"Forcing" a broody duck?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by allergymama, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a duck that goes broody every year. She escapes the fence and lays all over. She disappears on our 10 acres and we spend DAYS looking for her, until she gets scared and abandons the eggs overnight and comes home only to leave again the next day. In other words, she WANTS to hatch some, but lacks the courage to do it.

    What I'm wondering is if I can "force" her to nest in a particular place where she will be safe at night. I am thinking putting her with eggs and straw (plus food and water) in a dog crate inside their night quarters? Has anyone tried this? Ideas on whether it will work or not? If you thinks it's possible, then tips for success?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You can't force one to go broody it has to be their idea. Only thing I can think is to reinforce your fencing so she can't get out. Does she have a private place inside their house where you could put some nice bedding and her eggs? So she'll be more inclined to lay inside where her and the eggs will be safe?
     
  3. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure that she will get out this year. We have reinforced and reinforced and reinforced and raised the fence over the last two years just for her. The little Houdini still got out. This winter we put an electric dog fence up inside the existing fence. She hasn't gotten out since we put it up. In the past we tried leaving the shed open for her and making a little closed off area for her in one corner with some fake eggs. She laid eggs there for a while until she decided to go outside the fence and start a new nest outside the protected area. (She is such a booger! She actually uses her talons and beak and climbs the fence while flapping her wings. Watched her climb an area of fence nearly 6' tall once!)

    I guess what I'm thinking is not so much forcing her to go broody (since she already is) as forcing her already broodiness into a particular nest in a particular place.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    If you can make it to her liking [and don't ask me what that is they are all a bit nutty when it comes to what they like in a nesting spot] maybe some of her eggs will entice her oh and do the others leave her alone. My Muscovy's DO not like to have anyone come close to where they are brooding. I have seen mine use their claws and wings to go over the fence too that is another reason I clipped both wings this past fall they can't use their wings to help themselves.
     
  5. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I clipped one wing and then two when that didn't work last year. She still escaped. She is a booger extraordinaire! I think we will try it. I can kind of wall her off so no one else can bother her and put a few of her eggs in to get her started (We may need to supplement with a friend's eggs because both our boys got attacked by a mink and are a little worse for the wear...I think mating won't be on their mind for a while [​IMG]. This is why we need to seriously add to the flock this year after the mink attack we lost quite a few and my kids are dependent on duck eggs as a safe protein source with their food allergies.)
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Aww your poor boys. I hope they fully recover. She won't care whose eggs she has once she is full broody.
     
  7. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Can't hurt to try it, it sounds like. Once she starts trying to build a nest again I will get her set up and see how it goes.

    My guess is the ducks would all be dead without the boys and geese. All ducks had bite marks, geese had bloody beaks which we figured out meant they were attacking the mink. Both boys are pretty messed up, one will probably be mostly ok. The other one is just not right. I've heard that mink teeth can pierce their skulls so I am thinking maybe brain damage, because of the way he's acting (head sunk down, never head up, meanders around aimlessly, seems confused when we put them in at night like we have for the whole 3 years of his life, etc)
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How long ago did this happen? Maybe with more time they will recover completely but at least you haven't given up on them yet. Sounds really bad, I know we have mink and all other manner of pred here but thankfully I have never seen one and all my flock is locked up tight at night. Never even picked one up on the game camera, Foxes patrol the outside perimeter quite often at night though.Sounds like you had more than one mink attack with that many injured.

    I hope your one drake will recover, are you giving him supportive vitamins etc?
     
  9. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It happened about 10 days ago. I thought they were locked up tight, but this has been the weirdest winter ever here, extreme lows and the next day highest highs (seriously, we went from 69 one day to 11 the next) and I didn't realize that had heaved the door up enough to make a gap under it.

    From everyone around here that I've talked to mink will come in and bite/kill every chicken and then go back and drink blood/chew on them.

    We've got a plethora of killers here: coyotes, mink, weasel, raccoon, owls, wild or loose dogs/cats, hawks, eagles and supposedly (although we've never seen them wolves and a bobcat).

    Everyone is on a electrolytes/probiotic/vitamin supplement in the water right now. Figured it would help everyone heal and de-stress.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I am so sorry to hear that.I have heard the same about mink.

    The weather has been crazy all over the country.

    I am surprised you even have a duck contemplating brooding with that attack so fresh.
     

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