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

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

  1. thecityman

    thecityman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Greetings Duck friends. I'm new to ducks...and only have 6....one 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. ANYWAY....here 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. oh...my 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 short....no 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.
    Confused!
    Kevin
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. kelseysfowl

    kelseysfowl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 9, 2012
    Missouri
    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Mar 11, 2015
    Colorado
    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

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    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

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    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
    spot?


    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.


    Karen
     
  10. WafflesNTimmy

    WafflesNTimmy Out Of The Brooder

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    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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