings in a week or so . . . don't think I have the nerve to open any eggs though . . . so I'm just going by the calendar.
 

Quackers08

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
195
0
81
Cornwall, England
Just thought i'd add a few more questions


When ducks go broody will they lay every day? Is it sommon for them to lay roughly 6 out of the 7 days in a week because thats what mine are averaging out too. Thanks!
 

gnmrk2000

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 19, 2011
47
0
87
North West New Jersey
quirkybeeper, your post describes my situation EXACTLY! I know (or have read) about a lot of ducks who sit on their eggs, but my Pekin must have been out to lunch with your Pekin when they sent that memo! I have always collected the eggs from my 4 pekins, but sadly, over the course of 2 weeks, 3 of my four babies were kidnapped! That left me with one female Pekin. The next thing I know, she has taken all of the straw in her "dog" house, and made the most beautiful nest (I think she thinks she is Big Bird) I am amazed at how perfectly formed it is. She began sitting at that point and I was sure she was just depressed as this is the first time she has ever been alone! Needless to say, I think she has close to 20 eggs under her and now only gets off the nest long enough to bathe and eat. I used to let them all free range during the day, but after losing 3 of them, I don't let her out of her pen unless she is supervised. At this point, even if I open her cage door, she does not come out so I am assuming this is the real deal!! I am convinced that the woman I got these four ducks from knows what she is doing and takes breeding seriously because the two females were great layers from the beginning and have always been super healthy.

I am hoping to get at least a few babies out of this and perhaps they will be of the same healthy line. My question is, does a broody duck continue to lay eggs as she sits? Obviously, anything that she laid in the last 2 weeks will not be fertile but is it safe to assume that the hatching could take place over the course of several days depending on when they were laid? I think incubation is 28 days which brings us to June 2. I am so excited to see what comes of this, and would like to know if I need to separate any babies from any unhatched eggs, or should I just let nature take its course and hope for the best?
 

larkflying

Songster
8 Years
Once a broody hen / duck / goose starts sitting on the nest full time, she stops laying eggs. The duck lays fertilized eggs for a week or so after breeding . . . so some of the eggs that she laid after the drake went missing may very well be fertilized. Hatching does usually take a couple days but the eggs should all be on the same schedule since there are no other ducks to sneak eggs in there. They don't start developing until the duck goes broody full time.

Good luck on the ducklings!
 

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