Help! I have a duck nest under a bush in my garden

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Yooperduckmom, May 14, 2013.

  1. sherrik9

    sherrik9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Lake Tapps, WA
    I don't know much about wild ducks but have experience with other wildlife. I would suggest not feeding at all. You really don't want Mom or bfabies becoming dependent on free food.
     
  2. Yooperduckmom

    Yooperduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2013
    Update on my wild duck family. According to what I've read, the eggs would be due to hatch within this week. Just 2 hours ago, before I went to work, mom was laying on the nest. When I got home, mother duck and eggs were gone - no signs of struggle and left the apartment spotless.....Is it possible that she could have transported the eggs to a safer habitat for hatching? Will mother ducks do that? Was the dad making a nest somewhere else? I'm sad but also relieved. I learned alot during this, but also to never doubt Mother Nature!
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    I thought you had put fencing around your flower garden. I don't think there is any way she could move her eggs something happened though. Could someone have removed them?
     
  4. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Is it possible you miscounted the days? I'm thinking they hatched and mama took the babies away, except I know duck eggs don't hatch that fast. Did you see the eggs under her when you checked, or you just saw her sitting? Maybe they were already hatched.

    I know that killdeer eggs hatch very fast and the family can be gone in an instant.
     
  5. Yooperduckmom

    Yooperduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2013
    Thanks for your replies...This is still a mystery to me. I started counting the days from when mom was laying on the nest continually. I figured they should be hatching 25-28 days after that. Heard that it takes 1-2 days for the ducklings to be able to walk. I've only seen her off the nest 2 times since then. Once it was at night when I shined a flashlight on the nest and she was gone - there were no eggs apparent to me, but I figured she probably covered them with the down and leaves that made up the nest, to camouflage the eggs. The other time, about a week ago was at 6am and it was daylight. At this time I had the poultry fence around the garden enclosing it completely. She was pecking at the bottom of the fence and couldn't get back in. It was then that I thought maybe I'm doing more harm than good, by erecting a fence in the first place, so I peeled back a little 2 foot section for her to get in and out of if need be. She actually went back in thru that "gate" right then. I have to say that I can't remember if I noticed eggs in the nest at that time or not.
    When I looked more closely at the nest today, I noticed what appeared to be an egg membrane that looked a little old and dried out.
    Will a mother duck lay on a nest 24/7 if there are no eggs in it?
    There was never any sight or sound of ducklings.
    If they would have been attacked by something, you would think the nest would be a shamble and there would be egg shells around.
    I would be so much more relieved if I knew they were ok.
    Any other insights are appreciated.
     
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    San Diego
    I think they hatched and she hid them from you until you left, then took them away. :) Check your nearest body of water. Ducks sometimes travel along the ground for long distances with their babies. I remember this one duck used to take her ducklings across a freeway offramp every year on her way to a river bed that was miles away.

    And, yes, usually if the mama or nest gets attacked, the nest is often left in shambles.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  7. Yooperduckmom

    Yooperduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply. How would she have been hiding them? By laying on them? If they hatched, wouldn't they be making quacking sounds? The nearest body of water is a pond at the cemetery about 7 blocks away. She was on the nest every time I looked in there prob about 6 times a day. I have a pretty active neighborhood and someone would have noticed her walking down the street with ducklings following, especially since I've had all this going on in my front yard for 3+ weeks. I'm worried that a human could have taken them. Someone told me to call the City to see if they removed them.
     
  8. Yooperduckmom

    Yooperduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2013
    I did stop by the cemetery pond tonight and saw a mother duck with 3 babies swimming on the pond. You could be right, but there were 11 eggs and no shells left behind. I guess there will be no way for me to know. I just wish I would have been home during that 2 hours where "something" happened...
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    That's the only thing that throws me off the missing egg shells, I know the mamas will eat some but 11 I don't know, but Desert Darlene is expert on wild ducks she would probably know if mama would clean up like that. And possibility you did see the mama and what ducklings made it to the pond. I know it's hard not knowing.
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    San Diego
    I know the duck nests I've observed are nearly completely clean when the mother leaves, save for some feathers. Some mothers even clean most of the feathers out. At least this is what I've observed with mallards. Some mother ducks may even clear out the unhatched eggs. Also, many ducklings don't make it their first day or two.

    Do you have a photo of the mama duck? If you do, you can compare it to the mother duck in the pond. Most mother ducks have a distinct bill pattern and sometimes a distinct head pattern.
     

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