Free Range Ducks, nesting?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by luvs2ride1979, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. luvs2ride1979

    luvs2ride1979 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2011
    Sheridan, AR
    My Coop
    I bought 10 ducklings from Metzer Farms in August, 7 Golden Hybrids and 3 Welsh Harlequins. They're fat and healthy and enjoying their 0.7 acre pasture/yard with a small pond & stream. They stay in nicely, but they don't use the dog houses we put out for them. They should start laying eggs in the spring and I'm at a loss as to what to do for "nesting." Everything I could find online showed people who kept their ducks in a house or pen. We have a tractor for our chickens, but the ducks are just free in the pasture. We put out dog houses for them, good sized large houses we used for our goats, but they ignore them. Can anyone recommend "pasture housing?" I want to get or build something that they like now, so when they start laying eggs in the spring, I won't have to hunt all over to find them, lol.

    The ducks live with 2 horses, 3 goats, and 12 chickens.

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:Ducks dont use nexlst boxes. Mine lay wherever they feel. Thats why I lock them up at night so I can collect their eggs.
  3. luvs2ride1979

    luvs2ride1979 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2011
    Sheridan, AR
    My Coop
    Well pooh... I guess I'll have to build a little house for them and start keeping them in at night. I figured as much.
  4. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Northern Wisconsin
    Agree with duck girl, all mine are free range ducks, but they go in a night due to predators. But for nesting you will find eggs everywhere if you don't keep them in a shelter!

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    Yep they will not use nest boxes for just everyday laying like chickens do, they will lay all over the place unlees they are planning on setting and if they are free ranging, they will find a hidden place and cover up the eggs when they leave the nest. So if you want the eggs you will have to shut them up at night and ducks lay very early in the morning and they should have all laid by at least 8 am and. You can let them out then.
  6. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    My Mallards lay in a nest until I find it. Then, they have to figure a better place.... until I find it. [​IMG]
  7. luvs2ride1979

    luvs2ride1979 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2011
    Sheridan, AR
    My Coop
    Quote:Thanks, that's what I needed to know. I'll get to building them a house/pen then. Hopefully they'll start laying around March. I can't wait for some tasty duck eggs!
  8. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    I trained my 4 hens to lay in a large solid, plastic dog crate. There is a trick to it, though. ALL grass needs to be kept trimmed and low, no dips, trenches or any other spots they could lay in and be lover than their surroundings.
    Fill your dog houses completely with hay/straw, make a slight hole in it back into the middle for a nest. Cover the front, sides, anything and everything with tall grasses, bushes or hay/straw. This makes it look like a thick, safe patch of grass that can hide them and the eggs from predators. I placed eggs in there, during the day, they explored and within a few days, they all did lay in their favorite crate. I used 4 different crates, different colors and sizes all in a row with a foot of space between them, covered inside and out in hay/grass. This made it look, again, like a thick patch of tall grass.
    With no other places that are covered, low or even remotely 'safe' for them to lay, they will use the nest.
  9. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Mine lay in a covered cat litterbox. [​IMG] It is inside the chicken coop, on the floor in there.
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:Thats where my muscovies lay inside the chicken coop in a covered catlitter box. I've even found the duck an chicken sitting side by side in one.

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