How do I get my ducks to lay in a nest?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by thecityman, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. thecityman

    thecityman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2010
    Greetings Duck friends. I'm new to ducks...and only have Pekin, 1 mallard, 4 runners. I hatched them last summer so this is their first winter. To my amazment and thrill, yesterday I discovered 3 eggs!!!!! The first ones I've ever gotten from them....I just can't tell you how exiciting it was to find those! (Not really sure why, but just seemed like a prize! ha). Sadly, because they were in an area that I don't go to every day, they were frozen hard and cracked. Worse yet, though, they had just been laid right out in the open ground, and not even together, though I do think they were from the same duck. is my question: what can I do to encourage her (or them) to lay future eggs in a nest of some kind. You should know that I already built a small box out of plywood that is about 3 ft high, 3 ft long, and 3 ft wide. It has a roof and has some hay in it. IT SEEMS PERFECT TO ME!!!!! But I've never once seen a duck go into it, and even though it is within 30 feet of the eggs I found, she clearly had no interest in using it. ducks are basically free range, though there are no woods for them. They are in a pasture and sometimes get out, but almost anywhere they go is mowed cover. Thats why I thought they would use the wood box I made for them. For what its worth, they also have access to a small barn but almost never use it...even when it gets really cold. Again, I would have thought they would have laid eggs in there perhaps, but no. Any suggestions? Where do your ducks lay eggs? Should I make a different kind of box/next? I just hate having them plop eggs out on the ground. Not only because they get wasted, but when spring comes I really want them to hate a place to lay and sit. OH...I should also tell you that the place they laid all 3 eggs was within a few feet of my pond. But my box is in the same general area.
    1 person likes this.
  2. kelseysfowl

    kelseysfowl Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 9, 2012
    When my ducks started laying i was quite excited as well! i also made a nesting box that they didn't touch, but one of my friends told me to lock them in the box every night for about 4 days to teach them to go back to the box and lay or sleep. so i did this experiment and had great results! they grew to like my cheap box and laid they're delicious eggs in them.[​IMG]
  3. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I've never really tried to force mine to lay in a certain area, I've read that others have called it more like an Easter Egg Hunt every day. That is about the truth of it here.
    1 person likes this.
  4. HauiBali

    HauiBali Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kecskemét, Hungary
    My ducks lay at the door in their house just before sunrise, it is a very good habit as I don't have to crawl inside for the eggs.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    When many ducks start laying they tend to plop them down anywhere. Do they have a nighttime house? I'd make a nesting area in there. A little darkened but not completely black area will usually work. Dig a depression in the ground and put some nesting materials there. Put a fake egg shaped object in the nest. Golf balls work.

    My hens lay in upside down totes that I cut doors in. Though on of them decided she liked the chicken's nests better. My ducks will return from foraging to lay their eggs. I start this type of "training" as soon as they are approaching egg laying age. I don't want to hunt for eggs and I don't want someone going broody in an unsecured area.
  6. nolson

    nolson Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2015
    Did you lock them in the nesting box, or just in there coop and the nesting box was inside the coop? Also do you have a picture of the box? Thanks
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Sometimes I just put a decoy egg where I want them to lay - works pretty well.
  8. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I will sacrifice a day or two's collection, and once my Girls see their eggs left in a spot, they lay there without fail.
  9. kstavert

    kstavert Out Of The Brooder

    "I will sacrifice a day or two's collection, and once my Girls see their eggs left in a spot, they lay there without fail - HollyDuckFarmer."

    How long do you leave their eggs in that

    I have learned that, when I collect the
    eggs that I find, the ducks look for another
    place to lay their eggs... I can no longer
    find their hiding places.... (10 acre property
    with a very large pond)

    I have 7 hens and 8 drakes and they are
    in a coop at night. Have found a couple
    of eggs in their coop in the mornings...

    when I collect them, it will be at least a week
    before I find any more in the coop....

    so, I just got 7 porcelain eggs (sure hope that
    the ducks are colour blind - the eggs are
    brown - only ones available) and have been
    putting them into their coop in place of their
    laid eggs....

    what happens when I run out of decoys?

    thank you many bunches for your insights
    and support.

  10. WafflesNTimmy

    WafflesNTimmy Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2016
    Mine like to half bury theirs. I'd like them in the same general spot please, even if they are half buried [​IMG] at least I'd know where!!

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