How to stop duck from going broody?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newbyduckmom, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    My duck continues to build nests everyday, and I continue to take her eggs away. She is still leaving the duck house during the day. How do I stop her from going broody? Will she stop laying??

    Can I just continue to remove the eggs and not put bedding in the house for couple of days (wire floor elevated off the ground)? Have no place to put her where she can be separate from the other two hens safely.

    If she is going broody once, will she do it again in the future?

    Honestly, I would love to have some ducklings, but getting pretty cold and husband would not be happy....
  2. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    This is a common problem if you are raising ducks for their eggs. Actually having her lay in the same nest every day is a very good thing! Only if the loction is very inconvient would I break it up. You could try a nest box in a sheltered spot and see if you can get her to lay there. One trick that helps is to leave a 'nest egg' (either one of her own eggs marked so you can tell it from new eggs, a golf ball or other fake egg) You want her to return to the nest to lay her daily egg. (many ducks just drop their egg where ever they happen to be when the need arises. anyway when you get her laying in the same nest every day just steal her eggs whenever but always leave one in the nest so she returns to add to her investment. There is a theory that the nest must have 8-10 eggs before she goes broody and starts to 'set' the nest (stay on the eggs all night and most of the day) In my experience it is only a theory. The fact is that a duck stops laying when she goes broody, If she is still laying on a regular basis she isn't broody, no matter where she spends her time.
    There is no way to stop a duck from going broody but if you gather the eggs daily it helps.
    Once a duck has gone broody you should remove ALL the eggs from the nest. Depending on many factors the duck will often move to a new location and try again to start a family by laying again. Sometines they get stuck in broody mode and will continue to set a nest even with no eggs in it. This is Bad she isn't producing eggs for you and her health will go downhill while she trys to hatch an empty nest. We used a special cage to 'break broodyness' in ducks. It had a wire floor and was elevated so cool air could reach the ducks bottom. No nesting materials of any kind, but her regular food and water in the cage. Once her brooding patch on the bottom and the breast of the duck had cooled to normal (usually 1-3 days and nights) we would release her to the rest of the flock which she should rejoin. Sometimes she would start laying again sometimes not, but she would behave like the regular ducks and eat and drink like normal. If she returns to the nest and stays there she got anothor visit the the broody breaking cage.
    Yes if she has gone broody once they often will do it again. But a broody is a treasure if you want ducklings (or chicks or even goslings) since many females never go broody. you just load her nest with the eggs you want hatched and let her go broody! Usually beats electrical incubators for yield and you don't have to worry about a power failure!
    Good luck with your ducks! ~gd

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