Help! New female Duck Owner, found 3 eggs today and I have questions.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newduckowner, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. newduckowner

    newduckowner New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Oct 21, 2011
    Well I have had 1 male pekin and 1 male muscovy for over 1 year now. This past Saturday a female pekin appeared in our pond? (possible flew or someone abandoned her?)
    She has been with us for a week and I came home from work today and discovered 2 eggs in the pond about 1 foot out and 1 egg in the grass. The eggs were not there Wednesday night so she had to lay them yesterday or sometime today. Iam new when it comes to duck eggs and have a few questions:
    1. How long do you have to collect the eggs?
    2. If I find eggs in water, are they still OK?
    3. How do I know if the duck eggs are fertile? only had female 1 week with male.
    4. Is there a certain time of year the duck eggs will have a higher chance of being fertile?
    5. If I crack open a egg, how will I know the difference between a fertile egg and nonfertile egg?
    6. Is it ok to eat a fertile egg?
    7. How long will the duck eggs store in the refrigerator?
    8. How can I make her lay in a certain spot?
    9. Is there a certain time of day ducks lay eggs?
    10. Will the ducks eggs freeze in winter?
    I would appreciate any help! Thank you in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,025
    2,029
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I'm not sure of all the answers, but hello and welcome!

    My ducks don't lay in water - they don't have a pond, just a kiddie pool (or two or three).

    Mine are runners, and they lay eggs somewhere between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. with a few exceptions.

    I also have no drakes, so I can only tell you what I've read. For telling fertile eggs, I think you need to incubate them for several days then candle them to look for veins. After a week, you may have some fertile eggs.

    An agricultural health department staffer told me that water conducts bacteria through the shell into the egg. That's why he told me not to wash my ducks' eggs with water, just to wipe them off if needed with a dry towel or scrubbie.

    My ducks' eggs keep for several weeks. I crack them into a clear dish to check for pieces of egg shell, odd colors or odors, just to be safe. And every now and then, especially on startup (after molting, for example), there can be little gray or pale brown blobs of material in the egg. If take those off before cooking. I don't think they're bad for me, it just doesn't look very appetizing to me.

    I gather eggs every day, that way I'm sure.

    I've been told if eggs float in water, don't eat them.

    I think seasonal fertility will depend on the breed. With domestic ducks I don't think season matters so much.

    Try making a nice pile of clean straw in a 1 foot diameter box (I used a cheese box), or make a little cubby in a corner. I put wooden eggs in the box. I also put wooden eggs in the nests the runners make.

    If it's cold enough, the eggs will freeze if she's not sitting on them. It would need to be below freezing.
     
  3. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Chillin' With My Peeps

    425
    6
    91
    Jul 7, 2011
    Washington
    1. In cool weather I will collect eggs that are several days old (if reasonably clean). In hot weather, I want today's eggs. My dogs love the raw eggs and they are very good for them.

    2. I would discard eggs laid in water. They are likely dirty inside and not at all likely to hatch or to be suitable for eating.

    3. A week should be long enough for fertile eggs. You can tell if an egg is fertile by breaking it open (obviously you won't be hatching that one, but it can be one you'll eat) and looking at the yolk. A fertile egg will have a small white bullseye on the yolk. An infertile egg will have an irregular white spot. I use this website to help me know:

    http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/Avian/pfs32.htm

    4. Ducks eggs are much more likely to be fertile in the spring, they will lay more, the drakes will be more fertile. Also it's a lot easier to raise ducklings in warm weather, they are messy and you'll want them outside pretty quick!

    5. See # 3

    6. Yes, its fine to eat a fertile egg, unless its been incubated for a while you won't know the difference.

    7. Duck eggs will last for months in the fridge. I usually open eggs into a bowl to check them before I use them though. Even fresh duck and chicken eggs can have unpleasant surprises in them - bits of grayish flesh or blood spots, or you might have one that sat out too long before you found it and not have a good texture, or an off odor. If you float an egg in a bowl of water before you open it, the older eggs will tend to float, because the air cell gets bigger as they dry out a bit. They are often still ok, but not as fresh. Sometimes they aren't ok... [​IMG] Edit: I try to use up my duck eggs within a month or two, they do lose quality. I also do wash mine in warm water. They don't keep as well, but ducks are messy and their eggs are often dirtier than I am willing to store them.

    8. Most ducks lay before 9 am. I keep mine locked in their pen until about 9:30 am and I have grown nesting areas with straw. I put golf balls in them to encourage them to use them.

    9. See above.

    10. Yes, the eggs can freeze and crack in the winter when its really cold. I usually thaw them out and use them immediately, or thaw them and feed them to the dogs. The cracks can seem to close up when the egg thaws, but you know bacteria can get in.

    Have fun with your ducks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by