poultry guy

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
Hi everyone i have 6 mallard ducklings and want to know thes things:
1.can mallard ducks lay without a mate?
2.if mallard ducks mate is it for life?
3.when mallard ducks lay fertilized eggs when will i expect babies?
4.can i keep more than one male together? often do i change an adult duck's bedding?
Thanks thats about it.
1. Yes, but they won't be fertile. Only females lay eggs.
2. A male will go from female to female, and so on. That's why the ideal flock is a 1:4 male to female ratio, so there is no over mating.
3. You have to at least have one male, and one female for fertile eggs. I'm not experienced with Mallards, but most ducklings hatch around 30 days or so.
4. As long as you have a LOT of females, so they won't get jealous over one.
5. It depends on what you are using. I use stall mats, so all I have to do is rinse it off, but using anything else it should be changed daily.
for #3 you're only going to get babies from fertile eggs if the eggs are incubated. Mothering dedication varies from bird to bird so its not a sure thing.

I'd like to add a little variation on 5 - adult duck bedding.

It really depends on their environment. My ten runners have about 60 sf of shelter for overnight. Their outdoor shelter (spring, summer, fall) has about a foot and a half of pine shavings. Daily I stir it with a one inch diameter staff (a rake handle works, too), to fluff it up. On top of that I have a couple of inches of dry straw, which I push out of the way before stirring the shavings. The straw gets changed out a couple of times a week. The shavings can stay in there for months.

There is no food or water in their outdoor shelter - so it doesn't get wet and gummy and nasty. Also, eggs laid in this duck house are quite clean because the bedding is clean.

Wintertime, they are in the walkout basement. Daily I pull damp straw out from around their watering station (I have a splash catcher but when they leave the waterer for their food, they dribble). I replace that. The rest of the straw can go several days, sometimes a few weeks, depending on the weather (how long they have to stay in during nasty storms, wet days, etc.). In areas that tend to get damp, I put compressed sawdust pellets down before putting the straw on top - that absorbs moisture quite well.

One benefit of this system is that the used straw, enriched with duck fertilizer, gets moved onto garden beds.

Take good care of those ducks!

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